Tunisians walk past police during a demonstration on Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, two days after gunmen attacked the National Bardo Museum, March 20, 2015. AFP/FADEL SENNA
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He graduated in French, held down a job and showed no sign of the hard-line Islamist ideology that would drive him to commit the county's worst militant attack in a decade.But relatives said last year he had begun to spend more and more time at a local mosque, following a pattern of radicalization of Tunisian young men who then find themselves fighting in Syria, Iraq and Libya.Chairs sat empty inside, with only 10 family members present.Officials said the two men had been recruited at mosques in Tunisia and traveled to Libya in September.Family members said Abidi had left home for two months, saying he would be working in the commercial city of Sfax on Tunisia's coast.Since its revolution, Tunisia has seen the emergence of several hard-line Islamist groups, including Ansar al-Shariah, which the United States blames for storming its Tunis embassy in 2012 and lists as a terrorist organization.In the early days after the revolution, hard-line imams took over mosques, profiting from the new freedoms to preach their extremist vision of Islam and encourage young men to leave to fight in foreign wars.
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