Morocco Arrests Four Jihadist Suspects ‘Planning Attacks’

Morocco on Tuesday arrested four alleged members of a “terrorist cell” linked to the Islamic State group who had plotted to attack “sensitive sites” in the kingdom, the interior ministry said.

The men, aged between 21 and 26, were arrested in the northeastern city of Nador, said a ministry statement.

The suspects, “including the brother of a fighter of Daesh,” the Arabic acronym for IS, had been “in close contact” with members of another cell dismantled in December in a joint operation with Spain, it said.

The four had planned to “carry out terrorist attacks targeting sensitive sites in the kingdom,” the ministry said.

The arrests were carried out by the anti-terrorism body the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations, which had taken the suspects into custody “for further investigation”.

Morocco last suffered a bloody Islamist attack in late 2018 when two Scandinavian tourists were beheaded in the name of IS in the High Atlas mountains.

The perpetrators were sentenced to death, Morocco’s first use of capital punishment since 1993.

Last year, 79 people were arrested in the country on “terrorism” charges, according to an official report.

Moroccan authorities often highlight their anti-terror efforts and their coordination with European partners.

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