Moroccan, Spanish Authorities Arrest Three IS Members in Joint Operation

Moroccan and Spanish authorities conducted a joint operation resulting in the arrest of three individuals loyal to IS (Daech) in Morocco and Spain, Moroccan Interior Ministry said.

The three individuals who were preparing to join the ranks of Daech in Syria and Irak were arrested by Morocco’s anti-terrorism body, the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) and the Spanish anti-terrorism brigade.

Two individuals of the same terrorist cell were arrested in Spain in Catalonia and Tarragone while the third was arrested in Tangier, the same source said, adding that the cell members maintained ties with other arrested individuals pledging allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. They also were in contact with IS fighters in Irak and Syria.

The members of the busted cell have engaged in indoctrination and recruitment of fighters for Daech by personal contact or through the use of social media. They shared videos and graphic content inciting violence and suicide attacks, the Spanish interior ministry said.

Moroccan and Spanish security services cooperate closely and have conducted joint operations resulting in the dismantlement of dangerous terrorist cells before they moved to action. Speaking to the Spanish lower house last February, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido, highlighted that 10 large-scale joint operations have been conducted by the two countries against IS-affiliated terrorist groups operating notably in the field of recruiting foreign fighters to terrorist fronts in Syria and Irak.

Thanks to a pre-emptive security approach, Moroccan authorities succeeded in aborting at least 341 terrorist plots and dismantling 168 terrorist cells before they perpetrated their destructive plots. 50 of the 168 busted cells were linked to terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria and the Sahel.

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