The US State Department has commended Morocco for its leading contributions to global initiatives aiming at countering terrorism, citing notably the Kingdom’s input to the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF).
“The United States and the Kingdom of Morocco are leading a global effort under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and in partnership with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), to address homegrown terrorism,” the State Department said on its blog, Dipnote.
The article, titled “Launching the Initiative on Addressing Homegrown Terrorism”, sheds light on Morocco’s contribution to addressing the threats posed by homegrown terrorism through the global initiative that was launched on November 15-16, 2017 in Malta.
The initiative “will review a number of systemic gaps within and between national and local governments that are impeding their success in thwarting these types of threats and plots. This initiative will highlight and analyze the common traits among the attackers to help develop proactive policies and programs,” recalls Shawna Wilson in her article.
The initiative has convened over 70 government officials, law enforcement officers, and non-governmental representatives from 25 countries.
Announced in September as part of the (GCTF), the initiative is launched at a context marked by ISIS’s prolific use of social media that has expanded its reach throughout the world, allowing the group to direct or inspire adherents, including those who have never stepped foot in a conflict zone, to commit acts of terrorism in their own countries.
The homegrown terrorism threat is growing as ISIS attempts to compensate for the loss of control of territory in Iraq and Syria by encouraging and directing attacks elsewhere, including by leveraging foreign terrorist fighters relocating from the conflict zone.
In addition to serving as Co-Chair of the GCTF, Morocco participates in the State Department Anti-terrorism Assistance Program, cooperates with US Customs and Border Protection and DHS to address watch-listed travelers. It has a framework agreement with the US to develop “mutual expertise in the areas of crisis management, border security, and terrorism investigations to strengthen regional counterterrorism capability and to deny space to terrorism and terrorist networks.”
Morocco is also at the forefront of efforts to counter the appeal of violent extremism within its own borders and in the broader region. One of Morocco’s key programs to provide religious training – by the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Morchidines, and Morchidates, which aims to prepare the next generation of Muslim religious leaders from across the region to counter extremist interpretations of Islam – continues to be in high demand, and in 2018 will welcome a record 1,240 foreign Islamic preacher trainees from Mali, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Chad, Nigeria, and France.