“The Interior Ministry received intelligence that terrorist groups affiliated with [Islamic State] in Libya are planning suicide bombings against police as well as other attacks in Greater Tunis” (Tunis and the surrounding Governorates of Ariana, Ben Arous, and Manouba) Interior Minister, Hedi Majdoub, told the Security and Defense Committee of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People’s (ARP) at a hearing on Wednesday, April 27.
“I do not want to scare people … but threats exist.” Minister Majdoub said before describing what he called ‘a campaign of psychological warfare’ against Tunisian security and military personnel by “Daech” using a variation on the name of the Islamic State also commonly referred to as ISIS or Daesh in English language media. According to Majdoub threats against security and military personnel have increased in recent weeks, whether through social media or in through threats directed against individual personnel including several who have had threats written on the walls of their homes.
Majdoub said “There is close border security coordination with Algeria and to a lesser degree with Libya given the state of affairs there” adding “security and military units are ready to face any threat and the borders with Libya are secure.”
According to Majdoub thus far in 2016:
1,733 counterterrorism related raids have been conducted.
33 ‘terrorist cells’ have been dismantled in various governorates throughout Tunisia.
1400 individuals brought before justice on charges of belonging to terrorist organizations.
140 individuals ‘linked to sending youths into conflict zones’ had been arrested.
1800 individuals have been barred from leaving Tunisia on suspicion of wanting to travel to conflict zones.
During the hearing Majdoub also announced that 1,000 surveillance cameras would be installed in public areas and large commercial. The plan will begin with the installation of cameras in the third quarter of the current year at a cost of 9 million TND and will be operational in early 2017.
A biometric national identity card will also be introduced in the next year, and it will not list the bearer’s professional status, a point of contention which had been controversial.