The terrorist attacks that hit Barcelona and Cambrils are the outcome of an extremist religious discourse propagated by unqualified Imams in Europe that leads to the swift radicalization of disenchanted youth, said Abdelhaq Khiame, Head of Morocco’s counter-terrorism agency, the Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations (BCIJ).
In an interview with Radio 2M, Khiame warned of the extremist religious discourse spread in unsupervised mosques throughout Europe where young Muslim migrants are brainwashed.
“The Imam took advantage of the lack of oversight by authorities to instill extremist ideas in the youth in the lapse of a year,” he deplored, referring to the Imam of a mosque in Cambrils who indoctrinated the perpetrators of the Catalonia terror attacks.
He stressed Morocco’s willingness to help Spain to train Imams on the genuine values of Islam in order to prevent extremist Imams from leading the youth astray.
Khiame noted that despite the close security cooperation between Morocco and Spain, Morocco’s intelligence services were unaware of the radicalization of the perpetrators of the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks because they left Morocco at a very early age and also because of the swift radicalization process they underwent in Spain.
The BCIJ chief also recalled that 693 individuals and 46 cells, including 41 loyal to the Islamic State, have been dismantled by the BCIJ since its launch in 2015, adding that 81 foreign fighters with IS in Syria, Iraq and Libya were arrested while 42 suspected terrorists were extradited to Morocco by other states.