Check out my new ‘Policy Watch’ for the Washington Institute: “Tunisia’s Female Jihadists”

On October 29, a thirty-year-old woman named Mouna Guebla detonated a grenade on Avenue Bourguiba in central Tunis. Although the suicide attack did not kill the targeted police officers, it did injure fifteen security guards and five civilians. Tunisian authorities claim the plot is connected to the Islamic State. No direct link has been uncovered yet, nor has the group claimed involvement, but the government believes two or three facilitators may have helped Guebla prepare for the attack. She was not on a government watch list, though her relatives and neighbors stated that she was radicalized online and had recently spent a week in Ettadhamen, a neighborhood known for jihadist activism and foreign fighter recruitment. In any case, it is the first time a successful jihadist attack has been conducted in Tunisia by a woman.

Yet the incident is not necessarily surprising. Considering the number of Tunisian women who have been involved in jihadist activity at home and more militarized activity abroad since the 2011 revolution, it was only a matter of time.

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