Rabat - The nine-member terrorist cell busted by Moroccan authorities last Friday was allegedly planning to carry out similar attacks to those in Paris on November 13.
Rabat – The nine-member terrorist cell busted by Moroccan authorities last Friday was allegedly planning to carry out similar attacks to those in Paris on November 13.
Authorities have learned that the suspects were plotting to bomb several Moroccan cities, but were waiting for the New Year, according to sources cited by Le360 news website.
Moroccan authorities have thwarted a series of attacks reportedly planned for Tangier, Fez, Béni Mellal, Kenitra, and Nador..
The Central Bureau of Judiciary Investigations (BCIJ), a branch of the Moroccan General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST), arrested the nine “dangerous” criminals who were active in several Moroccan cities and villages (Kenitra, Sale, Kasbah Tadla, Douar Ghram Laalam, Ait Ishaq).
Two of the suspects arrested, known only as A.M. and M.L., have brothers who fight for ISIS in Raqqa, Syria, the report noted.
“These [men] were not only aware of the attacks being prepared in Morocco, but were getting ready, with the blessing of Al Baghdadi, to send an ISIS bomb expert from Syria to build the explosive belts in Morocco,” the daily said, citing sources close to the case.
The BCIJ discovered that the gun and revolver confiscated during the arrest of the nine suspects had come from Belgium. The terrorists were allegedly awaiting the arrival of more weapons from Belgium.
The terrorist cell was plotting to carry out suicide bombings in busy locations, such as nightclubs and public areas in Tangier and Fez, for which they required “ruthlessly efficient” explosive belts, authorities said.
In Kenitra, the network targeted currency exchange agencies, as well as security service offices such as police departments to storm in and take their weapons.
They had also planned to sequester prominent individuals in Kasbat Tadla to ask for ransom money to cover the costs of their “Paris-like” terror attacks, the BCIJ revealed.
Although the terrorist cell could have selected Morocco’s major cities to perpetrate their attacks, they chose smaller cities to allegedly escape vigilance from security personnel and the Moroccan intelligence services.
Morocco’s security alert has been elevated to its maximum level since the Paris attacks last month. The dismantling of this terrorist network proves that intelligence services and local authorities are surveilling the entire country.
Moroccan intelligence services helped in the capture of Paris attack terrorists, have located the whereabouts of other criminals, and thwarted more terrorist acts in Morocco, Belgium, France and Spain.