This article examines Katibat Uqba Bin Nafi, al-Qaeda/al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib’s official branch in Tunisia. It sheds light on an unexplored case study on jihadi groups in recent times by investigating its history and forthcoming prospects. Moreover, it plans to use this article as an avenue to weigh in on the debate within jihadi studies on the future of al-Qaeda and if it can take advantage of the Islamic State’s misfortunes in Iraq and Syria as well as Libya. The latter of which has more direct impact on IS’s network in Tunisia. The article interrogates a number of Arabic primary sources that have yet to be surveyed from KUBN and AQIM that will help clarify these inquiries. It will identify shortcomings in KUBN’s capacities and highlight reasons why IS will likely remain a more attractive avenue for jihadi mobilization in Tunisia going forward. This is relevant since much of the debate on AQ’s status analyzes the topic from more of a macro level than looking at specific groups within its broader global network. This research will illustrate that while the consensus might be that AQ is primed to benefit from IS’s setbacks, in the case of Tunisia, unless conditions change locally, KUBN is unlikely to follow the same trend as other AQ branches or when evaluating AQ as a whole.
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