Morocco Dismantles IS-Linked Terror Cell in Errachidia, Three Arrested

The Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) under the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) dismantled, on Tuesday morning in close collaboration with the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), an IS-linked terror cell made up of three extremists aged 21, 27 and 37 who were active in the city of Errachidia. This terrorist cell was dismantled following efforts made by security services to neutralize terrorist dangers and threats and prevent extremist organizations from achieving the execution phase of their schemes and projects that undermine the security of the nation and citizens, BCIJ points out in a statement. The simultaneous operations carried out by elements of the DGST Special Force made it possible to arrest the main suspect who is the “alleged emir” of this terrorist cell, as well as two other members of the cell, the source adds. Searches carried out at the homes of the suspects and in the commercial premises of one of them led to the seizure of computer equipment, memory cards, cell phones, paramilitary uniforms, manuscripts praising terrorist operations and posters evoking “khorassan” as a new base for fighting, the statement says. According to initial investigations, the cell’s alleged emir was active in the enlistment and recruitment into the ranks of followers of traditional religious currents, BCIJ underlines, noting that the suspect transformed its commercial premises located near vital and strategic installations into a place of prayer – outlawing the ban on prayer in mosques – as well as into a refuge for the dissemination of extremist ideology and space for planning terrorist crimes against individuals, the source stresses, adding that a person was chosen to be assassinated because of his work in a public utility service. Investigations reveal that the cell’s members shared terrorist digital content such as those documenting suicide bombings and assassinations committed by the Islamic State (IS) in several regions of the world, so as to fuel extremist ideology and incite for commiting these crimes on the national territory, the statement says. The members of this terrorist cell were taken into custody, while investigations are underway by BCIJ under the supervision of the competent public prosecutor’s office, in order to highlight the regional and international ramifications of this cell, as well as all of its destructive plans and projects, and arrest all those involved in the cell’s extremist activities. The dismantling of this cell confirms, once again, the persistence of terrorist threats through the obstinacy of some extremist organizations in committing such crimes with a view to seriously undermining public order. It also reflects the vigilance of the Moroccan security services to prevent these dangers and threats in order to ensure the safety of the Nation and preserve the security of citizens, BCIJ concludes.