Great — al Qaeda operations have reached Tunisia.
Despite the gorgeous weather and rays of sun peeking through the window curtains, yesterday was not a ‘happy, go-lucky’ kind of day. Tunisians woke up to a media flood, reporting a fight between the Tunisian National Guard and 5 al-Qaeda terrorists: 2 Algerians, 2 Libyans, and a Tunisian. A bus driver had noticed the group was acting suspiciously and carrying large duffle bags and reported them to local law enforcement officials. The men did not go down without a fight after police caught up with them, with 3 of them killed, 1 injured, and a Tunisian military colonel KIA (killed in action).
Though the curfew was lifted in greater Tunis, helicopters were circulating ‘round the clock, police and military personnel were dispatched and on high alert, and average citizens were in paranoia — the ‘official emotional sponsor’ of the Tunisian transition to democratization.
Al Qaeda in Tunisia??? This is insane. Since when? How? Why?
As far as my knowledge with the terrorist organization is concerned - shoutout to Dr. Schanzer’s ‘9/11 and its Aftermath’ Policy Class - it seems odd that it would order operations in Tunisia, especially now after the revolution. In fact, al Qaeda released documents praising the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt… that is not to say that we are in any way happy to receive al Qaeda’s praise, but rather to note the absurdity and hypocrisy of their operatives now carrying out missions here. That, and no documents have ever highlighted Tunisia as a target.
My conclusion: these men were not acting per the orders of al Qaeda officials; they went rogue, and decided to act of their own accord.
Needless to say, the country is on high alert. No curfew, and the streets were empty around 11pm last night. Not a soul.
An armed terrorist is on the loose, and Tunisians are thinking ‘REALLY??? This is the absolute LAST thing we need right now.’
ربي يقدر الخير - May God command what is best.