The Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) dismantled the “”extremely dangerous terrorist” cell whose members were plotting attacks on “sensitive areas” in a scheme to undermine the security and stability of the Kingdom, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Local media broadcast video footage showing armed and masked members of the BCIJ surrounding a building in Fez where they arrested the cell members who were operating in different cities including Fez, Meknes, Khouribga, Casablanca, Zaouiat Sheikh, Sidi Bennour, Demnate and Sidi Hrazem, the statement said.
During the operation, security forces seized firearms (three pistols and two shotguns), a large amount of ammunition, small butane gas cylinders, tear gas bombs, a large amount of suspect liquid, chemicals that could be used in the preparation of explosives and two waistcoats, intended to be used in the manufacture of explosive belts.
Electric wires, nails and bags containing toxic pesticides, four fire extinguishers, electric and telescopic batons, telecommunications apparatus, several electrical equipment, knives of various sizes, in addition to plastic handcuffs and sums of money were also seized.
Morocco has been leading a proactive security approach aiming at averting terrorist attacks and busting terrorist cells before they move to action. The Kingdom has been spared deadly jihadist attacks since a 2011 bombing in Marrakesh’s famed Jamaa El Fna Square, which killed 17 people, mainly European tourists.