Moroccan security services have foiled this Friday another terror plot with the arrest of a jihadist cell linked to the Islamic extremist group ISIS. The seven-member cell was active in several Moroccan cities including El Jadida, Salé, El Gara, the rural commune of Boulaâouane and the Maatallah village in the province of Taza, Eastern Morocco.
During the police raid operation, several firearms were confiscated including a machine gun, 7 hand guns, a large quantity of ammunition, 4 large-size knives, two telecom apparatuses, military pants, chemical materials and suspicious liquids, says the Moroccan Interior Ministry in a statement.
Two waistcoats with explosive belts were seized, says the Ministry, noting that the captured jihadists were planning to recruit young people and incite them to carry out terrorist acts to undermine the North African Kingdom’s stability.
Moroccan authorities are waging tireless war against Islamist extremists and fanatics. As the international coalition intensified its airstrikes against the terrorists in Iraq and Syria, the extremist group started moving to North Africa and particularly to Libya where the jihadists have enhanced their influence and presence.
Neighboring Tunisia and Egypt have already suffered numerous deadly attacks by militants of the Islamic State.
Morocco has worked out a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that includes vigilant security measures, regional and international cooperation, and counter-radicalization policies.
The North African country has placed counterterrorism at the top of its priorities following the Casablanca terror attacks in 2003 and the subsequent attacks of 2007 and 2011.
Moroccan authorities have dismantled multiple groups with ties to international networks that included ISIS. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and ISIS continue efforts to recruit Moroccans.