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Tunisia Arrests Top Terrorist Recruiter | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tunisian policemen guard the Bardo museum in Tunis March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Anis Mili

Tunis – Tunisia’s interior ministry has confirmed the arrest of a man recruiting fighters for the purpose of sending them to war zones such as Libya, Syria and Iraq.

The ministry, which did not identify the suspect, said the man is Tunisian and was residing in a neighboring country. But he was arrested in the center of the Tunisian capital.

The arrest of the man, who is considered a top terrorist recruiter, will likely untangle the mystery of the travel of hundreds of Tunisians to war zones.

The ministry said the suspect admitted to luring a large number of extremists in Tunisia and sending them to Syria.

He also confessed to being tasked by ISIS in Syria to carry out his mission in return for huge sums of money in US currency.

Police also arrested two other accomplices, who were on their way to Syria. They seized from them cash and electronic devices that include videos praising ISIS.

During initial questioning, the two men admitted to planning on traveling to Syria to join the terrorist organization. They also confessed to plotting terrorist attacks in Tunisia in case they failed to reach the war-torn country.

According to official data, there are around 3,000 Tunisian terrorists abroad, the majority in Syria and the rest in Libya, Iraq and other countries.

Interior ministry documents also reveal that more than 27,000 Tunisians have been stopped from joining terrorist groups, and that 800 terrorists have returned to the country.

The return of extremists creates huge security challenges for the Tunisian authorities.