As Tunisia approaches the disclosure of files related to Tunisians who joined combat fronts in Syria during the rule of the Ennahdha Movement, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, amid the rapprochement between Tunisia and Damascus, the Tunisian judiciary continues to investigate Brotherhood leaders regarding their involvement in facilitating the travel of jihadists to conflict zones.
Meanwhile, a counterterrorism judge in Tunisia decided on Wednesday to extend the detention of former Prime Minister and Muslim Brotherhood member Ali Larayedh for an additional (4) months. This decision comes hours after his interrogation in a case related to the facilitation of the travel of terrorists to Syria.
It’s worth mentioning that an investigating judge had issued a detention warrant for Larayedh on December 19, 2022, after questioning him in the context of investigations related to travel networks. In June of the previous year, the investigating judge decided to extend Larayedh’s provisional detention for another (4) months, and upon its expiration, the investigating judge decided to extend it once again.
At the time, the Islamic movement denied any connection between Larayedh and the travel file, emphasizing that his “involvement” in the case was an attempt by the political authorities to cover what it called the “abysmal failure” of the first round of Tunisian legislative elections.
Ali Larayedh is considered one of the most prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia. He served as the Minister of the Interior from 2011 to 2013 and then as Prime Minister of Tunisia from 2013 to 2014, a period during which travel networks became active, and the number of extremists increased.
Tunisian sources estimate that around (6,000) Tunisians were sent to join terrorist groups, including the Islamic State (ISIS).
Security sources previously mentioned the issuance of a reservation report related to the preparation of (245) passports intended to be distributed to terrorists for the purpose of traveling to Syria to participate in terrorist operations during that period.
The same sources confirmed that, with the facilitation of Brotherhood leader Rached Ghannouchi, as well as Brotherhood member Hamadi Jebali (former Prime Minister), and Ali Larayedh, (2850) Tunisian youth were sent to Syria to fight alongside the terrorist organization ISIS.
Tunisian security agencies are investigating several leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in the file of sending jihadists to conflict zones, including Ghannouchi, who is also accused in other cases, including the “money laundering” suspicion related to the (Ennahdha) Development Association, attacking state security, and the file of political assassinations.
In August 2022, Ghannouchi was questioned for incitement against security agencies and insulting state institutions after he was referred to by security personnel as a “tyrant” during his tribute to Ennahdha Movement leader Farhat Al-Abar, who passed away in February of the previous year.
Tunisian authorities announced in June 2022 that the counterterrorism judiciary had frozen the financial assets and bank accounts of (10) individuals, including Ghannouchi and former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.
The Tunisian judiciary also issued a travel ban on Ghannouchi at the end of June 2022, as part of the investigation into the political assassinations of opposition political figures Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi in 2013, for which the secret apparatus of the Ennahdha Movement is accused.