Morocco has dismantled 40 terrorist cells and arrested 548 people since 2015, Head of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (French acronym BCIJ), Abdelhak Khiame, said.
Twenty-one cells were dismantled in 2015 and 19 in 2016, including 4 cells linked to the terrorist cell “Al Faye Wa Al Istihlal”, thanks to the proactive policy adopted by Morocco , Khiame said in an exclusive interview with MAP.
He pointed out that 36 of these cells are linked to the “Islamic State” terrorist organization, noting that, as part of the Kingdom’s proactive strategy to fight this destructive plague, 548 people (275 in 2015 and 273 in 2016) have been arrested and brought to justice.
“Between 2015 and 2016, BCIJ has arrested 71 individuals who returned to Morocco from IS conflict zones. Among the 47 people arrested in 2016, 39 came from the Syrian-Iraq conflict zone and 8 others from Libya”, he added.
Related to the individuals attempting to join IS, 3 people have been arrested: 2 attempted to travel to Libya and one to the Syrian-Iraqi area, Khiame said. They all have been brought to justice.
BCIJ, which handled five cases related to weapon holding, presented 22 former prisoners, 14 women and 20 minors, to justice and repatriated 27 people, Khiame said.
Regarding counterterrorism efforts at the national level since 2002, he recalled that 167 cells have been dismantled, 46 of which were closely linked to groups active in IS conflict zones.
Pointing out that 341 terrorist attempts have been foiled by Moroccan security services, Khiame reported that out of the 2,963 individuals arrested and brought to justice, 277 had heavy criminal records.