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Ansar Al-shari'a in Tunisia (AAS-T)
Al-qayrawan Media Foundation
Ansar Al-sharia
Ansar Al-shari'ah
Ansar Al-shari'ah in Tunisia
Supporters Of Islamic Law

The status of salifist / jihadi groups in Tunisia is a bit unclear. Ansar al-Shariah in Tunisia's size is unknown. The group operates in Tunisia and Libya. The groups sources of funding are unknown.

The risk of terrorist activity in Tunisia remained high in 2018, including the potential for terrorist attacks and the infiltration of arms and terrorists from neighboring countries. In 2018, aspiring ISIS affiliate Jund Al Khilafa-Tunisia (JAK-T), al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)- aligned Uqba bin Nafi Battalion, and others conducted primarily small-scale attacks against Tunisian security personnel, including one in July against the Tunisian National Guard that killed six officers. Nonetheless, Tunisian security forces continued to improve their ability to preempt terrorist activities by identifying and dismantling numerous terrorist cells.

Founded by Seifallah Ben Hassine in early 2011, Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia was involved in the September 14, 2012 attack against the U.S. Embassy and American school in Tunis, which put the lives of over one hundred United States employees in the Embassy at risk.

It is not clear whether Ansar al-Shari`a in Tunisia (AST), and its media outlet al-Qayrawan Media Foundation (QMF), were organized prior to the fall of former Tunisian President Ben Alis regime, but if it existed beforehand it would have been highly covert due to the repressive environment under the previous government. Regardless, since April 2011 the groups activities are increasingly public, holding rallies and even creating Facebook pages. AST has garnered the attention of online jihadists at Ansar al-Mujahidin and al-Jahad al-`Alami, two of the most popular Arabic language jihadist forums.

Based on the content AST released in the form of statements, essays, and videos, the group does not seem interested in global or local jihad. Rather, most of the issues the group is agitated about deal with local problems, and they expressed their views through peaceful protests. The Tunisian government has declared Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia a terrorist organization, and the group has been implicated in attacks against Tunisian security forces, assassinations of Tunisian political figures, and attempted suicide bombings of locations that tourists frequent. Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, which is ideologically aligned with al-Qaida and tied to its affiliates, including AQIM, represents the greatest threat to U.S. interests in Tunisia.

The Department of State announced 10 January 2014 the designations of Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah, and Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia as separate Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.

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Page last modified: 24-02-2020 18:24:04 ZULU