TUNISIA WORKING WITH UAE ON TERRORIST THREAT FROM FEMALE JIHADIST RETURNEES.
Threat Focus: Saida Garrach, an advisor at the Tunisian presidency, told local radio Shems FM that the UAE had “serious information over the possibility of terrorist acts as part of returning fighters leaving Iraq and Syria,”…
Tunisia had demanded the UAE apologize for the travel ban and on Sunday it suspended the Dubai-based airline Emirates from operating at Tunis airport.
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Saida Garrach, an advisor at the Tunisian presidency, told local radio Shems FM that the UAE had “serious information over the possibility of terrorist acts as part of returning fighters leaving Iraq and Syria,” and that the two countries were now working together to address the threat.
Across the European Union, 1,200 foreign fighters have returned out of 5,000 who flocked to war zones in the Middle East. The United Kingdom has the highest total in Europe with 425 individuals returning home while Germany and France have 300 and 271 respectively.
The report claims that seven of the estimated 129 Americans who took up arms with ISIS have also returned home. The threat level posed by these returnees is difficult to assess, but countries are going to have to act quickly in order to develop strategies and share information to address it.
“There are terrorist plots in several countries,” Garrach said in an interview conducted on Monday and posted on the station’s website.“What concerns the United Arab Emirates is the possibility of terrorist acts committed by Tunisian women or by Tunisian passport holders,” she said.
Security Analysis: It is important to note that Tunisian officials have criticized the way the threat had been communicated to Tunisia and NOT the INTEL itself.
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While Tunisia is rated as a LOW-THREAT country for Crime & Safety by the U.S. State Department it is among the countries with the highest per capita number of militant Islamists, a problem linked to widespread radicalisation among disillusioned youths and a loosening of security controls after Tunisia’s 2011 uprising.