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Terrorist Organizations and Other Groups of Concern

Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG)

Updated November 2, 2006

a.k.a. Jama'a Combattante Tunisienne

Description
The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG), also known as the Jama'a Combattante Tunisienne, seeks to establish an Islamic regime in Tunisia and has targeted U.S. and Western interests. The group is an offshoot of the banned Tunisian Islamist movement, an-Nahda. Founded around 2000 by Tarek Maaroufi and Saifallah Ben Hassine, the TCG has drawn members from the Tunisian diaspora in Europe and elsewhere. It has lost some of its leadership, but may still exist, particularly in Western Europe. Belgian authorities arrested Maaroufi in late 2001 and sentenced him to six years in prison in 2003 for his role in the assassination of anti-Taliban commander Ahmed Shah Massoud two days before 9/11. The TCG was designated under EO 13224 in October 2002. Historically, the group has been associated with al-Qaida as well. Members also have ties to other North African extremist groups. The TCG was designated for sanctions under UNSCR 1333 in December 2000.

Activities
Tunisians associated with the TCG are part of the support network of the broader international terrorist movement. According to European press reports, TCG members or affiliates in the past have engaged in trafficking falsified documents and recruiting for terror training campsin Afghanistan. Some TCG associates were suspected of planning an attack against the U.S., Algerian, and Tunisian diplomatic missions in Rome in April 2001. Some members reportedly maintain ties to the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Western Europe and Afghanistan.

External Aid
Unknown.

From: "Chapter 8; Other Groups of Concern," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, US Department of State, April 30, 2006.