Last Wednesday, Tunisian security authorities arrested Abdel Karim Al-Harouni, the head of the Shura Council of the Ennahdha Brotherhood movement, on suspicions related to financial and administrative corruption and money laundering.
Following Harouni’s arrest, the Tunisian authorities also apprehended the General Director of the State Petroleum Company “Ajeel,” along with company officials. On Sunday evening, an investigation was conducted with Mohamed Amin Shekhari, the former Minister of Industry in the Troika government after 2012, a coalition composed of Ennahda, Moncef Marzouki’s party, and the Ettakatol Party at the time.
Informed sources in Tunisia reported that when Al-Harouni was the Minister of Transport, he allegedly granted the private airline company “Sivax Airlines,” owned by former Brotherhood parliamentarian Muhammad Freikha, kerosene fuel worth 20 million dinars from public funds during the Brotherhood’s rule.
These same sources confirmed that the case of “Ajeel” company was filed in 2015 but had not been addressed until recently, this company is among the government companies in the country that have faced financial troubles.
Recruitment and deportation of young people
The sources pointed out that this case linked to an investigation into the issue of sending individuals to conflict zones, which began in January 2022.
In late 2021, Fatima Al-Masadi filed a complaint against the Brotherhood regarding the transfer networks.
Tunisian parliamentarian Fatima Al-Masdi had previously stated that “all data accuses the airline (Sivax Airlines) and its owner of facilitating the entry and exit of individuals, including terrorists, via its planes, in collusion with Muslim Brotherhood representatives, security leaders, and the former head of the aircraft security protection team at Tunisia Airport, Abdul Karim Al-Obeidi.”
Years ago, Tunisia formed a parliamentary committee to investigate networks involved in recruiting and sending young people to conflict zones worldwide, where they participated in terrorist activities.
According to statements from Tunisian security leaders, Ennahdha Brotherhood movement played a significant role in facilitating the movement of terrorists through Carthage Airport during its time in power, They also allegedly provided weapons training to young men at centers affiliated with the Ministry of Interior and transferred money.
It’s worth noting that the Counter-Terrorism Committee in Tunisia documented the presence of over 3,000 Tunisian registered terrorists in Syria, Libya, and Iraq until 2018, with nearly a thousand returning to Tunisia.
Three days before Al-Harouni’s arrest, he was placed under house arrest after attempting to organize the Shura Council of the Ennahda Movement, despite the Tunisian authorities’ decision to close all Ennahda Brotherhood movement headquarters and ban all meetings since the arrest of Rashid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Tunisian Brotherhood, on April 17th of the previous year.
A significant case
Najib Al-Barhoumi, a Tunisian activist and political analyst, believes that the case involving Al-Harouni is of great significance and may implicate senior state officials.
Al-Barhoumi emphasized that this case highlights the damage caused by the Tunisian Brotherhood, with Tunisians now facing the consequences. He explained that the Brotherhood seemed focused on self-enrichment and disregarded the state, the people, and reconciliation.
Al-Barhoumi expressed his belief that Tunisians have unequivocally rejected the Brotherhood due to the crimes committed against the country, noting that Ennahda is now marginalized in the current political scene after a decade of turmoil, while Tunisians paying the price.
In September 2019, Zubair Al-Shahoudi, Brotherhood leader who defected from Ennahda, described the movement’s leader, Rashid Ghannouchi, and his family as a “corrupt group,” revealing numerous facts about the movement’s activities within the Tunisian state.
For nearly two years, Tunisia has been fighting with the Brotherhood, which is classified as a terrorist organization in several Arab countries, with parliamentary calls for similar measures in Tunisia.