Country Risk

Islamic State attack on Ben Guerdane indicates shift in group's Tunisia strategy, to trigger insurgency

10 March 2016

Key Points

  • On 7 March, around 50 Islamic State militants launched a complex assault in Ben Guerdane and unsuccessfully attempted to take control of security force buildings in the city. This was the first insurgency-style attack in Tunisian territory, signalling a shift in the group's strategy in the country.
  • According to Tunisian security officials, the militants involved entered Tunisia from Libya, probably from Sabratha, highlighting how this city is now working as an Islamic State base for mounting its operations on Tunisian soil, and were supported by sleeper cells based in the town.
  • The risk of further raids or attacks involving the use of suicide bombers, improvised explosive devices (IED) and vehicle-borne IEDs against security force and government targets is likely to remain severe in Ben Guerdane and towns close to the Libyan border.

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