Authorities have identified the two gunmen who were responsible for the attack on Tunisia’s Bardo Museum as Yassine Abidi and Hatem Khachnaoui. The attack resulted in 23 people being killed, 20 of whom were foreigners. The two gunmen were also killed, after security officers stormed the museum about two hours after the attack began. Following on from the attack, the security in Tunisia has been increased, with the army taking to the streets.
Rafik Chelly, the Secretary of State for Security, has revealed that both of the attackers illegally left Tunisia last December, when they went to Libya for weapon training, before returning to Tunisia this year. Although more details are unclear at the moment, there are specific training camps in Libya just for Tunisians, so it is likely that the gunmen attended one of those training camps. It has also been revealed that one of the gunmen had been temporarily detained before leaving for Libya, but the reason for this is unknown.
The two men are known to be members of ‘sleeper cells’, which are made up of individuals around the city. Although the authorities are well aware of the fact that these terrorist cells are capable of carrying out devastating attacks, they often do not have enough evidence to carry out any arrests.
So far, more than 3000 Tunisians have travelled to Syria, Iraq and Libya, to fight alongisde jihadists, and there are many fears that these people will all return to Tunisia as battle-hardened militants who are prepared and able to carry out attacks in the country.