Five women sentenced to prison in Tunisia for forming IS-linked cell
The women had aimed to communicate with the terror group’s Algeria branch, previously known as Jund al-Khilafah.
They were also found guilty of recruiting girls and collecting funds for the benefit of the extremist organisation, entrenched in Tunisia’s western mountain area, along the Algerian border.
The sentences included two sisters, each of whom was given a 13-year prison term, and another woman who was condemned to one year in jail. The latter was the sister of a Jund al-Khilafah member.
Tunisia’s interior ministry had announced in late October last year the dismantling of a terror cell operating with female recruits between the provinces of El Kef and Tozeur.
The North African country saw a surge in militant activity following the ouster of autocratic president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the 2011 revolution.
While the security situation has greatly improved in recent years, Tunisian forces continue to track down militants in the Mount Mghila and Mount Chaami regions.
A large number of militants who joined the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq when it overtook large swathes of territory between 2014 and 2017 had come from Tunisia.