TS Update-(Crucial Week Ahead)

Intelligence analysis is a way of reducing the uncertainty of highly unpredictable situations by systematically reviewing open source information.

Tunisia faces a crucial week ahead and as Expats we need to make sure that we’re aware of the various developing stories taking place this week.

Setting the Stage…

It was announced today (Sunday, 14 Oct), that the Tunisian political and presidential elections will be held on June 23, 2013, but will this announcement be enough to:

a.  satisfy those who firmly claim that October 23rd is the last day for the current government?

b.  address the security concerns regarding statements made by various salafists groups?

In other words, will this announcement finally put to rest the issues revolving around October 23rd?

While the short answer is NO…the truth is that nobody really knows how things will play out.

What we do know…

I would like to point out (1) developing story which highlights the seriousness of the situation we are facing:

Article:        Salafist Sheikh Khamis Mejri reveals:  attacks are planned in Tunisia

Source:        Business News

Key Excerpt:  The words of Sheikh Mejri were marked by two important revelations… Firstly, he noted that weapons circulate in large numbers in the country and that the attacks are planned.  This is hard data and not mere assumptions and other deductions.” Sheikh Khamis announced then that the Salafi youth is certainly for the moment, under control, but if the repression continues, nothing can be guaranteed, as these young people may have uncontrollable behavior even if the leaders forbid them…

Analysis:  As Expats we have to understand that not only did a revolution just take place in Tunisia, but we’re also in the midst of a very competitive political campaign.  Whether the Sheikh’s words were a veil threat to others in the political arena or an honest assessment of the situationt, the fact is that he went on the record to make those declarations.  As such we have to take him seriously.

According to the head of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers:  “Political turmoil which has swept the Arab world has benefited “terrorism” and criminality”   Mr. Mohamed Ben Ali Koumane stated that the “preachers of terrorism have profited from the security deficit.

Fortunately, Tunisia has the necessary tools to get through this challenging period.  This month we’ll see how well they deal with the October 23rd challenges.

As Expats we need to maintain a high degree of personal safety & situational awareness.

Let’s keep sharing information and helping each other out.

Stay safe out there.


4 responses to “TS Update-(Crucial Week Ahead)”

  1. Thanks David for your analysis, it really helps me to focus on what’s the important stuff. I hope you and the guards are doing well these days. Can I bring you anything from the USA?

    Sent from my iPad

    1. Thanks Ann…as for the guards they would love some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies…oh wait a minute that’s me 🙂
      Don’t bother yourself…your support and kinds words are enough…safe tavels

      1. David,

        I am not a teacher and in no way affiliated with your school, however, you and your teachers may be a good point of contact for some of my questions regarding safety in Tunisia right now. My husband is Tunisian and we have traveled there many times over the last 12 years. My husband and son are planning a trip there for the Holiday on Oct.23. In your opinion, is the current state of the economy and political situation one that would be safe for my husband and 3 year old son to be traveling in?? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

        Sincerely, Jaimie

      2. Hi Jamimie,

        Thank you for your email. It’s unfortunate that you would plan to visit during one of the most sensitive time frames in this “new Tunisia”. Tunisia is a beautiful and mostly friendly country that welcomes vistors, but right now it is facing a lot of challenges. At the present time there is a lot of confusion and maneuvering around the October 23rd date. Many security professionals agree that there are simply too many wild cards for the week of Monday October 22-26 to make a blanket assessment. Any sort of development on that week will be considered with extra caution.

        Also keep in mind the U.S. embassy’s message: “U.S. citizens remaining in Tunisia should use extreme caution and avoid demonstrations, make their own contingency emergency plans, enroll their presence in Tunisia through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information.”

        Wish I could tell you more specific but things are changing everyday. I would say that the fact that your husband is Tunisian gives you a big advantage. Lastly, if I was planning a trip to Tunisia I would wait until November 1st in order to avoid a high risk week.

        All the best,

        David Santiago

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