A former Ennahdha leader, Habib Ellouze, has once again been referred to the Anti-Terrorism Investigative Judge in Tunis. He was questioned about charges against him in what became known as the “deportation to trouble spots” file and decided to keep him in prison. Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Ennahdha Movement, is expected to be heard at the end of the month.
The case began after former MP Fatma al-Masdi filed a 2021 complaint with the military court. She was a member of the parliamentary investigation committee into the networks that send young people to trouble spots. However, the military court decided to drop the case in favor of the judicial branch to combat terrorism. The research was launched after al-Masdi was heard by the National Counterterrorism Unit as a complainant. The hearing lasted 12 hours, during which time the committee presented all the data it was able to obtain.
15 Ennahdha members arrested
Last September, the National Terrorist Crimes Investigation Unit began listening, after almost two weeks of research, investigation, and listening, during which more than 15 people were kept, including Ennahdha’s vice president Ali Larayedh, Habib Ellouze, and Mohamed Frikha.
The file was referred to the attention of the public prosecution in the judicial branch for combating terrorism, which decided to open an investigation for the purpose of a number of crimes in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law No. 26 of 2015 of 7 August 2015 on combating terrorism and preventing money laundering.
Ennahdha’s Involvement in Youth deportation
At the onset of the Syrian crisis, news reports circulated that Tunisian charities were involved in the deportation of more than 3,000 young Tunisians for jihad against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in Syria. “For huge sums of money from the State of Qatar to support its activities, through cash in suitcases at sensitive and vital border points such as Tunis/Carthage International Airport”, AFP at the time revealed.
After the decisions of 25 July 2021 that ended the so-called black decade of Tunisians, which saw Ennahdha and its Brotherhood derivatives penetrate the Tunisian state. The group’s affiliate, the Namaa Tunisia Association, is among those involved in sending young people to Syria.
Ennahdha’s Involvement in Financing Terrorism
In early February, Ridha Raddaoui, a member of the defense committee of Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, revealed that Namaa Tunisia was founded in 2011 with the aim of encouraging foreign investments and was involved in the deporting of young Tunisians to fight in conflict zones and wars. Preliminary forensic investigations were opened and were soon pursued by the Brotherhood’s Ennahdha party through its arm in the judiciary.
“In mid-March, Lotfi Hashishah, chairman of the Financial Analysis Committee at the Central Bank of Tunisia, announced that 36 NGOs had been referred to court on suspicion of financing terrorism and financial corruption and taking money from an association, including Nama’at Tounes, the charitable arm of Ennahdha.” He confirmed that some associations in Tunisia are recruiting and encouraging young people to travel to hotbeds of tension, through files submitted to the Central Bank’s Committee.
Ennahdha’s Involvement in Political Assassinations
In a press conference in early February, the defense team of the two martyrs, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, revealed “documents” implicating Ennahdha and its leader, Rached Ghannouchi, in political assassinations that targeted a number of political activists, foremost among them Belaid, in the Brotherhood. It revealed the involvement of Ghannouchi and his son, as well as others, in money laundering crimes and suspicious financial transactions with parties linked to the State of Qatar, to finance the travel of young Tunisians to Syria to join ISIS camps, as well as attacks on the internal security of the state and spying on Tunisians.
While Ennahdha and its leaders are trying to promote the issue as political, and deny any link between Ghannouchi and Namaa Tunisia, lawyer Ali Ben Aoun said that the photos, posts and meetings confirm the relationship of Ghannouchi with the organization involved in money laundering and smuggling, and the financing of associations and organizations linked to terrorism inside and outside Tunisia. In addition, it was proven that Ennahdha was involved in the secret service file, and it was proven that he received foreign funds to finance his election campaign under the “Lobbying contracts”.