Jihadist is arrested over plot to infect police with coronavirus in Tunisia
Tunisian authorities have said a 'terrorist plot' to spread the coronavirus among the country's security forces by coughing, sneezing and spitting on them was thwarted this week.
Two men, including a suspected jihadist behind the plot, were arrested on Thursday, according to the Interior Ministry in Tunisia.
In a statement about the incident, the Ministry said a known terrorist who had recently been released from prison after involvement in another case relating to terrorism was the orchestrator behind the alleged plot.
The group-leader, who is from the Kebili region on the south of the country, is said to have used his influence to indoctrinate followers to try and spread the coronavirus among security forces by getting those with symptoms to sneeze, cough and spit on officers.
'The terrorist element, who was recently released after his involvement in a case of terrorist nature, took advantage of his moral authority over the rest of the Takfiri elements in the region,' the statement read.
Takfiris are Islamist militants who are known for accusing their victims of being infidels.
The jihadist specifically targeted 'those who have symptoms of the emerging coronavirus and who are under administrative control' it said, 'in order to incite them to intentionally sneeze and cough and spread spit everywhere, while they are inside the security centre.'
One of the terrorists tasked with carrying out the attack admitted that he was under such instructions.
However, he said he found them difficult to carry out because of the preventative measures that were in place, stopping him from entering the headquarters where the security forces were based.
A second member of the group has been held in quarantine and will be analysed in order to determine whether he does in fact have the coronavirus or not.