Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG)
The Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG) also operates as, or is known as, the Tunisian Islamic Fighting Group.
The TCG's goals reportedly include establishing an Islamic government in Tunisia and targeting Tunisian and Western interests. Founded probably in 2000 by Tarek Maaroufi and Saifallah Ben Hassine, the group has come to be associated with al-Qaeda and other North African Islamic extremists in Europe who have been implicated in anti-U.S. terrorist plots there during 2001. In December, Belgian authorities arrested Maaroufi and charged him with providing stolen passports and fraudulent visas for those involved in the assassination of Ahmed Shah Massood, according to press reports. Tunisians associated with the TCG are part of the support network of the international Salafist movement. According to Italian authorities, TCG members there engage in false document trafficking and recruitment for Afghan training camps. Some TCG associates are suspected of planning an attack against the U.S., Algerian, and Tunisian diplomatic interests in Rome in January. Members reportedly maintain ties to the Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC).
█ FURTHER READING:
CDI (Center for Defense Information), Terrorism Project. CDI Fact Sheet: Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. March 27, 2003. < http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/terrorist.cfm > (April 17, 2003).
Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook, 2002. < http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/ > (April 16, 2003).
Taylor, Francis X. U.S. Department of State. "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001," Annual Report: On the Record Briefing. May 21, 2002 < http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/rm/10367.htm > (April 17,2003).
U.S. Department of State. Annual Reports. < http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/annual_reports.html > (April 16, 2003).