To this day, Tunisia remains the only country in the MENA region that has undergone a democratic transition following the popular uprisings of 2010-11. Yet the transition has proven difficult. The young democracy remains plagued by a number of challenges, some of which stem from the legacy of the Ben Ali era and others that have emerged during the transition. Against this backdrop, the country has been confronted with the resurgence of Salafi currents, as well as with the phenomenon of jihadist radicalization. Today, Tunisia is, per capita and in absolute numbers, one of the biggest exporters of jihadist foreign fighters in the world. Fatalities in Tunisia from jihadist violence have skyrocketed since the uprising, with attacks in 2015 on the Bardo Museum in Tunis and on a resort in Sousse having captured international attention. These trends not only pose a threat to the stability of the country, they also fuel and prolong conflicts in the wider region, ultimately also posing a threat to Europe and the wider West.
Tunisia is currently struggling to address jihadist radicalization and terrorism. While individual pathways leading to radicalization may differ, it is possible to identify common structural factors that play a role in the radicalization process that can be acted upon in a systematic way. Thus far, the Tunisian authorities have taken a number of measures, some of which are aimed at mitigating the impact of a number of these structural-level drivers. Yet, additional policy responses and support from international partners are still needed if Tunisia is to curtail jihadist radicalization and safeguard the country's democratic achievements. Indeed, given the conflicts in Libya, Mali, Syria and Iraq, this is now more important than ever.
Jihadi Salafism in Tunisia is not a new phenomenon. Dissatisfaction with Ennahda's precursor in the late 1980s, the Mouvement de la Tendence Islamique (MTI),1 as well as Ben Ali's repression of Islamists in the 1990s and 2000s, had already led some Tunisians to embrace violent jihad.2 That said, the country has witnessed the growth of jihadi Salafism since the uprising.
Not all Salafis are jihadi. Salafism generally refers to a reform movement within Sunni Islam, whose modern-day adherents seek to emulate the pious practices of the first three generations of Muslims who followed the Prophet Mohammed.3 Within the Salafi movement, several categories can be identified. Scripturalist Salafis tend to eschew political activism as impious and pointless, concentrating instead on purifying Islam by moving closer to the practices of the pious ancestors and engaging in education and preaching. Political Salafis, who are often sympathetic towards the convictions of scripturalists, are committed to involvement in political debates and elections, and in the founding of political parties. Jihadi Salafis, by contrast, embrace violence as a means of imposing their views.4
Tunisian Salafis do not always fit neatly into these categories, partly because they have adapted their practices to the evolving post-uprising domestic context.5 Scripturalist Salafis, who were non-confrontational toward the Ben Ali regime, were tolerated to a greater degree than Islamists and jihadi Salafis. Nevertheless, they tended to operate discretely in closed communities. With the departure of Ben Ali, however, they began to operate more openly, preaching, engaging in charitable works, forming associations and even lobbying for the inclusion of sharia law in the constitution.6
Post-uprising, a fraction of Salafis established political parties that call for the implementation of sharia law and accept formal democratic procedures. Some of their founders were among MTI/Ennahda's more conservative members or members of the Tunisian Islamic Fighting group (TIF), a splinter faction of the MTI.7 The most prominent of the parties, Jabhat al-Islah, was legalized in March 2012. A number of its founding members, including its leader, Mohammed Khouja, were TIF members and were tried under Ben Ali. Besides Jabhat al-Islah, two additional Salafi parties were founded: al-Asala (Authenticity), led by Mouldi Mujahid and legalized in March 2012, and al-Rahma (Mercy), legalized in July 2012 and led by Sayd al-Jaziri, a Salafi preacher who was based in Canada and had been sentenced in absentia for being a member of the then-banned Ennahda.8
Like scripturalist and political Salafis, jihadi Salafis — who tend to be younger — have adapted their actions to the changing political environment in Tunisia.9 Many did not initially subscribe to domestic jihad. Due to the freedoms afforded to them by the new situation, influential sheikhs considered Tunisia in the early phase of the transition to be a land of preaching rather than of violent jihad, even if jihad abroad was encouraged by some, if not condoned.10 This changed when the Ennahda-led government began to crack down on jihadi Salafism following the murder of two leftist politicians in 2013, for which jihadi Salafis were held responsible. From then on, Tunisia, too, was considered a land of jihad.
