Tunisian terrorists lawyer released, who is Seiffeddine Makhlouf?
Tunisian public opinion did not welcome the news regarding the arrest and consequent release of the radical Islamist party El-Karama leader, Seiffeddine Makhlouf.
For months, Tunisian people have been waiting for concrete moves by the Judiciary and, particularly, by president Kais Saïed. Makhlouf, head of the allied party of Ennahdha, belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood galaxy, better known as the terrorist advocate, was arrested on Friday afternoon in front of the Military Tribunal in Tunis. He was going with his lawyers to answer the charges of having created chaos at Tunis Carthage Airport last March in an attempt to forcibly embark a woman on the S17 list for her connections with terrorist groups.
The Tunisian people, on July 25, took to the streets in several cities across the country to ask President Kais Saïed to put an end to the corruption of parliamentarians and to clarify support for terrorism by the Islamist coalition, calling for urgent measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and poverty. Makhlouf’s release risks seriously damaging the enthusiasm of Kais Saied supporters, as well as his credibility vis-à-vis the Tunisians, who have been waiting for concrete answers for two months. It is first of all as a lawyer that Seiffeddine Makhlouf has been talking about in recent years.
Among his favourite clients is a former spokesman for the jihadist organization Ansar al-Sharia, Seiffeddine Rais. Ansar al-Sharia was involved in the attack on the US embassy in Tunis in 2012 and the assassination of political opponents Mohamed Brami and Chokri Belaïd. In another register, Seiffeddine Makhlouf, on November 28, 2020, claimed to have a drug against the coronavirus, shaking a small vial in the middle of Parliament and becoming the laughing stock of social networks. The lawyer then admitted that it was a simple dietary supplement. In his controversial career, Makhlouf became famous for claiming that the Tunisian state hid a “lake of oil” existence.
Without many complexes, the lawyer simultaneously defends the director of the Koranic school of Regueb, accused of mistreatment and abuse of his young students, dismissed last October, the prosecutor of Sidi Bouzid filed an appeal. Another dear brother of Master Seiffeddine and Rachid Khiari, with whom he had had the murderer of Rambouillet photographed, Ridha Jaouadi, also a deputy.
This beautiful Tunisian parliamentary democracy, suspended by Kais Saïed, also has in its ranks Imed Dghij, former leader of the Revolutionary Protection Leagues (LPR), a violent Islamist militia dissolved in May 2014 also linked to Ansar Al-Sharia. We must also not forget Maher Zidi, elected in Kairouan, who has particularly distinguished himself for preventing the police of this city from interrogating a jihadist defendant.