Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Tunisia | attacks | warning | ISIS | social media | outside

ISIS Social Media Sent Warnings of Imminent Tunisian Attack

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 09:18 PM

A chilling message warning of attack plans in Tunisia circulated on social media accounts affiliated with the Islamic State group (ISIS) two days before Wednesday's deadly siege at the Bardo Museum, the International Business Times reports.

It would one of ISIS’ biggest attacks if ultimately verified that the jihadists were behind the massacre. This would also be the first time the militant group pre-emptively announced an attack outside its so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria, IBTimes reports.

"There are two versions of this message. There is one version of this message for the Muslims, that says 'a message that will rejoice you'," analyst Pieter Van Ostaeyen, who focuses on foreign fighters in Syria, told IBTimes.

"There is another version that would be sent out to the enemies that said 'a message that will harm you'."

The message didn't give any further details, IBT reports.

But IBTimes notes earlier in the week, a member of Tunisian jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is affiliated with ISIS, also warned Tunisians attacks were imminent.

According to the newspaper, Ansar leader Wannes Fakih reportedly spoke in an audio recording released on YouTube and disseminated over social media Tuesday; one gunman in the museum attack had an Ansar flag with him, an unnamed officer in Tunisia’s National Guard told IBTimes.

Van Ostaeyen said he received a direct message on Twitter, aimed at ISIS supporters, that said, "Urgent news the state of the caliphate will soon send you a message about the state of Tunisia." He expected an announcement about allegiance, IBTimes reports, when it appears instead the message referred to the museum attack.
"They were military uniforms, they had Kalashnikovs, they had hand grenades," Van Ostaeyen told IBTimes. "In my idea, this must have been planned for several days and maybe even weeks in advance.”

The ominous warning coincided with the death announcement of Tunisian-born Ahmed al-Rouissi, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Zakariya al-Tunisi or Abu Uwais al-Tunisi – an ISIS leader in Libya and wanted in Tunisia for assassinating two politicians in 2013, IBTimes reports.

But in December, three allegedly Tunisian fighters appeared in a propaganda video titled "A message to Tunisia,” and warned that ISIS would "spread, God willing ... despite the enemies, to the lands of Tunisia," the newspaper notes.

Tunisia has had at least 3,000 people leaving to fight with ISIS, many of whom have returned home, IBTimes reports.

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A chilling message warning of attack plans in Tunisia circulated on social media accounts affiliated with the Islamic State group (ISIS) two days before Wednesday's deadly siege at the Bardo Museum, the International Business Times reports. It would one of ISIS' biggest...
Tunisia, attacks, warning, ISIS, social media, outside, caliphate
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2015-18-18
Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 09:18 PM
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