Morocco’s counterterrorism efforts work to maintain safety and security in the region.
Rabat – Moroccan authorities continue to make headway in their efforts to abolish terrorist networks within the country. On Tuesday, July 7, the Central Bureau of Judiciary Investigations (BCIJ) dismantled a terrorist cell in Morocco’s northeastern Nador province.
Under the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST), BCIJ used national intelligence information to identify and locate the terrorist network, which is said to hold extremist ideologies.
According to the preliminary investigation reports, the cell contained four active members of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS). Those arrested were between the ages of 21 and 26 years old. The Ministry of the Interior identified one of the young men in custody as the brother of a combatant confirmed in the ranks of ISIS.
Moroccan authorities state that the members of the dismantled terrorist cell planned to carry out attacks on “sensitive sites” within the country and are currently under further investigation.
In April 2019, a joint security operation between Moroccan security services and their Spanish counterparts dismantled another terrorist cell that held close connections to the four-member group dismantled on July 7, according to Morocco’s state media.
Morocco’s counterterrorism efforts have earned praise from the international community, which has commended the country’s security services their ability to effectively mitigate terrorism. Morocco continues to make cooperative efforts with Spain, France, and the United States to fight terrorism.
In June 2020, the US State Department published its 2019 Country Report on Terrorism for Morocco, commending the country for its role in protecting the region and its commitment to preventing violent extremism.
The report identified most of Morocco’s terrorist threats as stemming from small, independent extremist cells that are affiliated with or inspired by ISIS. In 2019, Morocco’s BCIJ dismantled more than 25 terrorist cells and arrested over 125 individuals for their involvement with ISIS. The document also revealed that Morocco has doubled its counterterrorism efforts since 2018.