Tunisia jails jihadist over call to join rebels in Syria

April 3, 2013 17:42


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Tunis - Tunisia has jailed an Islamist militant on suspicion of incitement to terrorism after he called on television for young compatriots to join the armed uprising in Syria, a justice ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

He said Abu Zaid Tounsi issued the call after returning from a stint with rebels fighting in Syria, heightening fears of young men coming home radicalized from battle there jeopardizing security in their North African homeland.

President Moncef Marzouki last month likened young Tunisians returning from service in Syria's increasingly Islamist insurrection to Algerians who joined a 1990s insurgency against their government after fighting in Afghanistan.

Tunisian media say thousands of young Tunisians recruited by shadowy networks are fighting in Syria's two-year-old civil war.

"An investigative judge ordered the jailing of Abu Zaid Tounsi after an investigation opened against him on anti-terrorism grounds," the justice ministry spokesman said.

He said Abu Zaid was expected to face trial in the next few weeks on charges of incitement to terrorism.

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