On Friday, the Tunisian National Guard announced the arrest of a person suspected of being affiliated with the Islamic State, in possession of explosive materials, and was planning to carry out “four simultaneous terrorist operations” in the country on the verge of summer.
National Guard spokesman Hossam Eddine Jebabli told AFP that this “terrorist element” was arrested in Sfax, the second largest city in Tunisia, explaining that he “planned these operations in coordination with others outside Tunisia.”
The suspect appeared before the anti-terrorism pole, which issued an arrest warrant against him, according to the same source.
“He is loyal to ISIS,” al-Jababli said, referring to the Islamic State group, without giving further details.
Tunisia has strengthened its security measures since an attack carried out by a security officer on May 9 in the vicinity of the Ghriba Synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba during the annual Jewish pilgrimage season.
Three security personnel and two people, an Israeli-Tunisian and a French-Tunisian, were killed in the attack, before the police shot the attacking member.
Four people linked to the attacker, suspected of being involved in the operation, have been arrested and taken into custody, according to local media.
The Tunisian authorities condemned the attack, which they described as a “treacherous and cowardly attack” without considering it “terrorist” or giving it an anti-Semitic dimension.
After a popular uprising in Tunisia in 2011 brought down the dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the rise of jihadist groups was recorded in the country. Several attacks carried out by these groups left scores of tourists and security forces dead.
The authorities assert that in recent years they have made great progress in combating jihadists.