Tunisia: Qaeda’s Slain Algerian Leader was Mastermind of Major Terror Attacks

A senior Algerian commander in al-Qaeda’s Uqba bin Nafi Battalion (KUBN) was killed in a joint military operation on Monday, Tunisia’s Ministry of Interior said.

Murad al-Shayeb, 36, was killed by Tunisian security and military forces in Kasserine governorate near the border with Algeria.

Murad is the brother of Algerian terrorist Khaled Shayeb, aka Luqman Abu Sakhr who was killed in Tunisia in 2015. They both belong to al-Qaeda in the Maghreb.

The Ministry said Shayeb was responsible for a series of attacks since 2013, including an assault on former Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou in 2014 and various ambushes in the Chaambi, Ouargha, Mghila, and Sammama mountains.

The joint operation was one of the most successful given the significance and danger of the killed terrorist.

The group targeted by the security and military forces in Jabal al-Seif consists of two terrorist elements, Shayeb and another element who was able to flee, despite news of him being injured during the attack.

Special antiterrorist unit spokesperson Sofien Selliti said Shayeb was involved in most of the terrorist operations carried out against the Tunisian military.

Selliti said Shayeb had been the mastermind of the largest terror attack in Tunisia since 2016 and is wanted by security forces and judicial forces in Tunisia and Algeria.

In this context, the spokesman stated that the slain extremist targeted in 2014 a military patrol in Ouargha mountains.

In 2015, he added, Shayeb targeted a National Guard patrol in the region of Boulaba and ambushed two military formations in Mghila Mountain in April and November 2015.

He also targeted a military armored vehicle in Sammama Mountain in 2016 and killed in 2018 Tunisian national Amjad al-Qariri in addition to planting mines in Kasserine region, raiding houses and looting food.