Rabat-Moroccan police from the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation have arrested five people suspected of ties with ISIS and of plans to carry out attacks.
The Moroccan Interior Ministry said in a statement released on Friday that the five suspects were arrested in the northern city of Tetouan and were in the process of preparing a military training camp in a local forest.
The suspects were planning to join ISIS camps in Syria, Iraq or Libya with the intention of waging “Jihad” in Morocco in line with instructions coming from the terrorist group’s officials.
The ministry said that several of the suspects had carried out surveillance operations of sensitive sites in the city of Tetouan in order to carry out terrorist attacks.
The detainees will be referred to the judiciary as soon as the investigation that is led by the general prosecution is over, the statement added.
Morocco has dismantled more than 30 suspected terrorist cells this past year, including one cell targeted recently comprised of 10 women, including minors.
In July, Morocco’s Interior Ministry said it had arrested 52 people suspected of being part of a cell linked to ISIS.
A ministry statement said the arrests represented the largest group detained among numerous suspected cells dismantled in recent years.
Since 2002, the Moroccan authorities have dismantled more than 159 terrorist cells.
There are more than 1,579 Moroccan militants fighting in Syria and Iraq – 758 of them have joined ISIS while the rest have become members of other militant groups.
Morocco is ramping up security as it prepares to host U.N. climate talks in Marrakech beginning Monday, where world diplomats and some world leaders will gather for meetings on last year’s Paris Agreement to fight global warming.