Several different sets of jihadi Salafis appeared after the fall of Ben Ali. Some established small groups that elected their own emirs — often untrained scholars and sometimes ex-prisoners or recently returned exiles. Many preferred to remain independent of institutions. Others favored institutionalization and attempted to organize jihadi youth; for example, Majlis al-Shuyukh (council of sheikhs) was created in November 2012 to channel jihadi youth toward preaching rather than violence.11 The most prominent example of institutionalization is Ansar al-Sharia Tunisia (AST), founded in 2011 to engage in charitable work. It refrained from calling for jihad at home, although it did encourage Tunisians to fight against the Assad regime in Syria and the 2013 French intervention in Mali.12 Yet, once the group was outlawed in 2013, Tunisia was thought of as a land of jihad. Some of its followers have split into smaller groups, engaging in violent acts against the authorities. Others have joined Tunisia's affiliates of al-Qaeda or Islamic State (IS) or gone to fight in Libya, becoming part of two additional sets of jihadi Salafis.
Similar groups in Tunisia include the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)-affiliated Uqba ibn Nafi, primarily based in the Mount Chaambi area near the Algerian border, where it is waging a low-level insurgency. Tunisian authorities have claimed that it was also responsible for the March 2015 Bardo Museum attack. An Uqba ibn Nafi cell based in the Kasserine region of Tunisia broke away from the group in December 2014 and formed Jund al-Khalifa, which pledged allegiance to IS. In contradiction to the government's line, Jund al-Khalifa has claimed responsibility for the Bardo attack — and also for the beheading of a shepherd and the murder of a soldier in central Tunisia in November 2015. Another little-known IS-affiliated group, Mujahedeen Tunisia Kairouan, is believed to have had links to the perpetrator of the May 2015 attack on tourists in Sousse.13
In addition to domestically based Tunisian jihadi Salafis are those who have gone to fight or train in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Mali. As of late 2015 and early 2016, the government estimated that more than 3,000 Tunisians were fighting in Syria and Iraq. However, independent estimates suggest the number at that time may have been closer to 7,000.14 By mid-2015, up to 1,500 Tunisians were thought to have had gone to Libya.15 After the liberation of Sirte in late 2016, some of them are likely to have fled to other countries.16 A smaller number of Tunisians have also been fighting with AQIM and Ansar Dine in northern Mali.17 According to government sources, some 800 of these foreign fighters have now returned to Tunisia.18
DRIVERS OF RADICALIZATION
There is no single pathway toward jihadist radicalization, a complex phenomenon that varies from one case to another.19 Factors at the individual, group and structural levels interact in contributing to the process. This also seems to be true in the Tunisian context.20 The drivers of radicalization identified below are, thus, not an exhaustive list, but constitute factors at the structural level that have contributed to the phenomenon in Tunisia.
Drivers of radicalization at the structural level can, of course, change over time. In the case of Tunisia, factors that were present during the immediate post-2011 period might no longer exist. Most notable in this respect are factors that were related to the early phase of the transition, such as the loss of government control over the religious sphere. Many moderate imams who had the subject of their preaching closely monitored by the Ministry of Religious Affairs were delegitimized after the revolution, due to their collaboration with the old regime. By October 2011, the Ministry of Religious Affairs had lost control over around 400 mosques that were at least partially overtaken by radical Salafist jihadist elements.21 Many of these mosques were key locations for the spread of extreme views.22 Worth mentioning also is the opening of certain democratic spaces after the revolution. The newly gained freedom of expression and assembly were used by Salafi groups (most notably by AST) to openly proselytize and spread their ideas. This was initially tolerated under the Ennahda-led government, which did not want to repress those movements for fear of pushing them underground.
