Rabat - Moroccan authorities arrested over the weekend a man suspected of being related to some of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks last November.
Rabat – Moroccan authorities arrested over the weekend a man suspected of being related to some of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks last November.
According to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), Morocco’s central office of judicial investigations (BCIJ), an arm of the General directorate of national territory, arrested last Friday in Mohammedia, a Belgian national of Moroccan origin “directly related” to some of the terrorists who carried out the Paris attacks, which caused the death of 130 people.
The current investigation “revealed that the defendant traveled to Syria from Belgium along with one of the suicide bombers of Saint Denis (Paris) to reach, at first, the ”Al-Nosra Front” before rallying thereafter, the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS),” according to a statement released by the Moroccan Ministry of Interior.
Once he joined its ranks, he received military training on the handling of various types of weapons and guerilla techniques, before being posted on one of the fronts of the conflict, according to the same source.
During his stay in Syria, the suspect had established close ties with ISIS leaders, as well as with the mastermind of the Paris attacks, who had threatened to launch terrorist attacks against France and Belgium, the statement said.
According to the same source, the suspect had subsequently left the conflict zone to visit Turkey before heading to Germany and then Belgium and finally join the Kingdom from the Netherlands, said the source.
No details were provided about the identity of the suspect, who was identified in the statement by his initials in Arabic, which could be translated as either J.A or G.A.
Following the Paris attacks, Morocco’s role in the fight against terrorism made headlines worldwide, as Moroccan intelligence services informed their French counterpart of the whereabouts of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, suspected mastermind of last Friday’s carnage.
A week after the Paris attacks, French President, Francois Hollande, received King Mohammed VI in Paris and expressed his gratitude for the “effective assistance” provided by Morocco to French intelligence services.