Middle East

Moroccan authorities dismantle Daesh ‘cell’: Ministry

Three-member terrorist cell had been planning attacks across kingdom, Interior Ministry says

22.09.2016
Moroccan authorities dismantle Daesh ‘cell’: Ministry

By Mohamed al-Taheri

RABAT

The Moroccan authorities last week dismantled a three-member Daesh "cell" that had been planning to carry out several terrorist attacks, the Interior Ministry said in a statement issued Wednesday evening.

Authorities arrested three individuals, who, the ministry said, had been active in Morocco’s northern cities of Al-Madiq and Tangier.

"They had been on the verge of carrying out terrorist acts on a large scale… and declaring a new Daesh ‘wilaya’ [‘province’]" in Morocco, the ministry stated.

According to the statement, the cell’s targets had included "vital state installations, security offices, tourist sites and foreign nationals from member states of the international U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition".

The plan was ultimately thwarted, however, by domestic intelligence agencies, the ministry said.

It went on to assert that the leader of the cell, whose name was not given, had been planning to go to Syria and Iraq -- where Daesh enjoys a significant presence -- once the operation in Morocco had been carried out.

According to the ministry, 38 "terrorist" cells have been dismantled in the country -- including many linked to Daesh -- since the beginning of 2013.

A 60-nation U.S.-led coalition has been striking Daesh targets since 2014, when the terrorist group overran vast swathes of territory in both countries.

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