Monday, January 12, 2015

Maghreb Legacy

There's an extraordinary confluence of Tunisia connections running through the three days of terrorism in Paris beginning with the Charlie Hebdo atrocity. As this Wall Street Journal article (free link) well lays out (and mirroring similar reporting in French media), the three Paris killers, despite initially broadcasting their Yemen connections, have deep links to Islamists in Tunisia who in turn are connected to significant killings in that country. Tunisians are in turn one of the biggest sources of foreign fighters -- and apparently held in high regard as such -- for ISIS which seems to have its most active affiliate in Libya. And finally, three of the 4 victims in the kosher supermarket killings had strong Tunisian origins. The dispersal of French North Africa in the 1950s and 1960s looms large a generation later.