This lenience changed when AST was declared a terrorist organization in mid-2013. A general hardening of the position of successive governments led, inter alia, to a broad range of repressive measures aimed at fighting terrorism. Mass arrests, often indiscriminate, were made. According to data from 2015 (January-November), of the 2,934 terrorism-related arrests, approximately half of the detainees were released without charge but stigmatized with a criminal record. Moreover, Tunisian security forces still operate with almost complete impunity, so cases of mistreatment and torture in detention have also been reported.23 With numerous studies having shown that repressive overreaching has a blowback effect and ultimately promotes further radicalization,24 it is not surprising that such excesses also became a factor driving radicalization in Tunisia.25
Certain aspects of Tunisian history continue to contribute to radicalization. As previously mentioned, the Ben Ali regime maintained tight control over the religious sphere and repressed every form of Islamic practice perceived as threatening to the government.26 Accordingly, many young Tunisians socialized during the Ben Ali era grew up with only a superficial knowledge of religion. Huda Hawas, a Tunisian researcher, called this "a knowledge vacuum and ignorance of the religion,"27 a condition that today makes it easier for extremists to promote extremist views and coopt religious identity.28
In addition, there is a general sense of disenchantment among the younger generation as well as the lower and middle classes. Many had high hopes that the revolution would bring about political change, empowerment of the young and social justice. Hamstrung by a difficult transition toward democracy, these expectations have been largely unmet, and the initial optimism has given way to disenchantment with the political system. There is a widespread feeling among young people in particular that they have been excluded from the political process, and a perception that the old elites are still in charge.29 A survey conducted in 2014 found that 90 percent of the youth living in the poor suburbs of Tunis (Douar Hicher and Ettadhamen) believed that their situation had not changed since the revolution. Almost half — 46 percent — considered that their situation was even worse than under Ben Ali, with 92 percent citing a lack of space within which they could voice their concerns.30
Besides political exclusion, one can add a socioeconomic marginalization that dates back to the Ben Ali years, but that has gone largely unaddressed31 or even worsened since the uprising. Youth unemployment (particularly for university graduates) has, for example, increased since 2011. A 2014 World Bank report on youth inclusion found that 33 percent of young Tunisians between 15 and 29 were "unoccupied" — that is, neither in school, in employment nor in training.32 This leaves a great number of young people without an economic perspective. The Ben Ali regime and that of Bourguiba before him were also notorious for privileging development of the coast over the inland regions.33 This disparity led to chronic underdevelopment of peripheral areas, such as Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine, traditionally plagued by higher poverty, unemployment and illiteracy rates. Thus far, the post-uprising governments have been unable to significantly address these issues. While, generally speaking, poverty and the lack of economic opportunities alone may not lead to radicalization,34 in the Tunisian case, they seem to have increased people's vulnerability to jihadi ideology.35 A report that looked at the court records of individuals prosecuted for offenses related to terrorism between 2011 and 2015 found that a significant number hailed from Tunis and its poor suburbs and the deprived hinterland.36
In addition to these factors that push people towards radicalization, there are also regional and international pull factors, such as the instability in the wider region. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq have attracted a large number of Tunisians, who not only contribute to fueling and prolonging the conflicts but can also pose security risks and societal challenges when they return home. IS has managed to attract the lion's share of Tunisian fighters with its project of establishing an Islamic caliphate, the promise to protect oppressed Sunnis, and a series of religious, spiritual and economic incentives that often play into the previously mentioned grievances. These narratives are promoted by slick propaganda, distributed over the Internet, as well as by sympathizers in Tunisia, some of whom are themselves returning foreign fighters.
After it became harder to enter Syria and Iraq, IS increasingly encouraged Tunisian sympathizers to join their local branch operating within the security vacuum created by the Libyan civil war. The porous borders between Libya and Tunisia allow for a back-and-forth flow of fighters, as well as weapons, and this in turn affects the situation in Tunisia. Around 70 percent of those prosecuted for alleged terrorism in Tunisia between 2013 and 2015 had trained in Libya.37 Moreover, the perpetrators of some of the most devastating terrorist attacks on Tunisian soil were conducted by Tunisians, who had presumably trained in Libya and often acted in the name of IS. The attacks on the Bardo Museum in March 2015 and in Sousse in June, as well as the coordinated attack on the town of Ben Guardane in March 2016, are cases in point. The opportunity to counter an intervention by French forces and their allies in northern Mali also prompted a number of Tunisians to join jihadist groups (mainly AQIM and Ansar Dine).
