Beach killer linked to gunmen in attack on museum
The young college student that murdered 38 tourists in a Tunisian seaside resort was in a jihadi training camp in western Libya at the same time as the two attackers who hit the national museum in March, a top security official said yesterday.
The revelation confirms repeated fears that the strong presence of the Islamic State group in Tunisia's chaotic neighbour is a direct threat to the country.
"It has been confirmed that the attacker, Seifeddine Rezgui, trained in Libya with weapons at the same period as the Bardo attackers," said Rafik Chelli of the Interior Ministry. "He crossed the borders secretly."
Chelli said the 24-year-old Master's student in electrical engineering left his studies at Kairouan University and went to the western Libyan town of Sabratha in January, which is when the two young men that carried out the museum attack were there.
Sabratha, also the site of famed Roman ruins, is known to contain training camps for jihadis.
The March attack on the museum killed 22 people, mostly tourists, and there have been repeated criticisms of the Tunisian government for not doing more to prevent another attack on visiting foreigners.
Tunisia's vital tourism sector suffered a staggering blow from the attack. The country expects to lose at least €460m this year, or about a quarter of its estimated annual tourism earnings The sector is a major source of employment for the country.