Rabat - 1631 Moroccans have joined the ranks of the so-called Islamic State, better known as ISIS, since 2012. They have dispersed to areas such as Iraq, Libya and Syria, according to the Moroccan Minister of Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit.
Rabat – 1631 Moroccans have joined the ranks of the so-called Islamic State, better known as ISIS, since 2012. They have dispersed to areas such as Iraq, Libya and Syria, according to the Moroccan Minister of Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit.
While speaking during the discussion of the Ministry of Interior’s budget in the House of Representatives, Laftit stated that 300 Moroccans are currently fighting for ISIS.
He elaborated that the total number of Moroccans who have joined ISIS has reached 1631, including 284 women and 333 teenagers and noted that that 558 have died. 265 have returned to Morocco, including 52 women and 15 teenagers.
The investigations into the recently dismantled ISIS cells by he Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) have shown that the terrorist group had been targeting young Moroccans for recruitment in its stronghold.
Following the arrest of 10 women, including teenage girls, in October 2016, Abdelhak El Khiyame, head of the BCIJ, accused “Moroccan education” wondering, “Where is the role of parents, school and civil society in such cases?”
“ISIS tries to brainwash teenagers [into thinking about terrorism],” noting the majority of ten suspects women are minors,” he said.
Earlier this month, Morocco dismantled two separate cells. One of them was operating in collaboration with Spain.
In December 2016, El Khiyame announced that his agency had managed to thwart 341 terrorist attacks over the past 14 years. He noted that since 2002, the BCIJ had dismantled 167 cells, including 46 belonging to ISIS. 2,963 suspected terrorists, 277 of whom already had criminal records, had been arrested and referred to the judiciary courts.