Successive governments have taken a number of steps to address Tunisia's problem of jihadi Salafism, including both repressive measures and softer undertakings targeted at the conditions believed to contribute to radicalization. Large-scale arrests have also been made, initially under the old Ben Ali-era anti-terrorism law dating back to 2003 and then later under the new 2015 law, which adopts a broad definition of terrorism and extends the pre-trial detention period.38
As for softer measures, the authorities have sought to curb the freedoms jihadi Salafis initially enjoyed, in the hope of hindering their capacity to recruit and build a support base. Some of these actions have also affected nonviolent Salafis. Following the 2013 political assassinations, AST, as mentioned, was banned in May and then designated a terrorist organization in August of that year.39 In addition, 150 civil associations have been suspended and 157 closed for alleged links to terrorism, following an attack on soldiers in the Mount Chaambi area in July 2014 and the attack on tourists in Sousse in June 2015, respectively.40 A number of administrative measures have also been adopted to register and monitor religious institutions and their workers, including preachers, and to impose fixed opening hours.41 The government has also begun to clampdown on the use of social media by jihadist groups.42
The authorities have also taken further steps to limit exposure to extremist interpretations of Islam, while increasing exposure to moderate Islamic practice. On the one hand, a crackdown on the promotion of non-state-sanctioned Islamic practice has been undertaken through, for example, the closure of TV and radio stations that are deemed to propagate hatred and violence, and the closure of mosques outside the supervision of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.43 On the other hand, an effort to promote state-sanctioned religious practice is underway through the replacement of violence-inciting imams with ministry-approved imams and the revival of the historic institution of Islamic learning, the Zaytouna Mosque. Tunisia has also sent imams to be trained in Morocco, where the state has actively sought to foster moderate Islam.44
Attempts to counter the international and regional pull factors and their blowback have also been made. To prevent Tunisians from training or fighting in a foreign country, the 2015 antiterrorism law makes joining a terrorist organization abroad a criminal offense. A rather arbitrary travel ban has been adopted preventing males under 35 from rural areas from traveling to certain countries, including Turkey, Morocco, Libya and Serbia — all deemed transit countries for would-be foreign fighters intent on going to Syria. There is also a travel ban on known extremists.45
Thus far, the authorities appear to be relying on repressive measures to deal with returning foreign fighters. Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has announced that all returnees will face prosecution and prison.46 Given the extra burden this will place on the country's already overcrowded prisons, the government has also declared plans to build ones for returnees.47 No clear measures aimed at rehabilitating and reintegrating those who do not appear to pose a threat have emerged so far, however. This is partly due to the polarized debate on what to do with returnees. Although the idea of a "repentance" law has at various times been proposed by members of the government, opposition from society, some political factions and the hardline old guard of the security forces has prevented it from gaining traction.48
Tunisia has also sought to hinder the movement of jihadi militants to and from Libya. A 200-kilometer barrier of sand berms and a water trench along part of the border has been constructed. To help secure it, Germany and the United States have been helping to install an electronic monitoring system. The United States has also provided additional equipment to assist in monitoring the border.49 Following the 2016 assaults on army and police posts in the border town of Ben Guardane, the crossing near it has been closed. A small contingent of British military advisers has also been sent to the area to mentor Tunisian security forces on safeguarding the border.50 In order to offset the negative impact of the closure on local residents, who depend on the cross-border smuggling economy, the government has put plans in place to establish a free-trade zone within Ben Guardane to reduce reliance on smuggling.51
No similar projects to provide locals along the border area with Algeria with alternative revenues to that of smuggling seem to be underway, even though cooperative relations between local traffickers — who smuggle not just fuel and drugs, but also arms, across the border — and Uqba ibn Nafi fighters have been reported.52 Attempts have, nevertheless, been made to thwart the activities of jihadi fighters in the Mount Chaambi border area between Tunisia and Algeria, where Uqba ibn Nafi and AQIM fighters are based, some of whom are thought to be returnees from northern Mali.53 In addition to the military campaign against the jihadis, a closed military zone along the border has been established. Tunisia has also sought to increase border-security cooperation with Algeria, which includes military-to-military communications and information sharing.54
Despite the measures already taken to address radicalization in Tunisia, much work remains to be done. These efforts must be driven and owned by Tunisia itself, but the international community must not shy away from offering support where required, appropriate and requested.
