The suspected leader of an ISIS-linked terror cell that Morocco dismantled last month killed a prison employee earlier this week.
Rabat – King Mohammed VI sent a message of condolences on Thursday to the family of Lahbib Herrass, who died while performing his duties at the local prison in Tiflet, near Morocco’s capital Rabat.
Herrass was an employee at the Tiflet prison. A suspected terrorist and ISIS affiliate murdered him on October 27, trapping him in a room and attacking him with a sharp object. The suspect injured three other officers when they intervened to aid their colleague.
A statement from the Royal Cabinet said King Mohammed VI learned of the tragedy in Tiflet with “deep sorrow and strong indignation,” according to Morocco’s state media.
The King expressed to the family, relatives, and colleagues of Herrass “his deep condolences and his sincere feelings of compassion.”
He condemned the murder of Herrass, an innocent civil servant. His friends and family knew him for his seriousness, sense of responsibility, self-sacrifice, and dedication, which earned him the respect of his colleagues and officials, the statement continued.
King Mohammed VI also took the opportunity to honor “the great sacrifices made by the officials and members of the various services, as well as the security forces to fulfill their professional, national and human duty of preserving the safety and security” of Morocco and its people.
The Moroccan monarch implored God to welcome Herrass as a martyr and grant his loved ones patience and comfort, the statement added.
“Certainly we belong to God and it is to Him that we will return,” the King concluded.
The suspected terrorist who killed the prison employee on Tuesday is the alleged leader of an ISIS-linked terror cell that was active in Tangier as well as the cities of Tiflet, Temara, and Skhirat, near Rabat. Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) dismantled the cell in September.
The same suspect who killed Herrass showed “violent resistance” and injured one BCIJ officer with a sharp object during his arrest. He also has a criminal record, according to the BCIJ.
The terror cell was actively planning terrorist attacks and possessed a set of chemical explosive equipment to make bombs. Morocco “avoided a bloodbath” with the takedown, the Bureau said in September.