On June 27, 2019, at 10:50am, an individual blew themselves up at the intersection of Rue Charles de Gaulle and Avenue Habib Bourguiba near a police patrol station. A municipal police officer died and three civilians and another municipal officer were injured. An individual accomplice in the suicide bombing of Charles de Gaulle was arrested. According to unofficial reports, Muhammad Amin al-Kahlawi was the one who perpetrated this first attack. He was born in 1988 and is originally from Bab Jadid in Tunis and had previously worked in crafts in the madinah. Following the attack, security units raided his house and discovered materials used in the manufacture of explosives.
At 11am, a second explosion took place near the back door of the judiciary police administration in El Gorjani. The attacker tried to break into the headquarters of the special anti-terrorist unit. The suicide bomber was on a bicycle, operated his belt and blew himself up when the gate opened and a police vehicle came out. A security source suggests the second attacker was assisted in getting to this locale ahead of his attempted attack. Four officers were injured. The spokesperson for the judicial anti-terrorist unit, Sofien Sliti, said in a statement to AFP that the terrorist who exploded in front of El Gorjani judicial police department was identified, but did not reveal it publicly. According to unofficial reports, Munsif Mansuri from Sidi Bouzid perpetrated this second attack.
Later in the day, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks. Therefore, Sliti’s comments a day after the attack that a link had been established between the two terrorist attacks, suggests that IS’s claims are credible.
In the aftermath of the attack, Tunisian security arrested 25 people for suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization or for glorify terrorist operations and engaging in prohibited activities. As part of this investigation, it led Tunisian police to seize a large amount of explosives in al-Ghufran Mosque in Hay al-Intilaka. According to authorities, there was ten kilograms of explosive material, carefully hidden under a tree planted on the patio of the mosque. The latter is the location of where the mastermind of the twin attacks was hunted down and killed on the night of July 2. According to Tunisian governmental reports, the weapons cache at the mosque was the stash of al-Samiri.
Interestingly, al-Ghufran Mosque was one of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia’s mosques, suggesting it still could be a hotbed of jihadi support. For example, see them involved in a cleaning campaign on the grounds of the mosque on April 22, 2013:
On July 4, IS wrote-up what happened in its weekly newsletter al-Naba’, however, they did not add any new details or information specific, suggesting this was likely an inspired attack.
(Pictures from AFP/Getty Images and MosaiqueFM)