Banning AST and closing down civil associations suspected of promoting jihadi Salafism may have reduced opportunities for open recruitment of jihadi Salafis. However, it has merely added to the pool of independent jihadi Salafis operating in small groups or alone, some of whom may be able to work and recruit in ways that are hard to detect. Therefore, building partnerships between civilian actors and the state needs to be part of the strategy for preventing violent extremism. In the first instance, community policing designed to foster "community trust" is an essential ingredient. There is evidence to suggest that this kind of policing can lead to more valuable intelligence than the aggressive sort. Following the uprising, a number of pilot projects in community policing were, in fact, launched in a few localities in Tunisia, in cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP). This model now needs to be further developed and implemented. Where resistance to adopting this kind of policing exists, efforts should be made to nurture its acceptance. Support for continued capacity-building needs in this area should also be offered.55
While trying to regain control of the religious/ideological sphere is necessary to reduce the space available for the propagation of jihadi Salafism and to promote moderate Islam in the country, total monopolization of the religious sphere by the state may have the unintended effect of fueling radicalization. The danger is that officially sanctioned imams could come to be viewed as stooges of the Ministry of Religious Affairs — a perception that could be reinforced by the collective memory of imams being instrumentalized by the state under Ben Ali. This could drive some into parallel structures, where radical preachers who condone violence can operate more freely. In order to avoid the growth of such parallel structures, the Ministry of Religious Affairs should provide training not only in moderate Islam to official imams, but also in the development of messages that are appealing to young people and can compete with those of radical preachers. Multiple religious voices, not just from the imams approved by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, should also be tolerated, to the extent that they do not advocate violence or spread hate.56 Religious groups working in the civil society that encourage peaceful practices might be able to appeal to conservative Islamic youth who might otherwise turn to violence. Repressing them unnecessarily could be counterproductive over the long run, removing potential partners in the effort to counter radicalization and feeding a narrative of persecution by the state.
While some repressive measures are clearly required to prevent violent extremist acts, mass arrests, as well as torture and mistreatment of those detained, are already fueling radicalization. Where arrests are required, they should be carried out within the rule of law to avoid feeding anger towards the state and society. In order to reduce cases of mistreatment and torture, members of the security forces must also be held accountable for their actions. So far, progress in reforming the security sector has been slow, largely due to resistance from within the Tunisian administration and from politicians. Bureaucrats, many of whom served under the Ben Ali administration, are loath to accept reforms that would oblige the police to work within the framework of the law — implying more robust oversight of the Ministry of the Interior. Politicians, for their part, are reluctant to risk adopting reforms that could be equated by some as going soft on terrorism, due to the security threats facing the country.57 However, failing to reform the security sector will only feed radicalization over the longer term. International partners should, therefore, press this point home and encourage acceptance of initiatives aimed at improving security-sector governance with regard to respect for rule of law and the oversight and accountability of the security forces.58
The lack of measures taken to date to address the ways in which marginalization contributes to radicalization is striking. Tunisians living in underprivileged neighborhoods and regions need to see that there has been a rupture with the policies of the Ben Ali period, in which elite networks and the coastal areas of the country were favored. Public investment in deprived neighborhoods needs to be enhanced, along with social and educational opportunities for young people there.59 A long-term plan to reduce regional disparities is also urgently needed — one that focuses on development of the hinterland and border regions. Such a plan should ensure that these marginalized regions benefit from the same level of provision of social goods, such as roads, hospitals, housing, schools and water management, as the coastal regions.60 In addition, measures to provide alternative sources of revenue for communities dependent on smuggling should be devised, particularly for the local communities that border on Algeria.
For Tunisia's youth, job creation should clearly be a priority in order to reduce their socioeconomic marginalization. However, integrating young people into the formal economy is only part of the solution. The government should also work to encourage them to participate politically at the national and municipal levels, which would also help to reduce their political marginalization.61 Of course, it may take time for young to re-engage with the formal political sphere. At present, many young people seem more inclined to engage in political activities outside the formal arena, where they feel they have a greater chance of bringing about change. However, without partners in government, young civil-society actors may fail to have the impact they desire. Thus, bridges between the formal political sphere and civil society need to be built and supported. The international community could help by providing mentoring and training to government and political parties in youth and civil-society engagement.62
As noted, Tunisia primarily relies on repression when dealing with returning foreign fighters. This means that returnees are, at least for a time, held in prisons, whether or not they pose a threat to society. Locking returnees away upon their return might be effective in the short term in order to mitigate the security risk. Yet, in the medium and long terms this approach might exacerbate the problem, as convicts become further radicalized in jail or radicalize other inmates. This seems particularly true in Tunisia, where there is a very large prison population of young people who have been sentenced for minor crimes. The living conditions in Tunisian jails are reported to be particularly bad due to overpopulation and mistreatment. This, combined with the lack of specific measures aimed at preventing radicalization within prisons, creates ideal conditions in which returning foreign fighters (as well as other individuals convicted of terrorism charges) can proselytize and attract large numbers of young, frustrated inmates, who often hold a grudge against the state or society for having incarcerated them for minor offenses. The Tunisian prison system will have to be reformed in order to address these issues. In addition to adopting a human-rights based approach to the treatment of those incarcerated and revising the laws that enable frequent imprisonment for minor crimes,63 measures aimed at preventing further radicalization and de-radicalization will also be required. The international community should work to increase the acceptance of such reforms among relevant Tunisian officials and politicians and assist with their implementation, where necessary. Lessons that European countries have learned when adopting measures aimed at preventing radicalization and deradicalizing extremists in jail could prove useful here.
