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Morocco Busts ISIS-linked Terrorist Cell

Morocco Busts ISIS-linked Terrorist Cell

Thursday, 24 January, 2019 - 11:15

Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) has arrested 13 people, whose ages range between 22 and 44, on suspicion of forming a cell linked to the ISIS terrorist group, the interior ministry announced Wednesday.

During the raids, the authorities seized electronic devices, knives, masks, manuscripts promoting extremist ideology and a document in which the suspects have pledged allegiance to the ISIS leader, the ministry said in a statement.

The suspects were propagating ISIS ideology and plotting terrorist attacks in the country, it said, adding that they have been remanded in custody for further investigation.

The network’s arrest came only two weeks after the authorities broke up a three-member terrorist cell. The suspects ranged in age from 18 to 31.

Since the Casablanca bombings in 2003, Morocco has adopted stringent counter-terrorism measures by breaking up several extremist cells and stopping potential attacks in France, Belgium, Denmark, and other states.

In one of the most recent operations, Moroccan authorities have arrested a total of 22 people in connection with the murders of two Scandinavian tourists in mid-December.

They include four main suspects who belonged to a cell inspired by ISIS ideology, but none of the four had contact with members of the terrorist organization in Syria or Iraq, Morocco's counter-terror chief Abdelhak Khiam told AFP earlier this week.

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