An unemployed graduate who blew herself up in Tunisia’s capital last month had sworn allegiance to ISIS extremist group, the interior minister said Monday.
Mona Guebla detonated a bomb near police cars on the busy upmarket Avenue Habib Bourguiba in central Tunis on October 29, killing herself and wounding 26 people, mostly police officers, Hichem Fourati told parliament.
Guebla had used “secret communication channels” to make contact with “terrorist leaders inside and outside the country” and to swear allegiance to IS, he added.
Fourati said the 30-year-old had received online instructions on bomb-making from “terrorist elements” based in the country’s mountainous east, the epicentre of a long-running jihadist campaign of attacks targeting Tunisian security forces.
The attack was the first to rock the Tunisian capital since 2015.
Police sources said the assailant appeared to have used a homemade bomb rather than an explosive belt.
Guebla, who lived in a marginalized rural area in the eastern Mahdia region, was studying for a doctorate and spent hours on the computer locked in her room, but her family said there was no indication she was being radicalized.
After her death, authorities found “a quantity of raw materials used in the manufacture of explosives” at her house, Fourati said.
Local media have reported that her distraught family refused to receive the body and did not attend her burial.