Rabat – Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), dismantled a terrorist cell on Wednesday, December 4, in the province of Nador in northeast Morocco. As part of the operation, BCIJ agents arrested three suspects aged between 24 and 39 years old.
According to the BCIJ statement, the operation, part of the joint security cooperation between the Moroccan and Spanish security services, police arrested the three terrorists in the remote areas of Farkhana and Bani Nassar in Nador province.
One of the suspects is the brother of a fighter known to be operating the Syria-Iraq arena. The dismantling of the cell came in parallel with the arrest of the cell’s leader on the outskirts of the Spanish capital, Madrid.
The statement added that preliminary investigations confirmed that the cell’s members were engaged in campaigns promoting and praising ISIS’ extremist ideology as well as threatening retaliation attacks after the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
According to the BCIJ, the terrorists had been holding meetings to track the current situation in the Syria-Iraq arena, as well as planning to carry out terrorist operations in response to the repeated calls of ISIS leaders to target certain countries.
The operation resulted in the seizure of electronic equipment, mobile phones, masks, books, and manuscripts full of extremist ideology.
The joint security operation comes amid the escalating terrorist threats in Morocco and Spain, added the statement.
The statement pointed out that ISIS followers are strengthening their activities outside the hotbeds of tension by launching incitement campaigns directed to ISIS followers in various countries.
The statement concluded that the suspects will be brought to justice immediately after the completion of the investigation process.
Morocco and Spain are strong allies in combatting terrorism. The two countries share intelligence on cross-border terrorist activities.
In September 2018, then Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said that Morocco-Spain cooperation “is an example to follow for other countries,” as the globe struggles to confront terrorist movements at home and abroad.
In addition to Spain, Morocco also cooperates with the US and France on counterterrorism.