December 15, 2017
AQIM and ISIS in Tunisia: Latent Threats
Salafi-jihadi groups pose a low but growing threat to the stability of the Tunisian state. ISIS and al Qaeda activity has decreased markedly in Tunisia since 2015, but these groups remain active. ISIS is beginning a decentralized campaign of low-level attacks intended to erode public faith in Tunisia’s security forces. The group has adjusted to both Tunisian and Western counterterrorism operations, which have prevented it from conducting attacks on the same scale as in 2015 and 2016. Leadership attrition and insufficient resources have weakened al Qaeda’s Tunisian affiliate, but the appearance of a potential al Qaeda splinter cell may indicate a return to offensive operations. Warning signs of a renewed threat to Tunisia include attacks in population centers or an effort by ISIS or al Qaeda to co-opt anti-government protests.