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Morocco Worried About Return of ISIS Militants

Morocco Worried About Return of ISIS Militants

Thursday, 7 November, 2019 - 13:15
Spanish police arrest a man suspected of belonging to an Islamist militant cell that simulated decapitations in the Spanish north African enclave of Melilla, September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda

Morocco’s Interior Ministry described the return of terrorist militants from hotbeds of tension in Syria, Iraq and Libya as “worrying” for the country and one of the most important challenges facing the concerned countries.

It stressed that efforts exerted in the Kingdom has enabled it to uncover 13 terrorist cells until late October that were working on recruiting young Moroccans to fight in areas where militant groups are active.

The Ministry issued a report and distributed it to members of its committee and the House of Representatives on the occasion of presenting the sub-budget for 2020.

According to the report, terrorism phenomena affects all the regions in the world and threatens the countries’ security and stability, including Morocco.

Terrorist organizations are calling on the returning militants to infiltrate their “home countries to carry out terrorist operations, the Ministry explained.

This contributes to targeting stability, disrupting the economic movement and encouraging the establishment of sleeper cells to revive the so-called ISIS “caliphate.”

The report noted that the Ministry has “continued to work during this year with the highest levels of vigilance and preparedness, contained in the national plan to combat terrorism, both at the level of the territorial administration and security interests.”

The Moroccan Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) was able to dismantle a number of terrorist networks, including thwarting an ISIS affiliated terrorist group active in Morocco and Spain, the report added.

It said the Kingdom has accumulated a significant experience in the fight against extremism and terrorism, thanks to approaching a proactive and precautionary security policy in the fight against the terrorist threat.

In coordination with the security services in the field of combating terrorism, the Ministry pointed to adopting “a policy that changes according to the terrorist groups’ strategies taken.”

“These groups receive financial resources and continues to use extremist ideologies and violent speeches through social media and modern sites among the fragile population.”

In March, the Moroccan authorities deported a group of eight Moroccan nationals, who were in the conflict zones in Syria.

This step came in line with its contribution to the international efforts related to combating terrorism.

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