Tunisia arrested an estimated 100 people in the last three days, suspected of having links to the jihadist group Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL), Reuters reports.
“In the past three days we foiled terrorist operations and arrested about 100 jihadist elements,” said Mohamed Ali Aroui, a spokesman for the Tunisian Interior Ministry.
Aroui revealed that Tunisian security forces “had uncovered a militant cell in the city of Hammam Ghzaz that was preparing explosives to use in attacks on security buildings,” notes Reuters.
“A video published by the Interior Ministry on Facebook showed the cell had owned instructions for making explosives and a picture of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State militant group which is active in Syria and Iraq,” adds the report.
ISIS has already expanded into Tunisia’s neighbor Libya. Fears have surfaced that the jihadist group is seeking to expand its terrorist activities into other regions in North African. There are concerns that ISIS may be able to stage attacks against Europe from Libya.
“Tunisia has been a major source of Islamist fighters traveling to Syria since 2011,” reports Reuters. “The number of Tunisians fighting in Syria has been estimated at about 3,000. A few hundred have returned home, although many have been tracked down and arrested.”
“Tunisia is waging a campaign against hardline Islamist groups who emerged in the country during its transition to democracy after the 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali,” adds the article.
Last week, al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants killed four Tunisian policemen near Tunisia’s border with Algeria.