Morocco’s anti-terrorism police have arrested a man suspected of being enrolled in the Islamic State Jihadist organisation with a view to carrying out “terrorist acts” in Morocco, in coordination with the US FBI.
The suspect, operating in Berkane (north-east of the country), would be involved “in the preparation of a terrorist project aimed at seriously undermining public order,” the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) said in a statement.
“The outlines of his terrorist project were revealed on the basis of joint research and technical investigations with the FBI,” the US federal police, said in a statement on Friday.
The announcement comes a few days before a meeting of the international anti-Islamic State coalition, co-chaired by Morocco and the United States, due on Wednesday in Marrakech (west).
This operation “attests, once again, to the persistence of the dangers of the terrorist threat that weighs” on Morocco and “also reflects the importance of bilateral, joint and advanced cooperation with the United States in the field of counter-terrorism,” said the BCIJ.
The suspect, a 37-year-old engineer, “managed a closed group on a communication platform with extremist objectives and projects, aimed at enlisting and enlisting” sympathisers, it said.
The objective was to commit attacks against Moroccan and foreign personalities on the national territory, according to the same source.
Although the Cherifian kingdom has been spared violence linked to jihadist groups in recent years, the security services regularly report anti-Is raids and foiled attack projects.
Since 2002, Moroccan police have dismantled more than 2,000 terrorist cells and arrested more than 3,500 people in terrorism-related cases, according to the authorities.