The head of Morocco’s counterterrorism office said that there are nearly 280 Moroccan women and 391 minors in Syrian conflict zones.
Rabat – Head of the Moroccan Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) Abdelhak Khiam said that Morocco will not convict wives of Moroccan ISIS fighters.
Khiam said, on Monday, October 28, that there are nearly 280 Moroccan women, wives of ISIS-linked fighters, in conflict zones across Syria.
He added that the women are mothers to 391 minors who are currently being held hostage in conflict zones in Syria. The BCIJ chief explained that the women did not go to Syria to engage in armed conflict.
“They simply accompanied their husbands.”
He vowed that Morocco’s justice system will not convict them.
Khiam echoed statements he made earlier this year, emphasizing that women who did not intend to leave Morocco to join jihadi movements will not be prosecuted on return to Morocco.
However, the wives of ISIS fighters and their children are subject to special measures in line with Morocco’s reconciliation program for reintegration into society.
Convicts also receive measures in line with the reconciliation program or “moussalaha.”
Speaking to the press, spokesman of the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) Boubker Sabik said that more than 740 Moroccan ISIS fighters have died in combat, including 657 in Syria.
He added that the rest of the fighters were killed in conflict zones in Iraq.
Sabik noted that 1,659 Moroccan fighters were active in the Syrian-Iraqi conflict zones.
“The number of returnees from conflict zones reached 260 people.”
The defendants faced charges after BCIJ investigations.
Terror suspects receive sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years in prison.
The statements from both top security officials come after the BCIJ dismantled a seven-member cell in Ouazzane, northern Morocco, Chefchaouen, and Casablanca on Friday, October 25.
The cell was plotting attacks against sensitive places in Morocco to undermine its security, stability and to spread fear among citizens, the head of the BCIJ said.
Morocco has carried out several other crackdowns against terror cells throughout the year.