The Ministry of the Interior announced in a statement released on Tuesday, April 19, the dismantling of a five member terrorist cell in Sidi Hassine in the capital Tunis. One of the five suspects arrested, according to the Ministry statement, admitted being a member of the banned terrorist organization Ansar al Sharia and took part in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy and American Cooperative School in Tunis.
According to the same statement, and of more immediate concern, one of the suspects signalled the existence of three 'sleeper cells' in the Tunis neighborhoods of Cité Zouhour, Bardo and Jebel Lahmar.
The Tunisian authorities designated Ansar al Sharia a terrorist organization in August of 2013 after the assassinations of Chokri Belaid and Mohmamed Brahmi in in February and July of 2013, the first organization to be designated as such in post-Revolutionary Tunisia.
In 2014, Ansar al Sharia's Tunisia and it two Libyan wings in Benghazi and Dernah were designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) by the U.S. State Department.
The following is from the U.S. State Department Bureau of Counterterrorism's Country Reports on Terrorism 2014, an annual reported presented to the U.S. Congress.