The Tunisian Ministry of Interior revealed an attempt to break into its headquarters on Habib Bourguiba Street in the center of the capital by a person who was in possession of a weapon.
The Interior Ministry said that the incident, which occurred on Friday, November 26, was carried out by a 29-year-old terrorist affiliated with ISIS, adding that he failed to injure anyone, as the security forces surprised and arrested him.
The rate of dismantled cells during the month of November reached 12 cells, and their affiliation varied between ISIS and al-Qaeda, which opened controversy over the relationship of these cells to the Tunisian political reality and the parties affected by it, led by the Brotherhood-affiliated Ennahda movement.
The activity of ISIS and al-Qaeda in Tunisia represents a serious threat, as this means a new space for the expansion of terrorism in the African Sahel, which is going through a stage that major European countries have been unable to curb.
Tunisian domestic scene
It is not possible to separate what is happening inside Tunisia from the new conditions that followed the decisions of Tunisian President Kais Saied on July 25 that led to the marginalization of parties such as Ennahda, which represented the number one political force in the country before July 25.
In the wake of these decisions that led to the overthrow of former Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi’s government and the freezing of the parliament in which Ennahda represented the majority, most political readings expected Ennahda to resort to violence as a response to its marginalization, which would come in line with its Brotherhood ideology.
What happened was the opposite, as Ennahda faked the appearance of wisdom, which brought it criticism from Egyptian and non-Egyptian Brotherhood parties who expected the movement to erupt in anger in response.
All of this was not evidence of the end of violent scenarios, as Ennahda’s position does not mean abandoning armed action, which was evidenced by the recent levels of violence witnessed in Tunisia over the course of November.
Exploiting the political situation
Tunisian writer Mourad Ben Ammar said in exclusive statements to the Reference that what is happening is not far from Ennahda and other parties affected by the current political reality and bearing an extremist ideology.
Ben Ammar explained that the work of these terrorist organizations is not new in Tunisia, as they have repeatedly tried to establish a presence there, adding that what happened is an attempt to exploit the political situation, which is full of tensions and clashes between the presidential palace and the Ennahda movement.
He pointed out that the interests of Ennahda, ISIS and al-Qaeda have found a consensus in the current political situation, as the first seeks to confuse the security services and the Tunisian president, while the second seeks to build a strong presence for it.
Ben Ammar noted that the work of these organizations has never stopped in Tunisia, but that this period is witnessing a boom due to the infusion of Ennahda funds that help these organizations to move intensively, allowing them to disturb the Tunisian state while at the same time being far from suspicious.
He expected an increase in the rates of terrorist operations during the coming period, criticizing the state’s handling of them.
He also explained that President Saied needs more strictness in his decisions to bury these attempts before they appear, noting that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was able through serious and strict policies to eliminate any opportunity to threaten security.
Ben Ammar stressed that Tunisia may witness worse operations if Saied stands silent in the face of attempts of terrorist recruitment and mobilizing sleeper cells.