Tunisia: String of Security Operations in Kasserine Point to Mounting Tension

by | Dec 8, 2023 | Political, Security, Tunisia


On Friday, 8 December 2023, security forces made 25 arrests in Kasserine during a large-scale security operation. Ten of the arrests were on charges related to terrorism. 

This operation follows several other recent operations in Kasserine, including several others linked to terrorism cases: 

  • In mid-November, 10 suspects were arrested on terrorism charges in Kasserine during a large-scale security operation. 
  • In late-November, 10 suspects identified as “very dangerous” were arrested in Kasserine after raids were conducted by security forces on multiple homes. 
  • Earlier in December, five suspects were arrested in Kasserine on terrorism charges after reportedly holding meetings during which they planned to engage in activities that would allegedly destabilize Tunisia’s security. 

Kasserine also hosts Mount Chaambi, a location with a history of terrorist activity. Multiple foreign governments, including the US, UK, New ZealandCanada, and others have issued strong warnings to citizens against traveling to this area of Kasserine due to the assessed terrorist threat. 


Kasserine has long been a source of concern for Tunisia’s security forces, both due to the area’s history of connection to terrorism and to social unrest from economic, political, and social frustrations. In July, riots broke out in the town of Sbeitla after a law enforcement operation there. 

In 2015, following Tunisia’s revolution, CNN identified Kasserine as a recruitment pipeline for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as Tunisia sent a large number of young men to fight in Iraq and Syria. 

As economic and social pressures continue to grow in Tunisia, security forces will likely continue to conduct operations along Tunisia’s occasionally restive western border with Algeria. These regions will grow increasingly vulnerable to radicalization, particularly among young people, as conditions worsen and desperation and disillusionment grow. 


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