On Tuesday, August 15, Tunisian authorities announced they had foiled an Islamic State (IS) terrorist plot to seize territory in the south of the country. Five individuals suspected of involvement in the plot were reportedly arrested.
IS has previously been active in the south of Tunisia. In March 2016, Ben Guerdane, a town near the border with Libya, was the site of a failed attempt to create an IS stronghold when dozens of militants launched coordinated attacks against security facilities.
The threat from terrorism, including kidnapping, in Tunisia is considered high and a near-constant state of emergency has been in effect in Tunisia since June 2015. According to estimates by the Ministry of the Interior, several thousand Tunisian nationals are currently fighting for IS and other armed groups in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, raising fears that they could return to Tunisia to perpetrate attacks. Various other terrorist groups are present in the country as well.
Due to the terrorist threat, individuals in Tunisia are advised to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities, particularly when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted in an attack (public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.). Certain Western governments advise against travel to the south of the country, e.g. regions on the borders with Algeria and Libya, and the Kasserine region, due to the presence of armed groups.