Two American brothers have been arrested in northern Tunisia on suspicion of encouraging terrorism and campaigning for the introduction of Shariah Law.
According to local sources, the two unnamed brothers aged 32 and 29 were renting a house in Zahwa city, Jendouba when locals became suspicious of them and contacted the Police.
A spokesman for Tunisia’s Ministry of Interior has confirmed the report, saying that the two brothers claimed to have been studying computer science at the University of Jendouba. Police discovered jihadist content on their personal laptops, the spokesperson said.
A report in Nessma TV confirmed the lap top held plans to blow up a number of institutions, as well as calls to Jihad. MosaiqueFM also report that the brothers had told interrogators, via a translator, that they had recently converted to Islam and planned to introduce Shariah law throughout Tunisia.
Updated 16.57 Sources within the Jendouba police department have denied that the two Americans were students, but have said that this was a cover story. Both were heavily bearded, unwashed and living in poor conditions within an encampment near the University.
Both brothers are said to have UAE stamps within their passport.
Updated 17;03 Both brothers are from Michigan and their correct ages are 32 and 33
One brother is said to have entered into an Urfi, (religious rather than legal) marriage with a Tunisian girl from Borj Louzir, Ariana. The wife was arrested in Lafeyette, Tunis this afternoon.
Updated 17.08 Both brothers are being transferred to the Judicial Division in Tunis
Updated 27 October: Both brothers have since been released. The Tunis Court could find no evidence directly linking either brother to any terror group. Read more here.
More details to follow.