Thanks to a pre-emptive security approach, Moroccan authorities succeeded in aborting 341 terrorist plots and dismantling 168 terrorist cells before they moved to action, Director General of International Cooperation at Morocco’s Interior Ministry, Mohamed Moufakir, said.
Speaking at a seminar on security cooperation in the Mediterranean region in Rabat, Moufakir highlighted the efficiency of Morocco’s counter terrorism strategy, noting that 50 of the 168 busted cells were linked to terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and the Sahel.
Since 11 September attacks in the US, Morocco arrested 2,963 suspects involved in terrorist plots in the Kingdom, he added during the seminar held at the Moroccan Parliament.
On foreign fighters, he said that more than 1,600 Moroccans joined extremist groups in conflict zones. Some 147 of these Jihadists have returned and have been investigated while 132 were arrested and brought before justice, he said, adding that 6 individuals intending to join extremist groups abroad were prevented from leaving the national territory.
The seminar was also an occasion to shed light on the proactive approach adopted by Morocco in the fight against terrorism. This comprehensive approach focuses on the security aspect along with social and economic reforms, reform of the religious field, human rights and multilateral cooperation.
In this respect, Morocco led efforts to foster security cooperation with different partners including Spain. The two countries led successful joint operations resulting in the dismantlement of terrorist networks specializing in the recruitment of fighters.