Tunisia – Yesterday, the country’s authorities have denied accusations by Italy that migrants it arrested as they tried to cross the Mediterranean for Italian shores were “terrorists”.
On Monday, Tunisia’s interior ministry revealed the arrest of 15 people heading for European shores, stating that nine of them were considered by police as “Salafists”, or fundamentalist Muslims.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini tweeted on Tuesday about the arrest of nine “ISLAMIST EXTREMISTS” attempting to travel to Italy, saying: “That’s for those who say ‘terrorists don’t arrive by boat.'”
Spokesperson for Tunisia’s National Guard Houssemeddine Jebabli has reacted to Salvini’s tweet and told the country’s Mosaique FM radio that “there was no terrorist project against Italy in this attempt to migrate illegally”.
“They wanted to flee Tunisia in search of a better life, like other migrants,” Jebabli told AFP, adding that those arrested were men aged 28 to 42 and that none of them were suspected of having links to terrorist groups.