Tunisia: Britain-based cleric alleged mastermind of Tunisian attack
Known as an al-Qaeda cleric who has contributed to the ‘radicalization’ of several people, al-Sibai is lately being classed as being part of the “key influencers” of Seifeddine Rezgui, the perpetrator of the Sousse beach attack. The cleric has reportedly helped recruit him and train him to manipulating firearms.
30 of the 38 victims who died in Tunisia are British and Sibai lives, with his wife and five children, in west London in a £1 million house leafy street while surviving on around £50,000 a year in handouts, disability living allowance, according to reports.
Questioned about the approval of such handouts to his benefit, he told the Daily Mail: “Ask David Cameron, don’t ask me.”
This is not the first time he has been under the radar. He has been mentioned in a 2013 report by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague and was described as a key influencer.
Al-Sibai, an Egyptian native, is said to have close links with Tunisian terror group Ansar al-Sharia. The group poses a major threat to the country’s security.
Tunisian authorities claimed that Rezgui has never left the country but there are claims that he was in Libya. However, the threats of another attack have not been ruled out as it seems that Rezgui was not alone during the attack. There were two other young armed men who took part in the shooting spree at the hotel according to eyewitnesses.
The Government declared a state of emergency in the country last week and increased the presence of security forces in the streets especially around tourist areas.