El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia 370 (R).
(photo credit: Mohamed Hammi / Reuters)
A Tunisian counterterrorism expert warned last week that terrorists are reportedly planning to target the Jewish community on the island of Djerba during Ramadan, citing a secret Algerian report stating that jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia plans to target Jews and Westerners in Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria.
Tunisian counterterrorism expert Ali Zawi warned that terrorists plan to target the Jewish community in Djerba during Ramadan in an article published on Wednesday in the London-based al-Quds newspaper, according to a report published on the same day by MEMRI’s (Middle East Media Research Institute) Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor.
During Ramadan last year, the group perpetrated an attack that killed eight Tunisian soldiers.
The expert’s claims, which were first published in the Tunisian weekly Akhar Khabar, noted that Ansar al-Sharia operative Khaled al-Shaeb is suspected of being connected to these attacks.
According to the newspaper, Shaeb is highly dangerous and was involved in a recent attack on the home of the Tunisian interior minister.
Al-Quds also cited the Tunisian newspaper Al-Shurouq, which claimed to posses a secret “strategic Algerian document” warning about Ansar al-Sharia’s plans to target crowded areas in Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt.
The document reportedly states that the plan to target Jews and Westerners is boosted by the group’s motivation to carry out attacks due to French involvement in Mali and continuing strife in Libya.
Ansar al-Sharia is designated as a terror organization by the US and Tunisia and is believed to be connected to al-Qaida.
“Created separately after the fall of the Qaddafi regime, Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah have been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets, frequent assassinations, and attempted assassinations of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya, and the September 11, 2012 attacks against the US Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya,” said the State Department in January.