Prison-related reforms alone will not be enough, however, to handle the challenges related to returnees in a sustainable manner. Relying solely on repression when dealing with returnees should, therefore, be called into question. Civil-society actors have put forward propositions on how to deal with returnees in a more differentiated way. The Rescue Association of Tunisians Trapped Abroad (RATTA) has, for example, proposed a deradicalization and re-integration program that differentiates among returnees according to the level of risk they are likely to pose. According to the association, those who have killed and committed terrorist acts, received training or been indoctrinated should be kept in deradicalization centers, on a program designed to re-integrate them into society. However, those who show signs of radicalization but have not been fully indoctrinated should either be kept in deradicalization centers carrying out community work or be released and undergo periodic psychological assessments, depending on the risk they are thought to present.64
The Tunisian authorities, however, do not currently appear receptive to such differentiated approaches.65 Experiences in countries that have also been confronted with large numbers of returnees, such as France and Denmark, seem to indicate the importance of striking the right balance between repression and softer measures aimed at deradicalizing and re-integrating returnees in order to deal effectively and sustainably with the challenges associated with returning foreign fighters.66 Accordingly, the international community should work towards creating greater acceptance in Tunisia for a more balanced approach to returnees. Countries such as Denmark that have a proven track record of dealing with returnees in a nuanced way (e.g., prosecuting them if they have committed crimes, but also helping them to reintegrate into society if deemed possible) could serve as positive examples. Support could also be offered for implementing such approaches through the transfer of know-how and the building of relevant capacity among state and civil-society actors. With regard to the latter, acceptance by the Tunisian authorities of the potential role of civil society in the debate on and practice of rehabilitation and the reintegration of foreign fighters also needs to be fostered.
Implementing measures along these lines will contribute to curtailing more effectively the phenomenon of radicalization that is plaguing the fledgling democracy of Tunisia. However, the country is likely to require assistance to do so. The international community now has a window of opportunity to make a significant contribution in the area of preventing violent extremism there. Doing so will not only safeguard Tunisia's stability and its democratic achievements, but will contribute to stabilizing the wider region. Given the implications that regional instability has not only for North Africa and the wider region, but also for Europe and the West, this is now more important than ever.
1 Stefano M. Torelli, Fabio Merone and Francesco Cavatorta, "Salafism in Tunisia: Challenges and Opportunities for Democratization," Middle East Policy 19, no. 4 (2012): 142; and Mehdi Mabrouk, "Tunisia: The Radicalization of Religious Policy," in Islamist Radicalisation in North Africa, ed. George Joffé (London: Routledge, 2012), 56.
2 Torelli, Merone and Cavatorta, "Salafism in Tunisia," 143.
3 Haim Malka and Margo Balboni, "Violence in Tunisia: Analyzing Terrorism and Political Violence after the Revolution," The Foreign Fighter Project, CSIS, June 2016; and Joas Wagemakers, "Salafism," in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion, August 2016, 1.
4 Malka and Balboni, ibid.; Wagemakers, ibid., 1; International Crisis Group, "Tunisia: Violence and the Salafi Challenge," Middle East/North Africa Report 137 (February 13, 2013): 9; Christopher M. Blanchard, "The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya," CRES Report for Congress (January 24, 2008): 3.
5 Francesco Cavatorta, "The Rise and Fall of Uncivil Society? Salafism in Tunisia after the Fall of Ben Ali," Middle East Institute, October 6, 2015; Stefano M. Torelli, "The Multi-Faceted Dimensions of Tunisian Salafism," in Salafism after the Arab Awakening, ed. Francesco Cavatorta and Fabio Merone (Hurst & Company, 2016), 159.
6 International Crisis Group, "Tunisia," 14-15; and Anouar Boukhars, "The Politics of North African Salafism," Orient II (2016): 55.
7 Monica Marks, "Youth Politics and Tunisian Salafism: Understanding the Jihadi Current," Mediterranean Politics 18, no. 1 (2013): 109.
