Morocco: A Total of 2009 Terrorist Cells Dismantled Since 2002

Local media sources reported that, since 2002, Morocco has succeeded in dismantling a total of 2009 terrorist cells, following the arrest of more than 3,535 people and the thwarting of more than 500 subversive projects.

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Local media sources reported that, since 2002, Morocco has succeeded in dismantling a total of 2009 terrorist cells, following the arrest of more than 3,535 people and the thwarting of more than 500 subversive projects.

Mohamed Nifaoui, Divisional Commissioner of the “Anti-Extremism and Countering Terrorism Unit” at the Central Office for Judicial Investigations (BCIJ), stated that “Morocco has been directly involved since 2003 in confronting terrorist crimes and their repercussions by relying on a proactive policy supported by parallel legal legislation that resulted in dismantling several terrorist cells and thwarting a number of subversive operations.”

In a speech during the first international conference on “Countering Violent Extremism: New Answers to New Challenges” in Rabat, the Commissioner touched on the measures taken by Morocco in this regard, including the development and review of mechanisms for managing religious affairs, and preventing their exploitation by groups and individuals, the implementation of the Supreme Scientific Council’s role under the auspices of King Mohammed VI, unifying the fatwa that has become exclusive to the competence of the scientific councils, in addition to establishing Mohammed VI Institute for training Imams, Mourchidines, and Mourchidates, and Mohammed VI Foundation of African Oulema, as well as strengthening criminal laws in a way that enables the Kingdom to fight terrorism in a straightforward manner.

In a related context, Nifaoui also pointed out that a number of terrorist organizations are taking advantage of the escalation of crises and the fragile security situation in the Sahel and Sahara region to implement their criminal plans, noting that among terrorist organizations that have been involved in the implementation of ISIS’ subversive projects in the region there is an organization known as the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), led by Adnane Abou Walid al-Sahraoui, born in Laayoune, and member of the separatist “Polisario Front”.

In this regard, BCIJ’s representative called for a regional security approach that works to unify efforts to fight these terrorist organizations, especially in light of the random proliferation of weapons in this region and in other vast areas that are not subject to control, and the access of these organizations to large quantities of weapons and ammunition as a result of their collaborations with organized crime activists.

On a finale note, Nifaoui invited countries of the region to assume their security and preventive roles by strengthening border security measures and exchanging available information on fighters and returnees, as well as monitoring them and delivering them to their countries of origin.

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