Ansar al-Sharia (AST), established during April 2011, is the most pronounced jihadist organization in Tunisia with a supportive ideology to that of al-Qaeda. Members of Ansar al-Sharia have regularly taken part in protests in Tunisia against perceived blasphemy and have been suspected in involvement in a number of violent incidents. Ansar al-Sharia has campaigned for the release of Islamist prisoners who had fought with al-Qaeda in Iraq and are held in Iraqi jails. The group has established a media branch, al-Qairawan Media Foundation, and developed different media outlets including a blog, Facebook page, and a magazine. AST typically sets up lectures from prominent Tunisian Salafi clerics, passes out mainstream Salafi literature at weekly markets, provides food, medicine, and clothing in charitable convoys, and publishes about its activities on Facebook as well as highlights key news events and new releases relating to the global jihadi world. It is…
Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST)
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