Caravan of the Martyrs: ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Munastiri

This morning, the Islamic State released another poster in its qawafil al-shuhada’ (caravan of the martyrs) series. It is the first time IS has released one for its branch in Tunisia. This time, it announced the death of ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Munastiri. As Heni Nsaibia noted, this individual’s real name is Samir Bin Jalal Bin Hamid Bin Yusuf and he actually was killed on March 19, 2018 in a cave in Magroune near Sidi Toui National Park, about 30 miles south of Ben Gardane.

At the time, Tunisia’s National Guard was able to determine the hiding place of two wanted terrorists. Samir Bin Jalal Bin Hamid Bin Yusuf was accompanied by Dhakr Bin Khalifah Bin Ahmad Bu’ajilah. Yusuf was born May 24, 1994 in Ouardanine, which is nine miles west of Monastir, while Bu’ajilah was born February 16, 1992 in Sidi Bou Othmane, which is eleven miles west of Monastir. Both individuals were on Tunisia’s most wanted terrorist list, having been placed on it on February 6, 2018. The Tunisian government later reposted a notice on the two of them March 13, 2018, less than a week before their discovery and death.

Samir Bin Jalal Bin Hamid Bin Yusuf.jpg
Samir Bin Jalal Bin Hamid Bin Yusuf’s Wanted Poster
Dhakr Bin Khalifah Bin Ahmad Bu'ajilah
Dhakr Bin Khalifah Bin Ahmad Bu’ajilah’s Wanted Poster

According to Tunisian media press accounts and the Tunisian government, Yusuf threw a grenade at the Tunisian National Guard and then blew himself up, later when Bu’ajilah was surrounded he also blew himself up so he could not be caught. Both had been hiding in that area because they were allegedly planning to traverse over the border into Libya.

The two of them had originally been some of the earliest members of AQIM’s front group in Tunisia Katibat ‘Uqbah Bin Nafi. Like a number of others in KUBN, as IS began to build its network up within Tunisia in the summer and fall 2014, a number of individuals defected and joined IS, including these two individuals. While they had been in KUBN, they allegedly participated in Hinshir Tilla 1 and 2 operations at Jabal Chambi, the operation of Boulaaba, and the assassination attempt against former Tunisian Interior Minister Lutfi Bin Jiddu.

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