Minister: 1,000 Tunisians fighting for ISIS in Libya

Farhat Horchani said that reports of 2,000-3,000 Tunisian militants in Libya are exaggerated

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Tunisia’s defense minister estimated Tuesday that some 1,000 of his countrymen are fighting for ISIS in Libya, branding them a threat to their home nation.

On the sidelines of a security conference in Paris, Farhat Horchani told journalists that reports of 2,000-3,000 Tunisian militants in Libya are exaggerated, saying “it’s on the order of 1,000.”

For now the Tunisian fighters have not returned home in large numbers, but Horchani said “we must remain vigilant” as they remain a “threat”, noting that some of them are dual French nationals.

He went on to say there is no regional plan to deal with foreign fighters in Libya, noting: “Countries handle the issue day-by-day”.

“The war against terrorism is an all-encompassing one. If we confront terrorism only on the security or military fronts, we lose the war,” Horchani added.

“We must instill in young people that Islam is not this... If not, within a couple years we will have a monster more dangerous than Daesh,” he said.

Horchani said he believed that among the fighters flushed this month from Sirte, “it is very probably that some went towards the south, and some will go towards the west”.

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