Reports on social media and in the local press triggered alarm when a car chase was reported in the Bardo neighborhood of Tunis before being refuted by the Ministry of the Interior. Access to the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP) was restricted and a heavier than normal security presence was deployed in Bardo neighborhood after the Ministry of the Interior responded to a tip from a civilian about a suspicious person.
Absent information from the Ministry of the Interior several reports circulated in the local press and on social media of an ongoing vehicle pursuit before Yasser Mesbeh, the ministry's spokesman informed the media that the security presence had been in response to an anonymous tip about a 'suspicious bearded' individual, accoridng to ShemsFM. The Ministry of the Interior then refuted the rumours on its official Facebook page.
The ARP is adjacent to the Bardo National Museum that was the site of the March 18, 2015 attack by Tunisian terrorists who are suspected by the Tunisian authorities of having received training in camps outside the Libyan city of Sabratha.
On February 19, a U.S. airstrike targeted Tunisian militants outside the Libyan city of Sabratha. The primary target of the airstrike was Noureddine Chouchane, a Tunisian Militant wanted Tunisian authorities for his role in the Bardo National Museum attack in March. According to local Libyan sources the U.S. airstrike killed over 50 suspected militants, the vast majority of whom were Tunisian nationals.
The timing of this week's March 7, attack on Ben Guerdane is believed to have been hastened by Tunisian militants fleeing the western Libyan authorities who reinforced Sabratha, after fighting between militants and the Sabrathan authorities followed the airstrike. In late February, the Tripoli authorities released a videotaped confession of a Tunisian militant, captured in Sabratha before the airstrike, that the militants there had been planning to attack Ben Guerdane.