(Hayet Saadi, mother of Aymen Saadi, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tunis November 13, 2013. REUTERS/Anis Mili )

Aymen Saadi’s brief call to jihad began with dreams of fighting for an Islamic state in Syria and ended with a botched suicide bombing attempt in a crowd of foreign tourists in Tunisia.

Guards tackled the Tunisian teenager before he detonated his bomb at a presidential mausoleum last month south of Tunis. Minutes earlier, a fellow bomber had blown himself up into a bloody mess across the sand at a popular beach resort a few kilometres away.

Saadi’s mission may have failed, and the beach bomber killed only himself, but Tunisia’s first suicide attack in a decade was shock enough for the small North African nation; the war with militant Islam was at its door.

Tunisia’s interior’s ministry says its initial investigation indicates Al Qaeda-linked group Ansar al-Sharia carried out the attempted twin bombing.