8 Torelli, Merone and Cavatorta, "Salafism in Tunisia," 146-7; Georges Fahmi, "The Future of Political Salafism in Egypt and Tunisia," Carnegie Middle East Center, November 16, 2015; and Marks, ibid., 109.
10 International Crisis Group, "Tunisia," 16; Sarah R. Louden, "Political Islamism in Tunisia: A History of Repression and a Complex Forum for Potential Change," Mathal 4, no. 1 (2015): 12; and Cavatorta, "The Rise and Fall of Uncivil Society," 3.
11 International Crisis Group, "Tunisia," 17-19.
12 Alice Fordham, "Tunisia's Moderates Lose Patience with Ansar Al Sharia," The National, May 21, 2013.
13 Louden, "Political Islamism," 14; Malka and Balboni, "Violence in Tunisia"; Lisa Watanabe, "IS in North Africa: Still There, But Struggling to Expand," Middle East Policy 24, no. 2 (Summer 2017): 140; and Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Bridget Moreng, "Tunisian Jihadism after the Sousse Massacre," Combating Terrorism Center, October 22, 2015.
14 United Nations Security Council, Letter Dated 15 December 2015 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1373 (2001) Concerning Counter-terrorism Addressed to the President of the Security Council, December 29, 2015, 10; and The Soufan Group, "Foreign Fighters: An Updated Assessment of the Flow of Foreign Fighters into Syria and Iraq," December 2015, 9.
15 Malka and Balboni, "Violence in Tunisia."
16 Lisa Watanabe, "IS Defeat in Sirte Leaves Tunisia Vulnerable," CSS Policy Perspective 4, no. 9 (November 2016): 2.
17 Andrew Lebovich, "Confronting Tunisia's jihadists," Foreign Policy, May 16, 2013; and UNHCR, "Foreign Fighters: Urgent Measures Needed to Stop Flow from Tunisia – UN Expert Group Warns," July 10, 2015.
18 Ansamed, "Tunisia: Premier, Arrest for Foreign Fighters Who Return," December 30, 2016.
19 Alex P. Schmid, "Radicalisation, De-Radicalisation, Counter-Radicalisation: A Conceptual Discussion and Literature Review," ICCT Research Paper, March 2013, 5.
20 Inkyfada, "'Terroristes' en Tunisie: Que Révèlent les Dossiers Judiciaires," January 4, 2017.
21 Anne Wolf, "The Radicalization of Tunisia's Mosques," CTC Sentinel 7, issue 6 (June 2014): 17.
23 Torelli, "Tunisian Salafism," 165; Haim Malka and Margo Balboni, "Fighting Radicalism: A Generational Struggle," The Foreign Fighter Project, CSIS, June 2016; Julie Schneider, "Le dilemme tunsien face au terrorisme," Orient 21, (March 6, 2014).
24 Institute for Economics and Peace, "Global Terrorism Index 2015," IEP Report 26 (November 2015); Change Institute, "Studies on Violent Radicalisation," January 2009; and Tinka Veldhuis and Jørgen Staun, "Islamist Radicalisation: A Root Cause Model," Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, 2009.
25 Interview with Stefano Torelli, Research Fellow, Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI), June 8, 2017.
26 Georges Fahmi and Hamza Meddeb, "Market for Jihad: Radicalization in Tunisia," Carnegie Middle East Center, October 2015, 4-6.
27 Cited in Khaled Sulaiman, "Tunisian Youth and 'Jihadist Migration': A Historical Perspective," The Washington Institute, June 2016.
29 Interview with Torelli.
30 Olfa Lamloum et al., "Experiences and Perceptions of Young People in Tunisia: The Case of Douar Hicher and Ettadhamen," International Alert (February 2015): 4-5.
31 Fahmi and Meddeb, "Market for Jihad," 3-4.
32 World Bank Group, Tunisia: Breaking the Barriers to Youth Inclusion (2014).
33 Jean-François Daguzan, "Pourquoi la Tunisie produit elle autant de Jihadistes," EuroMesco Policy Brief 68 (January 27, 2017): 3-4.
34 Jannis Jost, "Der Forschungsstand zum Thema Radikalisierung," Sirius 1, no. 1 (2017): 80-89.
35 Daguzan, "Pourquoi la Tunisie produit elle autant de Jihadistes"; Fahmi and Meddeb, "Market for Jihad"; and Valentina Colombo, "Multiple Layers of Marginalization as a Paradigm of Tunisian Hotbeds of Jihadism," in Jihadist Hotbeds: Understanding Local Radicalization Processes, ed. Arturo Varvelli (Milano: ISPI, 2016).
