On Monday, the head of the Brotherhood’s Ennahdha Movement and his deputy, former Prime Minister Ali Larayedh, appeared before prosecutors for interrogation on charges of “sending terrorists” from Tunisia to Syria and Iraq.
“The National Unit for Investigating Terrorist Crimes did not listen to Ghannouchi and decided to postpone his interrogation until Tuesday noon,” Ghannouchi’s lawyer Samir Dilou was quoted as saying by AFP.
However, Tunisian prosecutors detained Larayedh for further investigation after interrogating him “for hours”, the lawyer said.
Rashid Ghannouchi and his deputy, former Prime Minister Ali Larayedh, arrived at 5 p.m. local time on Monday at the headquarters of the National Unit for Terrorist Crimes and Organized Crimes, which affect the safety of the national territory at Bouchoucha Barracks in the Tunisian capital.
Larayedh’s interrogation began about five hours after he arrived at the Bouchoucha barracks, and Ghannouchi will be questioned later in a case involving “travel to hotbeds of tension,” the lawyers said.
Ghannouchi, 81, who served as speaker of the dissolved parliament, is facing an investigation for terrorism charges and for his role in sending terrorists to Syria and Iraq.
Security and official sources estimated in past years that around 6,000 Tunisians went to Syria and Iraq in the past decade to join terrorist groups, including ISIS.
Many were killed there, others fled to other countries and others returned to Tunisia.
Tunisian parties accused Ennahdha of being soft on terrorists during its post-revolution rule and urged young people in mosques and private meetings to join terrorist groups in Syria.
A few days ago, the Tunisian authorities arrested many prominent Muslim Brotherhood figures, such as Fathi Al-Baladi, Abdul Karim Al-Obeidi, Fathi Bousaida, and Brotherhood MPs Mohamed Farikha, Reda Al-Jawadi, and Mohammed Al-Afas, in addition to Al-Bashir Belhasan (Imam).
The former Minister of Religious Affairs, Noureddine El-Khademi, and the Tunisian Brotherhood leader, Habib El-Louz, whose arrest was confirmed by security sources, were also arrested a few days ago at his home in Sfax, southern Tunisia.
At the end of 2012, Fatima al-Masdi, a former member of parliament and member of the parliamentary committee investigating networks involved in recruiting and sending young people to trouble spots, filed the issue of travel with the Tunisian judiciary.
In 2016, Tunisia formed a parliamentary committee to investigate networks involved in recruiting and sending youth to trouble spots around the world, to fight for terrorist organizations.
According to previous statements made by a number of Tunisian security leaders, the Ennahdha Brotherhood played a major role in facilitating the passage of terrorists from Carthage airport, in addition to training a number of young people to use weapons in three centers belonging to the Ministry of Interior and passing bags of money.