Rabat - Abdellatif Hammouchi, the Head of Moroccan intelligence and national police, met on Tuesday with three high Spanish security officials visiting Morocco as part of a delegation led by the Spanish Minister of Interior Juan Ignacio Zoido.
Rabat – Abdellatif Hammouchi, the Head of Moroccan intelligence and national police, met on Tuesday with three high Spanish security officials visiting Morocco as part of a delegation led by the Spanish Minister of Interior Juan Ignacio Zoido.
The meeting comes following the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils on August 17, for which a group of young men holding dual Spanish and Moroccan nationalities have been held responsible. The terrorist attacks left 16 dead and more than 100 injured.
Hammouchi was accompanied by Abdelhak El Khiam, the director of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ).
The three Spanish security officials were José Louis, the director of Intelligence Center for Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO), General Pablo Salas, head of the intelligence service of the Guardia Civil (civil guard), and Commissioner-General Enrique Baron, the head of National Police counter-terrorist intelligence.
The two sides discussed security cooperation, which has long been seen as strong. In the aftermath of the attacks in Spain, security experts from the two countries made the trip to Spain and Moroccan and work their respective counterparts to help in the investigations into the attacks.
King Mohammed VI gave instructions to the Moroccan government last Thursday to strengthen security cooperation with Spain.
Tuesday’s meeting goes along with the royal directives, as well as that of the Spanish Minister of Interior with his Moroccan counterpart, Abdelouafi Laftit in the same day.
During their meetings, Zoido and Laftit “agreed on the need to intensify the exchange of information and preventive policies to prevent terrorist attacks such as those in Barcelona and Cambrils,” Spanish press agency EFE reported.
It was Zoido’s third visit to Rabat since he took office. The Spanish Interior Minister thanked the Moroccan side for the “necessary, magnificent and loyal cooperation” both in countering terrorism and illegal emigration.
In the aftermath of Spain attacks, with the suspects being of Moroccan origin, many European media outlets presented Morocco as posing a threat to Europe, citing the return of ISIS fighters with to make the kingdom a base to target the old continent.
Such claims largely disregarded Morocco’s successful record in countering terrorism both locally and in Europe by providing crucial intelligence information to the security services of countries such as France, Belgium, and Spain.
The official Spanish position affirms once again that the kingdom is seen by European countries as a key security partner.