Bardo museum suspect procured weapons

2015-05-21 18:49
Abdelmajid Touil. (File, AP)

Abdelmajid Touil. (File, AP)

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Tunis - The 22-year-old Moroccan man arrested in Italy on suspicion of involvement in the 18 March Islamist militant attack on Tunisia's Bardo Museum provided the weapons, said a Tunisian official on Thursday.

Italian police said on Wednesday that they had arrested Abdelmajid Touil, who had been sought in connection with the attack in Tunis that killed 21 tourists.

"(He) is a weapons smuggler ... he brought weapons for the Bardo Museum attackers from Libya to Tunisia before the date of the attack," said the official.

Police in Milan said Touil reached Italy on a migrant boat in February.

Overlapping allegiances

Italy is uncertain about his movements after being rescued by a navy ship from the migrant boat, interior minister Angelino Alfano said in parliamentary testimony on Thursday. But sources close to the investigation said they were "99% sure" Touil had been in Italy during the March attack.

Fatima Touil, the detained man's mother, has defended her son, saying he was in Italy at the time of the attack.

"He doesn't have any ties with any terrorists," she was cited as saying in an interview by the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Tunisia has said it has arrested the great majority of those responsible for the attack, which it says was a cell of 23 militants with overlapping allegiances to a number of hardline Islamist groups.

Read more on:    italy  |  north africa  |  tunisia attack

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