36 Inkyfada, "'Terroristes' en Tunisie."
38 Eric Reidy, "Festival on the Frontline of Tunisia's Struggle against Militants," Middle East Eye, May 11, 2015; Watanabe, "IS Defeat in Sirte," 3; and "Remarks by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO Defense College Conference 'NATO Cooperation with Partners in the Mediterranean and the Middle East,''' NATO, October 14, 2016.
39 Eric Reidy, "Tunisia Cracks Down on Radicalization," Al-Monitor, May 19, 2015.
40 Zeineb Marzouk, "Is the Tunisian Government about to Crackdown on Civil Society," TunisiaLive, August 5, 2015; and Human Rights Watch, "Tunisia: Suspension of Associations Arbitrary," August 13, 2014.
41 Malka and Balboni, "Fighting Radicalism."
42 Marwa Fatafta, "Beyond Closing Mosques and Shutting Down Facebook Pages: How Tunisia Can Address the Threat of Online Terrorist Recruitment," DGAP Kompakt 24. (December 2016): 3.
43 Malka and Balboni, "Fighting Radicalism"; Human Rights Watch, "Tunisia: Suspension of Associations Arbitrary," August 13, 2014.
44 Malka and Balboni, ibid.; Christine Petré, "How Tunisia's Moderate Imams Are Seeking to Reclaim Islam from Extremists," Al-Monitor, December 8, 2015.
45 Lisa Watanabe, "Foreign Fighters and Their Return — Measures Taken by North African Countries," CSS Study, October 2015, 8; and Chris Wheeler, "Lingering Problems of Radicalisation in Tunisia," Gulf Affairs Magazine, October 31, 2016.
46 Ansamed, "Arrest for Foreign Fighters."
47 Georgia Holmer, "Looking beyond Prison When ISIS Fighters Go Home," USIP.org, March 23, 2017.
48 Tarek Kahlaoui, "Tunisia Needs a Deradicalisation Strategy for Returning 'Terrorists,'" Middle East Eye, December 15, 2016.
49 Fadil Aliriza, "Tunisia's Security Sector and Countering Violent Extremism," Atlantic Council, April 15, 2015.
50 Watanabe, "IS Defeat in Sirte," 2.
51 Almunji Alsaidani, "Free Trade Zone in Ben Guardane Post Terrorist Attack," Asharq Al-Wasat, March 9, 2016; and Zeineb Marzouk, "Ben Guerdane to Host Free Trade Zone," Tunisialive, March 28, 2016.
52 Lebovich, "Confronting Tunisia's Jihadists"; and Aliriza, "Tunisia's Security Sector."
53 Lebovich, ibid.
54 Ibid.; Malka and Balboni, "Fighting Radicalism"; and Reidy, "Festival on the Frontline".
55 Lea Lavut, "Building Partnerships towards a Democratic Police Force in the Post-Revolutionary Tunisia Context," Journal for Deradicalization 8 (2016): 113-5, 120, 126.
56 Fahmi and Meddeb, "Market for Jihad," 16-17.
57 Matthias Krämer, "Tunisia – Waiting for Reforms and Security," Dahrendorf Forum, December 5, 2016.
58 Watanabe, "IS Defeat in Sirte," 4.
59 International Crisis Group, "Tunisia," 42.
60 Maha Yahya, Great Expectations in Tunisia (Carnegie Middle East Center, March 2016), 25.
61 Ibid., 25-6.
62 Sarah Yerkes, "Where Have All the Revolutionaries Gone," Brookings Center for Middle East Policy, 2017.
63 Emma Djilali, "Tunisia: Returning Jihadists Highlight Desperate Need for Prison Reform," The New Arab, February 28, 2017.
64 Stefano Torelli, "Tunisia's Counterterror Efforts Hampered by Weak Institutions," Terrorism Monitor 15, issue 4 (2017).
65 Interview with Mohamed Iqbal ben Rejeb, President and Founder of Association, Rescue Association of Tunisians Trapped Abroad (RATTA), May 25, 2017.
66 Fabien Merz, "Dealing with Jihadist Returnees: A Tough Challenge," CSS Analyses in Security Policy 210 (June 2017): 1-4.