Panorama probe identifies 'man behind Tunisia beach massacre'

A man accused of being the ringleader of a terror attack in Tunisia that left 30 Britons dead has been identified by a BBC Panorama investigation, the programme said.

Chamseddine al-Sandi was named in confessions by suspects arrested in connection with the atrocity in June 2015 as being the mastermind behind the beach attack, the BBC reported.

It comes ahead of the inquests into the deaths of the British holidaymakers in Sousse, which begin in London next week.

Panorama said al-Sandi is believed to be on the run in Libya.

It is reportedly the first time he has been identified as the alleged ringleader, and Tunisian authorities have issued warrants for his arrest over the Sousse attack and an earlier one at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis in March 2015.

Documents obtained by Panorama show that Seifeddine Rezgui, who massacred 38 people on the beach and at the Imperial Hotel before being shot dead, was recruited and directed by al-Sandi.

It is thought al-Sandi recruited and ran a terrorist cell responsible for both attacks, paying for them to go to Libya for training.

Documents reportedly show how closely Rezgui worked with the Bardo terrorists. Both attacks were claimed by so-called Islamic State.

Some of the families of those caught in the Sousse attack said they had been assured by tour operator Thomson it was safe to travel to Tunisia after the Bardo museum attack.

Nicki Duffield said: "I was constantly asking, 'are we going to be safe, can you guarantee we are going to be safe?'

"We were definitely told that there would be increased security."

TUI, the travel company that owns Thomson, said it wants to understand the specific circumstances that led to the killings and is co-operating with the coroner.

The company would not comment further before the inquests but said it does not accept the accuracy of all the statements that have been made.

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