News24

Political changes benefit 'terrorism'

2012-09-26 19:48

Tunis - The political turmoil which has swept the Arab world has benefited "terrorism" and criminality, the Council of Arab Interior Ministers head, Mohamed Ben Ali Koumane, said on Wednesday.

"The preachers of terrorism... have profited from the security deficit" in the region, Koumane said. "The spread of weapons and explosives has allowed terrorists to get hold of the tools of death and destruction."

He was speaking at the start of a meeting of Arab security officials on the fight against terrorism, held at the Tunis headquarters of the council, which was set up in 1982 with the agreement of the Arab League.

"Since last year, the Arab region has witnessed political changes that have resulted in acute security crises, directly linked to a rise in crime," Koumane said.

"The deteriorating security situation has provided fertile ground for all sorts of crimes," he added, referring in particular to organised crime, illegal migration, and human and drug trafficking.

A wave of violent attacks blamed on radical Islamists has afflicted a number of Arab countries in recent months, notably Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, where popular uprisings last year toppled long-time dictators.

Earlier this month, protests against a US-made film mocking Islam turned violent, leading to attacks on several Western embassies and the killing of US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya.