Yesterday I attended a meeting in Tunis about safety and personal security here in Tunisia. It was led by David Santiago, a former U.S. Marine who was stationed at the embassy here and who now is the Security Director for the American Cooperative School of Tunis. He gave an excellent presentation, after which I checked out his expat security blog and subscribed to his Twitter feed. I recommend both.
We discussed the fact that recently there has been discussion on ISIS and other jihadist websites about attacking foreign teachers and foreign schools in the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere. American and international schools are viewed as “softer,” easier targets than embassies and other more secure institutions. Various American embassies have put out warnings about this. Reportedly, schools in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Sudan, Nigeria, Morocco, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia — and Tunisia — were mentioned in the jihadist discussion.
An article that came out yesterday states that Egypt has arrested someone who posted threats against foreign schools and teachers on jihadist websites. But the discussion is out there. I hope my friends and colleagues who teach abroad will be vigilant.