Interior Minister Taoufik Charfedine, at a hearing before the Security and Defence Committee on Monday 16 November 2020, revealed that since the beginning of the year, security units, with the support of the national army unit specialising in the fight against terrorism, have arrested 1,020 people, most of them suspected of belonging to terrorist organisations.
As stated by Al-Ain, the minister confirmed that 876 people have been referred to the courts to fight terrorism and organised crime, after which 112 officers were sent to prison and 375 were sent to security units for further investigation and the remaining 389 were released.
The Chief of the Interior also reported that 33 Takfirian cells (one Muslim accusing another of apostasy) were discovered and 119 accused persons arrested. The number of preventive security operations reached 48, resulting in the elimination of nine terrorist elements and the seizure of two Kalashnikov-type weapons and a quantity of ammunition, mines and explosives, as well as the detection of caches for the manufacture of explosives.
The Minister of the Interior confirmed the elimination of two protected terrorist elements in the mountains.
Charfedine also stressed that these successes are due to the security measures and necessary precautions taken in the fight against terrorism, based mainly on the awareness of all cadres of the potential threats and their call for increased vigilance and attention to focus on specific proactive operations to eliminate terrorists, to identify the dangers according to the specificity of each party, to increase vigilance and attention at the land borders and on the coastal strip, and to deal with all attempts to infiltrate with units of the national army, in coordination with the customs services and the general forest administration.
He explained that in 2020, terrorist organisations and organised crime networks have changed their strategy, taking advantage of the concerns of States and focusing on the fight against coronavirus.
However, the state has managed to manage the coronavirus pandemic without neglecting the fight against terrorism.
In 2020, Tunisia was the scene of a series of terrorist operations, including one targeting a security patrol near the US embassy in May, and two policemen were killed.
Tunisian political circles accuse brotherhood organisations of spreading the Takfiri ideology and encouraging young people to turn to extremism and violence and join terrorist groups.
In early September, a policeman and three suspected terrorists were killed and another officer seriously injured in a shooting in the Tunisian city of Sousse, a tourist destination and the scene of a 2015 jihadist attack in which 38 people, mostly tourists, were killed.
In the last two years, armed attacks against the Tunisian National Guard have increased, particularly in the region of Kasserine, on the border with Algeria, a mountainous area where armed groups from Tunisia and other parts of the Sahel have established themselves after the Arab Spring.