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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Report: Secret Algerian document says Tunisian terror group to target Jews, Western targets

Tunisian counter-terrorism expert warned this week that terrorists are reportedly planning to target Jewish community on Island of Djerba during Ramadan.

El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia
El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia Photo: Mohamed Hammi / Reuters

A Tunisian counter-terrorism expert cited a secret Algerian report stating that jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia plans to target Jews as well as Western targets in Tunisia, Egypt, and Algeria.

A new report published on Wednesday by the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) reveals that Ali Zawi, a Tunisian counter-terrorism expert warned in an article published on Wednesday in the London-based Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi that terrorists are planning to target the Jewish community on the Island of Djerba during the month of Ramadan.

During last year’s Ramadan, the group perpetrated an attack that killed eight Tunisian soldiers.

The expert’s claims, which were first published in the Tunisian weekly Akhar Khabar, also noted that Ansar al-Sharia operative Khaled Al-Shaeb is considered very dangerous and suspected to be connected to these planned attacks. According to the newspaper, Shaeb is highly dangerous and was involved in a recent attack on the home of the Tunisian interior minister.

The London-based Arab newspaper also cited the Tunisian paper Al-Shurouq as claiming to be in possession of a secret “strategic Algerian document” warning about Ansar al-Sharia’s plans to target crowded areas in Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt. The document states that the plan to target Jews and Western targets is boosted by the group’s motivation to carry out attacks due to French involvement in Mali and continuing problems in Libya.

Ansar al-Sharia is designated as a terror organization by the US and Tunisia and the group is believed to be connected to al-Qaida.

“Created separately after the fall of the Qaddafi regime, Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah have been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets, frequent assassinations, and attempted assassinations of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya, and the September 11, 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya,” said the State Department in a statement in January.

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