Shon and his wife, who hail from Great Britain, have decided to spend the rest of their vacation in Sousse, although hundreds of other tourists have left since the terrorist attack on June 26 that left 39 tourists dead.

Shon and his wife, who hail from Great Britain, have decided to spend the rest of their vacation in Sousse, although hundreds of other tourists have left since the terrorist attack on June 26 that left 39 tourists dead.

Once the security situation eased, he and his wife went out of their hotel and headed to the beach, but it was clear from the looks on their faces that they were still confused. There are only a handful of tourists left on the beach – at the Imperial Marhaba hotel, where it all happened, which can accommodate 900 people, there were only 26 tourists left, most of them British. 

Foreign journalists have replaced the guests, and they take pictures of the site and conduct interviews with the remaining tourists under the newly introduced security measures.

John Simpson, a journalist for The Times, was begging the guards at the hotel to allow him to see the manager, but in vain.   

Still, Simpson was surprised by the lack of security. “There aren’t any new security methods and there are no trained dogs.” Even the guard at the Marahba Imerpial Hotel admitted that he has not yet received any new inspection or security equipment other than a metal detector. Now, however, he searches every person who enters the hotel.

The nearby Balvi Hotel is sending its employees inside the hotel out to assist the security agents deployed on the beach.

Khamis, for example, is a kitchen employee, but the hotel manager told him to guard the hotel instead of staying in the kitchen, now that only a few meals need to be prepared. 

Khamis now stands outside the hotel under the sun.  From time to time, he visits his colleagues to have a chat, especially during these hot fasting days. There are so very few visitors, there is hardly any need for searches. 

Khamis also has not received any security equipment, even thought he did hear a lot of instructions on how to conduct a thorough inspection. He believes that security guards ought to be provided with pepper spray bottles or similar electronic equipment to enable them to protect themselves and their hotels. 

In the Soviva hotel, Walid, the only guard present at the entrance of the hotel, stopped the driver of a motorcycle who wanted to enter the hotel and he politely asked him to open the trunk. 

Walid, who has been a security guard for eight years said: “This was the first attack of its kind and the reason behind it was a security mistake.” For Walid, there is an urgent need for new equipment such as wireless communication devices, protective equipment and inspection equipment. “We should soon be provided with the metal detector device at the very least.”

He expressed his disappointment regarding the security measures taken and said that until now no security forces disguised in civilian clothes and armed with light guns have been deployed and for this reason it would be difficult to ensure the safety of tourists, he said.

Hassan, the owner of a hot air balloon and boat rental shop said that, “the newly introduced security measures after the incident, such as the deployment of armed security agents on horses on the beach, are useless. There should be armed security agents disguised in civilian clothes in order to move around easily.”

Security agents agreed. Two security agents from the Cavalry Division equipped with the  Steyr AUG gun, which is technically described as an assault rifle, said that light guns are better and said they as agents could be more effective if they changed their heavy uniforms and wore civilian clothes. 

Although employees in the tourism sector are demanding stricter security measures, some tourists said that the presence of heavily armed security agents in recreational areas has a negative impact.  

Kitan, a Belgian tourist, who was sitting near a security checkpoint overlooking the sea, said that it is important to provide tourists with security, however, he added that the presence of a large number of heavily armed security agents would disturb tourists. 

A source at the interior ministry refuted claims about the presence of security negligence before and after the terrorist attack.  The source said that the security measures taken after the terrorist attack were very strict and covered more than one level, “but there are security plans and strategies that shouldn’t be revealed to the public.”