Islamic State claims deadly museum attack in Tunisia: online recording

Police officers are seen on the pavement outside parliament in Tunis. Gunmen attacked Tunisia’s national museum near its parliament on Wednesday. Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters

(Reuters) – The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for an attack on a museum in the Tunisian capital on Wednesday which killed 20 foreign tourists, according to an audio recording distributed online.

It praised the two attackers whom the recording said were “knights of the Islamic State” who were armed with machine guns and bombs.

In contradiction, NYT reports:

Tunisian authorities have arrested nine people suspected of helping the two gunmen who mounted a deadly attack on a museum in Tunis, the office of the Tunisian president said on Thursday. Officials said they had not established a link between any known terrorist group and either of the gunmen, who were killed by security forces responding to the attack.

Also related, from Long War Journal: Islamic State claims responsibility for Tunis massacre The Islamic State has reportedly claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack at the Bardo museum in Tunis. The SITE Intelligence Group has obtained a 3-minute audio message, as well as a written transcript in Arabic, that are attributed to the organization. The audio message and the written copy were disseminated via Twitter.

The “blessed invasion” of “one of the dens of disbelief and immorality in Muslim Tunisia” was carried out by two “knights” from the “Caliphate,” the Islamic State’s representative says. The two terrorists are identified as Tunisians going by the aliases Abu Zakaria al Tunisi and Abu Anas al Tunisi…

Another update: Tunisia says militants in museum attack trained in Libya (Reuters) – The two gunmen who attacked a Tunisian museum on Wednesday, killing foreign tourists, had trained at a jihadist camp in Libya, Tunisia’s government said on Thursday.

Interior minister official Rafik Chelli said the two men had been recruited at mosques in Tunisia and traveled to Libya in September.

Both were killed in the attack on Bardo museum in Tunis.