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Morocco Takes Down ISIS Terror Ring | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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ISIS fighters pictured on a militant website. AP

Rabat-The Moroccan Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) belonging to the national intelligence agency on Thursday announced dismantling an ISIS sleeper terrorist cell in each of the cities of Tétouan, Martil and Casablanca. The ring comprised six members.

Primary details confirm that the members are closely affiliated with ISIS off-shoot terrorists who are seeking a new foothold in Morocco, falling into the ISIS larger expansionist strategy implemented across Syria and Iraq.

According to a press release issued Thursday by the Moroccan Interior ministry, the captured ISIS members were planning to recruit local fighters who were to be sent to terror training camps before coming back to carry out attacks against soft targets and strategic sites in Morocco.

The schemed plan was to send members of this cell to one of ISIS’ camps to undergo military trainings and return to Morocco in order to commit specific terrorist operations, said the statement.

Last April, the BCIJ announced the arrest of three ISIS operatives who were planning to launch terrorist attacks and set up a terrorist local branch in Morocco.

Moroccan authorities are saving no efforts in their war against ISIS extremists. They have disrupted over 160 terror cells since 2002, and nearly forty over the past three years alone.

As the international coalition intensifies airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the extremist group started moving to North Africa and particularly to Libya where ISIS terrorists have bolstered their influence and presence.

Thursday’s suspects will be brought to justice after the completion of investigations led under the supervision of public prosecution.

On the other hand, Moroccan official Mohammed Saleh al-Tamek, speaking at the graduation ceremony of the first group of the « fourth layer prison guard » comprising 199 guards, revealed the difficulties facing the prison sector given the lack of employees with the increase in numbers of newfound prisons in the country.