The terrorist cell affiliated to ISIS dismantled on January 27 in several Moroccan cities was in possession of firearms made in Russia, Germany and Italy that were smuggled into Morocco through the Algerian borders, said Abdelhak Khiame Head of Morocco’s Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ.)
“The fire arms seized during the operation in El Jadida were made in Italy, Germany and Russia…they were smuggled through the vast Moroccan Algerian borders which are difficult to control,” Khiame told the press.
A dangerous arsenal was confiscated during the operation including a machine gun, seven revolvers, military vests, locally made explosives and seven revolvers.
The seven-member terrorist cell was plotting assassinations of public figures, diplomats and tourists and attacks against diplomatic representations and tourist sites, Abdelhak Khiame added.
Khiame who explained the preventive approach underpinning the actions of the BCIJ, the Moroccan equivalent of the US FBI, said that his Bureau has closely monitored the terrorist cell and managed to abort its destructive plots before it moved into action.
He added that the mastermind of the terrorist cell was in his twenties and maintained close coordination with commanders of the terrorist ISIS organization in the Syrian, Iraqi and Libyan fronts. The six members of the cell, in the 20-29 age bracket, had been arrested in the localities of El Jadida, Boulaouane, Oued Imlil, Salé and El Gara.
Following the success of the operation, the interior ministry issued a statement saying that the cell was planning to recruit and train youngsters to perpetrate destructive acts and undermine public order.
Last week, Moroccan police, in coordination with the BCIJ, dismantled another criminal gang led by an individual with loyalty to ISIS.
Since its creation in 2015, the BCIJ dismantled no less than 45 terrorist cells and arrested at least 548 terrorists who were brought before justice (275 in 2015 and 273 in 2016.)