March 24, 2014 | Quote

Tunisia, Arab Spring’s Birthplace, Takes on Militants

Islamist militants across North Africa have been fighting governments in Egypt, Libya, Algeria and Mali for not imposing harsh sharia law, launching terror attacks and even full blown military offensives against them.

Tunisia is pushing back.

The first to cast off a dictator and herald the Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere, Tunisia has been dealing with political unrest and terrorism from those who hoped to take advantage of the uncertain times to establish a Muslim theocracy.

“I would describe the overall sweep as a stunning success for the first phase of the crackdown,” said Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“There are many caveats coming. But if you're just looking at their effectiveness in terms of what you might expect, they've been far more effective than what I would have thought.”

Security analyst Gartenstein-Ross said the Tunisian government has a decent chance at eviscerating and marginalizing the power of Ansar al-Sharia because it is not a deep organization that is able to regenerate.

“A lot of the members are young people who see it as a protest movement and don't have the same sort of overarching passion for the jihadist cause that you get within some other organizations,” he said.

Read the full article here.


Al Qaeda Egypt Libya Tunisia