Perez Trabelsi in the Ghriba synagogue, Djerba
Perez Trabelsi, the leader of the Djerba Jewish community, is calling for army protection following last month's failed kidnap plot in nearby Zarzis. In spite of allegations that a Salafist police officer was behind the plot, the Tunisians are now denying that he was motivated by religion: he wanted to do it purely for money. The Tunisian Harissa blog reports:
The Djerba Jewish community has asked for army protection following the arrest of four Libyans and a Tunisan policeman plotting the kidnapping and ransom of a young Tunisian Jew.
"Following the implication of a policeman in this affair, we also want the army to assure our protection," said Perez Trabelsi, adding, "the Jewish community has great confidence in the army."
On 17 October, the national guard had uncovered a plan to kidnap a young Jew in Zarzis after "a policeman had been recruited by four Libyans", according to a senior police officer.
The objective was to obtain a ransom, he said, denying that there was a 'religious motivation' to the crime. The spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior,
Khaled Tarrouche, said that five people had been arrested on suspicion of planning the kidnapping of one or two Jews from wealthy families in order to obtain a ransom. He did not identify the suspects.
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