Results tagged “Morocco”
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Longtime Moroccan jihadist Brahim Benchekroune, who is now in Syria, has launched Sham al-Islam, an al Qaeda-inspired group that recruits Moroccans to fight in Syria, with the ultimate goal of sending them back to Morocco to establish a jihadist organization there. Over 30 percent of the terrorists released from Moroccan prisons have joined al Qaeda-affiliated jihadists in Syria. The Interior Ministry said some 85 Moroccans have been arrested in recent months for ties to networks that recruit jihadists for Syria and Mali.
Authorities announced the breakup of a terrorist cell with ties to leaders in al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Four suspects, who were active in Fes, Meknes, Taounate, and Tiznit, were arrested. The cell's leader was accused of planning a terrorist attack and inciting sabotage. A crowd of 10,000 Islamists marched in Rabat in support of Egypt's Islamists and Mohammed Morsi.
Members of two terror cells arrested on May 9 said they tried to set up a jihadist camp near Nador for launching attacks on Morocco. The "Attawhid" and "al-Mouahidoun" cells had ties to other extremist groups in Mali, Belgium, and Spain, including the coastal enclave of Melilla. The cells also planned schools, and recruited fighters for jihad against Morocco. Over the past 10 years, Moroccan security services have dismantled some 130 terrorist cells, and prevented 266 attacks on "security facilities, tourism sites, foreign diplomatic missions, synagogues and churches." Between 2005 and 2008, security services dismantled some 15 terrorist cells in Morocco.
A prominent Salafist preacher issued a takfir fatwa against Moroccan human rights activist Ahmed Assid for suggesting that religious school textbooks could lead youth to violence, and called for Assid to be 'silenced.' Morocco's Research and Jurisprudence Studies Society also criticized Assid for the 'provocation.' The Moroccan Coalition of Human Rights Groups urged the government to intervene against the issuance of takfir fatwas, which are subject to Morocco's laws.
Prime Minister Benkirane, an Islamist, said criticism of the Prophet Mohammed is unacceptable. The UN's envoy to the Sahara said that Morocco and the Polisario Front are deadlocked, and that the terrorist threat in the region had not moved the parties to reach a solution.
Morocco canceled its annual military exercises with the US that were scheduled to start today. The government is upset with the US for supporting a UN initiative to begin human rights monitoring in the disputed Western Sahara territory.
Some 30,000 protesters in Rabat on yesterday called for the downfall of the government of Islamist prime minister Abdel Ilah bin Kiran. The protest was organized by two of the largest labor unions and focused on unemployment, the economy, and human rights.
Local sources said Ansar Dine leader Iyad Ag Ghaly, along with the group's spokesman and four senior operatives, has taken refuge in Morocco until the Malian military intervention is over. Ghaly reportedly sought asylum in Mauritania in late January.