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Is Tunisia the next hotbed of terror activity?

After an attack at a Tunisian beach resort left at least 39 people dead -- many of them western tourists -- the world is once again focusing on the country as a hotbed of terrorist activity.

"In Tunisia, you have the problem that you have terrorist groups and operatives operating in a country that has been relatively stable compared to its neighbors," CBS News senior national security analyst Juan Zarate said, contrasting Tunisia from Libya and Egypt as a "bright spot" in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Tunisia is the only country in the region to have built a democratic system after the revolutions that rocked the Middle East and North Africa.

At least 39 dead in attack on Tunisian resort

"But the reality is they've been facing a growing sense of terrorist threat and dread," Zarate added. "You've seen these episodes of attacks, and certainly what you're seeing here is, I think, another episode where terrorists are trying to impose themselves either from the outside of Tunisia or taking advantage of terrorist operatives that are operating there in Tunisia."

An ISIS Twitter account claimed responsibility for the attack in Sousse, posting a photograph of the gunman, Seifeddine Rezgui, a Tunisian student who was later shot dead by security forces.

The country is no stranger to terror attacks. In March, gunmen at the national museum killed 22 people near the parliament building in Tunis. In 2013, the city of Sousse was also the site of a failed suicide bomber attack.

Tunisia Prime Minister Habib Essid announced Saturday that his administration would toughen security measures, including closing mosques known for embracing extremist ideologies and calling up army reservists.

"The fight against terrorism is a national responsibility," Essid, who came under fire in March after the national museum massacre exposed governmental security weaknesses, said at a press conference early Saturday. "We are at war against terrorism which represents a serious danger to national unity during this delicate period that the nation is going through."

Zarate, who served as the deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism under President George W. Bush, isn't surprised that the terror attack struck a western target in the Tunisian city. He notes that the mass assault was specifically "trying to hit western tourists."

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"Of course they're striking a western target, trying to hit western tourists, certainly trying to create fear in the tourism industry," Zarate said. "They're trying to affect the Tunisian economy and certainly trying to affect the political trajectory in that country."

Assailing a beach resort was another maneuver meant to send a message to the western world.

"It's a way of sending a strategic as well as an economic message that nothing is safe and that a country is going to be vulnerable to these kinds of attacks," Zarate said.

The attack occurred the same day as two other attacks on two other continents: a suicide bomber killed 27 people in a Kuwait mosque and a man in France entered an American-owned chemical plant and decapitated one person before reportedly attempting to blow up the warehouse.

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