Tunisia: Security Forces Disrupt Extremist Cell in Zaghouan

by | Oct 25, 2023 | Political, Security, Social, Tunisia


On 24 October 2023, Tunisian authorities announced that 12 individuals were arrested in Zaghouan on charges that the group was forming a “terrorist cell.” 

The group was identified as “Salafist extremists” who had been holding meetings on a regular basis and were planning to carry out terrorist acts. 

During the operation leading to the arrest of the group members, the security units seized mobile phones and other electronic equipment. 

The arrest took place in the town of El Fahs which lies to the east of the city of Zaghouan. 

In late-February 2023, security forces arrested an individual in Zaghouan for “belonging to a terrorist cell.” 



As Tunisia’s economic struggles continue and the country’s isolation in the international community deepens, the risk of radicalization and acts of terrorism will continue to grow. 

Tunisia faces multiple crises, including economic struggles, political uncertainty, growing tensions with the international community, and a myriad of social challenges that lead many to attempt dangerous irregular sea crossings to Europe. Meanwhile, tensions have risen across the country as outrage has grown amongst Tunisians regarding the violence in Gaza. As challenges continue, Tunisia’s relatively highly educated and increasingly disillusioned young people could be lured toward radicalization.  

A 2016 study found that in Tunisia, nearly all of individuals who engaged in terrorism were men, a majority of them being single. Around 40% were college educated. 

According to one UN report, there are five broad categories of drivers that, if present, can be “conducive to violent extremism.” Depending on their situation and perspective, many Tunisians could argue they face 3-4 of these drivers, if not all 5: 

  • Lack of socio-economic opportunities; 
  • Marginalization and discrimination; 
  • Poor governance, violations of human rights and the rule of law; 
  • Prolonged and unresolved conflicts, and; 
  • Radicalization in prisons. 

As many of Tunisia’s challenges go unaddressed, our team is continuing to monitor the environment for indications that the terrorism risk is rising. 


Explore our services or speak with our team of North Africa-based risk experts.