The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG), also known as the Jama’a Combattante Tunisienne, reportedly is seeking to establish an Islamic regime in Tunisia and targets US and Western interests. Probably founded in 2000 by Tarek Maaroufi and Saifallah Ben Hassine, the loosely organized group has come to be associated with al-Qaida and other North African extremist networks that have been implicated in terrorist plots during the past two years. The group was designated for sanctions under UNSCR 1333 in December 2000. Belgian authorities continue to hold Maaroufi, whom they arrested in December 2001.
Tunisians associated with the TCG are part of the support network of the broader international jihadist movement. According to European press reports, TCG members or affiliates in the past have engaged in trafficking falsified documents and recruiting for terror training camps in Afghanistan. Some TCG associates are suspected of planning an attack against the US, Algerian, and Tunisian diplomatic missions in Rome in January 2001. Some members reportedly maintain ties to the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).
Western Europe, Afghanistan.