Tunisia: IS can round up 20, 000 fighters if it wants to attack Tunisia, Expert

A Tunisian IS expert and sociologist indicated Thursday that the terrorist organisation can recruit up to 20,000 fighters if it wants to attack Tunisia, a country prone to terrorist attacks.

Tunisian researcher and expert Moncef Ouannes told a local radio station that the fight against terrorism in the region, mainly in Libya and Syria will require an international coalition adding that a single country cannot win the fight.

Tunisia has become a breeding ground for Islamic State fighters and according to some estimates, there could be more Tunisians among foreign jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq than from any other single country. The Tunisian interior ministry itself estimates that at least 2,400 of its citizens have become combatants in Syria since 2011, and that around 400 have returned home.

The Tunisian expert said that Libya has been unable to show any real will to combat IS which has imposed its rule in some parts of the country.

In the current confusion and foggy political horizon, it will be difficult to see the US and Russia intervene in Libya to chase out the 5,000 estimated IS fighters roaming in the country, he said adding that France, Italy and Egypt are the only countries likely able to end the bloodshed in former ruler Gaddafi’s country.

The Tunisian expert pointed out that IS may soon step up its operations in Libya as the Islamist movement is, according to him, waiting for the winner to emerge in the battle between Gen. Haftar forces and the Fajr militia in Libya in order to submerge the country.

He added that IS has some connections with Muslim Brotherhood in Libya.

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