The operation was in collaboration with Morocco’s DGST and US Intelligences, the BCIJ announced.
Rabat – Morocco’s Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) dismantled today a four-member terrorist cell in Oujda, in the country’s Oriental region.
The ISIS suspects are aged between 24 and 28 and were active in the city, a statement from the BCIJ said.
The operation is part of Morocco’s efforts to combat ISIS, terrorism, and extremism[that is] seeking to undermine the country’s security, the statement added.
As a result of the raid, Morocco’s security services aborted the cell’s “imminent” plots in collaboration with Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security and the US Intelligence.
The collaboration reflects the importance of international collaboration against terrorist threats and emphasizes the “effectiveness” of such security partnerships against radicalism and extremism, the BCIJ argued.
The statement said BCIJ staff carried out the raid in simultaneous security operations in four different residential neighborhoods in the city of Oujda.
During the operation, the members of the special force affiliated with the DGST had to fire sound bombs to neutralize the danger of the main suspect, and the second suspect who tried to escape across the roofs of neighboring houses.
Searches led BCIJ to the seizure of several items in the main suspect’s house including a large sum of money in European currency, four passports, and knives.
Security services also seized an electronic device, which is under examination by technical experts.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the members of the dismantled cell pledged “loyalty” to the “emir” of ISIS and were planning to join terror cells in the Sahel.
Moroccan security services have long called for a shared responsibility to counter terrorism threats in the Sahel, which is dubbed as a “breeding ground” for terrorists and drug trafficking.
The suspects were also planning to carry out terror acts inside Morocco, targeting public spaces and security headquarters across the country.
The arrested suspects carried out several reconnaissance operations to monitor and identify the targeted facilities.
They were also seeking to gain experience in the manufacturing of explosives and improvised explosive devices, as well as their “coordination with the aforementioned leader in ISIS to provide the necessary logistical resources and support to finance their sabotage projects.”
The suspects remain in the custody of the BCIJ pending further investigation.