TUNISIAN security forces discovered 160 terror cells as the number of jihadists in the holiday destination nearly doubles.
Security forces dismantled 160 jihadist cells, according to the Interior Ministry.Government sources said in the first ten months of this year security forces dismantled 45 per cent more terror cells than they did during the whole of 2015.An Interior Ministry statement said the number of terrorism suspects arrested between January and October this year was 850, compared with 547 for all of 2015.
Security forces stepped up efforts to track down militants after the North African country suffered three major deadly attacks last year, including 38 holidaymakers gunned down in Sousse.
In March this year, security forces repelled an attempted ISIS takeover of the town of Ben Guerdan near the border with Libya.
Tunisia, popular with Western holidaymakers, has struggled to contain the rise of Islamic extremism.
It comes as the Government applied for the inquests into the deaths of 30 Britons killed in the Sousse attack to be kept partly private in the interests of national security.
In an application, the Government said “sensitive security material” – certain documents and statements – may be used “by terrorists as a resource to plan future atrocities similar to the terrible attack in Sousse in June 2015” if put into the public domain.
The 30 British victims were gunned down in the resort in June last year and inquests into their deaths will begin next month.
At a pre-inquest review hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, judge and coroner Nicholas Loraine-Smith said nothing would be kept from the families of victims, adding: “As far as possible everything will be in public.”
A decision still has to be made about the Government’s request to have some material kept from the public.
Judge Loraine-Smith said “the last thing in the world” that families would want to do is to assist anyone planning a future attack.
Andrew O’Connor QC, for the Government, told the judge it was “in the interests of national security” to keep some material out of the public domain, adding: “This risk is assessed by security experts to be a very real one.”
Andrew Ritchie QC, representing 20 families, said it is their view that “full and fearless” investigation is required to remain inkeeping with the principle of “open justice”.
He said that is particularly important in the context of this case, adding: “UK citizens traveling abroad face this sort of risk not only in Tunisia but around the world.”