Morocco’s counter-terrorism agency dismantles terror cell, arrests suspects

Morocco’s counter-terrorism agency, the central bureau for judicial investigation (BCIJ), conducted a simultaneous operation in multiple cities against suspected terrorists leading to the arrest of five people.

Part of a continuous crackdown and a pre-emptive strategy against terrorist cells, the operation took place in the outskirts of Rabat in Temara, Tifelt and Skhirat as well as in the northern city of Tangier, according to local media.

Moroccan TV channels 2M and MEDI-1 reported that the operation in Temara took place in the presence of the Head of Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) and the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST), Abdellatif El Hammouchi.

He was seen in videos checking on special forces who carried out the operation.

One of the suspects resisted arrest, but BCIJ personnel were able to control the situation. The suspect was injured.

BCIJ seized several items from his house, including knoves and chemical liquids and powders suspected to be used in the manufacturing of explosive belts.

According to 2M, the arrested individuals were plotting terror acts aimed at undermining the stability of the country.

 

Thursday’s operation followed a similar security mission that led to the dismantling of a terror cell in Nador, northeastern Morocco, in July.

 

Another major BCIJ strike dates back to March 2020 when it dismantled a four-member terrorist cell.

BCIJ has also intensified its crackdown recently on drug trafficking networks leading to record seizures and multiple arrests.

Morocco is an active participant in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and is the current co-chair of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF).

BCIJ, often described as the Moroccan FBI, has played an active role in aborting terrorist attacks both at home and abroad.

 

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.

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