Morocco is decisive in the arrest in Greece of a Moroccan man suspected of relevant links to Daesh

The operation was carried out thanks to the cooperation offered by the security services of the Kingdom
Members of Morocco's anti-terrorist security service

AFP/FADEL SENNA  -   Members of Morocco's anti-terrorist security service

A 28-year-old Moroccan national allegedly affiliated with the Daesh terrorist group has been arrested by Greek security forces following the valuable collaboration provided by Moroccan security services.

According to the official Moroccan news agency MAP, thanks to information provided by the General Directorate of Studies and Documentation (DGED) and the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST), Greek police units managed to arrest on Tuesday a Moroccan suspected of belonging to Daesh and of playing relevant roles within the jihadist entity, specifically in its key domains in Syria.

According to security sources consulted by MAP, the arrest of the suspect was the result of joint operations and the exchange of information carried out as part of the cooperation between the security and anti-terrorist services of the Alawi kingdom and the security departments of Greece, Italy, England and the United States. 

Un miembro de la guardia de las fuerzas especiales marroquíes se encuentra fuera del edificio de la Oficina Central de Investigación Judicial (BCIJ)
AFP/FADEL SENNA - A member of the Moroccan special forces guard stands outside the building of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ).

According to the database of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), the alleged Daesh member had an international arrest warrant issued by Moroccan judicial authorities for his alleged involvement in the preparation of relevant terrorist acts and subversive operations in Morocco, at the request of a former spokesman of the Daesh terrorist organisation, as reported by MAP.

The suspect, known as Abu Mohammed al-Fateh, allegedly joined Daesh in Syria in 2014, before taking on important missions within the so-called 'special brigade' in the region of Deir ez-Zor and the 'religious police' or 'Hisba' in the governorate of Racca, as reported by the MAP agency through the same security sources. In addition, it was indicated that the detainee himself had appeared in a video showing an action against a Syrian fighter with a weapon of war, in flagrante delicto, mutilating his corpse, and in which he vowed to fight those he called "enemies of religion".

As reported by MAP agency through security sources, the alleged Daesh member arrested managed to escape from the scene of the Syrian civil war in Daesh-controlled areas to reach Greek territory, allegedly by means of false identity documents. He was subsequently arrested in Greece.

Fotografía de archivo, fuerzas especiales marroquíes hacen guardia en la entrada de un edificio durante una operación antiterrorista en Temara, en las afueras de Rabat, Marruecos
REUTERS/YOUSSEF BOUDLAL - File photo, Moroccan special forces stand guard at the entrance of a building during an anti-terrorist operation in Temara, on the outskirts of Rabat, Morocco.

The extradition request by the Moroccan justice system is now pending, which will be handled through the Interpol office in Rabat, which reports to the Directorate General of National Security. 

This operation is a further demonstration of the effective fight against terrorism that is being carried out on the international stage and of the major role that Morocco is playing in this area. In this respect, international cooperation is essential in order to stop terrorist elements taking refuge in any country.

With this latest intervention, Morocco continues to demonstrate its commitment to the fight against terrorism at the national and international level. In fact, the Alawi kingdom recently reported that the North African country has dismantled 84 anti-terrorist cells since 2015 and has managed to bring to justice more than 1,350 people for terrorism cases. This work was boosted by the creation that same year of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ), a high-level security service tasked with combating terrorist threats, drug trafficking and organised crime. 

Habboub Cherkaoui, director de la Oficina Central de Investigaciones Judiciales
REUTERS/AHMED ELJECHTIMI - Habboub Cherkaoui, Director of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations

The director of the BCIJ himself, Habboub Cherkaoui, in an interview last week with the MAP agency, indicated that since its creation "the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations has managed to dismantle 84 terrorist cells, 78 of them linked to the Daesh organisation and six others supporters of the ideology of Al-Istihlal wal Faye, which legitimises illicit activities to finance terrorist acts".

Habboub Cherkaoui presented other relevant data, such as the fact that the BCIJ has brought to justice 1,357 people, 14 women and 34 minors linked to terrorism cases. In addition, 137 individuals returning from combat zones were arrested, including 115 from the Syrian-Iraqi scene, 14 former members of Daesh in Libya, and eight others extradited to Morocco in the framework of coordination between the Kingdom and the United States.