Tunisia (September 14) – The assault on the U.S. embassy in Tunis was orchestrated by a notorious al Qaeda terrorist named Seifallah ben Hassine, aka Abu Iyad al Tunisi. The embassy staff had already been evacuated, but Hassine’s mob ransacked American property, including cars and a school.
Hassine is the leader of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia. The Ansar al Sharia brand, as explained above, is being used by al Qaeda-linked groups in Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere.
Hassine was released from a Tunisian prison in 2011, after being convicted in 2003 of belonging to an al Qaeda-affiliated group. In 2000, Hassine co-founded the Tunisian Combatant Group (TCG). According to the United Nations, the TCG was created “in coordination with” al Qaeda.
Hassine reportedly met with both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Two days prior to the attacks, on September 9, 2001, two Tunisian assassins killed Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud. The assassins were supplied with forged passports by another senior TCG member. The hit on Massoud was an integral part of al Qaeda’s 9/11 plot as it removed a key American ally, and an enemy of the Taliban and al Qaeda, from the battlefield before the fight for Afghanistan even began.