MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani
MENASTREAM ID is MENASTREAM’s new project where we provide information on armed militants with personal information, background and graphics
The Tunisian Ministry of Interior issued a search warrant on Monday February 8, 2016 for Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani also known as ‘Abu Nassim’ born 23/03/1969, son of Fatma Chihaoui, from Ezzahrouni, Tunis. The Ministry of Interior classified Moez Fezzani as a dangerous terrorist in its statement:
Moez Fezzani’s has a long history within the sphere of global terrorism that stretches back to both the Bosnian war and the war in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, jailed for 7 years at the ‘Baghram Prison’. Fezzani’s journey brings him to Italy where he is tried together with another Tunisian and former Guantanamo prisoner Riadh Nasri for providing logistical support in 2007 to a terrorist cell in Italy linked to the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which evolved into Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. He was acquitted from charges of terrorism in 2011, but Tunisian authorities demanded his deportation, although Italian authorities already considered him a security threat. The first time his deportation was supposed to be carried out he managed to escape and went into hiding in Varese, Lombardy, to be caught once again and deported to Tunisia.
Fezzani joined Ansar al-Sharia Tunisia (AST) in 2012 and was reportedly active in various confrontations, in 2013 Fezzani left for Syria where he joined Jabhat al-Nusra and later ISIS. He reportedly moved to Libya in 2014 as a leader for Katibat al-Battar and according to sources, he now holds a key role in Sirte. Fezzani is suspected of being the mastermind and supervisor of the planning processes behind the high-profile attacks against the Bardo Museum and Sousse.
The search warrant for Fezzani by the Ministry of Interior comes at a critical time when Libya facing the threat of foreign intervention, an intervention which will have significant consequences for Tunisia. We can not exclude that the MOI tactically issued this warrant to raise public awareness facing both the terrorist threat and additional consequences linked to an eventual Libya intervention, we can also assume that MOI on purpose issued this warrant knowing Fezzani is in Libya, thus framing him as a high-profile target for the international coalition.