Are ISIL fighters making inroads in North Africa?
Is the region an easy target for ISIL and could international intervention deter the armed group’s expansion?
For more than a year, fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) have exploited civil war chaos in Libya to establish control over large stretches of the coastline and pockets of territory elsewhere.
Now there are fears that ISIL fighters are eyeing up neighbouring Tunisia to expand what they describe as the ISIL caliphate.
Gunmen stormed the Tunisian border town of Ben Gardane on Monday, attacking an army barracks and police posts.
At least 55 people were killed, including attackers, civilians and security forces.
Tunisian forces chased the remaining assailants out of the town but the shooting continued on Tuesday. A large stash of weapons was also found.
Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi called it an unprecedented attack designed to establish new ISIL territory on Tunisian soil.
So, is North Africa an easy target for ISIL? And could international intervention deter the armed group’s expansion in the region?
Presenter: Mike Hanna
Youssef Cherif: Political analyst from Tunis
Monica Marks: Fellow with the European Council on foreign relations focusing on Tunisian politics and security
Anas El Gomati: Libya analyst and director of the Tripoli-based Sadeq Institute