Boy, 3, freed from Libyan prison
TUNIS, Tunisia — A 3-year-old Tunisian orphan whose parents left home to join the Islamic State group has returned to his grandfather’s custody after spending more than a year in a Libyan prison.
Trilling joyfully, a small crowd gathered at the airport late Wednesday in Tunis as Tamim Jandoubi and his grandfather walked through the terminal building.
The child was taken away by ambulance and was under observation Thursday in a hospital.
Tamim’s grandfather, Faouzi Trabelsi, has fought to recover the child since learning last fall that his mother and father had died in an airstrike on a Libyan Islamic State camp in February 2016.
Tamim was taken to a prison in Tripoli, along with other widows and orphans of foreign fighters. They are caught in limbo after the militant group’s retreat, with their home countries hesitating to take them back.
“We were in Tripoli 11 days and we finally succeeded in getting him back after a huge effort,” Trabelsi said.
Tamim was the only child freed. Tawfik al-Gasmi, a Tunisian diplomat in Tripoli, Libya, said he expects the remaining Tunisian children to return from the prison soon.
Tamim is among hundreds of children fathered by Islamic State’s foreign fighters or brought to the self-proclaimed caliphate. Their parents dead or imprisoned, many are in legal limbo.
Little Tamim was living among about two dozen Tunisian women and their children, being raised by a woman who had joined the Islamic State group willingly.