The Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) dismantled, on Tuesday, on the basis of accurate intelligence tips provided by the General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DGST), a six-member terrorist cell that was operating in Casablanca, Mohammedia and Azilal, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The cell members, aged 18 to 59, are imbued with extremist ideology.
The preliminary investigations reveal that the members of this cell, which is affiliated with the Islamic State group, planned to commit terrorist acts within the Kingdom with the aim of proclaiming the country as a wilaya (province) of ISIS, the Interior Ministry said.
The suspects were remanded in police custody for further investigations while efforts are continuing to arrest other accomplices suspected of involvement in this terrorist cell, the statement said.
This operation is part of continued efforts to detect terrorist networks that target the security and stability of the Kingdom, the ministry said.
Morocco’s BCIJ conducts similar operations throughout the year as part of Morocco’s pro-active strategy to counter terrorism.
The US State Department commended in its 2018 Country Report on Terrorism Morocco for its efficient handling of terrorist threats.
The report, published in November 2019, underlined that Morocco’s counterterrorism efforts effectively mitigated the risks of terrorism in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Morocco is an active participant in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and is the current co-chair of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF).
Regionally, Morocco is a member of the African Union Peace and Security Council and a partner in the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP).
The Kingdom is also member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), meant to prevent the financing of terrorist organizations.