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Morocco averts an imminent attack by dismantling a terrorist cell in Tangier

The operation was made possible by the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations following precise information provided by the Directorate General of Territorial Surveillance
Members of Morocco's anti-terrorist security service

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

The Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) was able to foil an imminent terrorist attack early this morning by dismantling an extremist terrorist cell based in Tangiers. 

The BCIJ was able to carry out this operation thanks to information provided by the Directorate General of Territorial Surveillance (DGST), which concerned a radical commando made up of five people aged between 22 and 28 who had sworn allegiance to the jihadist entity Daesh.

According to an official note from the BCIJ, disseminated by the official Moroccan news agency MAP, it was possible to arrest this group, linked to the radical "takfiri" ideology. The dismantling of this terrorist cell is part of the DGST's tireless work to prevent attacks by dangerous entities that threaten the Alawite kingdom.

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).

The members of the group had a terrorist project "with transnational extensions", as the official BCIJ note indicated. After the arrest, the suspects were placed under the supervision of the prosecutor's office in charge of terrorism cases, in order to investigate the local and international connections of this cell. 

The operation carried out by the special forces of the anti-terrorist division led to the arrest of this group and its leader, who put up violent resistance, leading to the sounding of warning bombs and the forceful intervention of the security forces. 

Searches and technical inspection revealed the existence of a bottle and flasks of various volumes containing nitric acid and suspicious chemical liquids, as well as nails and electrical wires and six gas cylinders allegedly used in the manufacture of homemade explosives, as noted in the statement.

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

During the operation at the home of the leader of this terrorist cell, the security forces protected the safety of the members of the accused's family and neighbours in the area by protecting those present from a possible explosion. 

The terrorist cell was also involved in recruiting potential new members and establishing international contacts with other groups. The leader of the terrorist cell may have contacted senior Da'esh leaders in the Sahel and sub-Saharan regions in order to secure financial income and arms supplies.

The police operation resulted in the seizure of a large 'banner' with the Daesh emblem and paramilitary uniforms, as well as various weapons and computer equipment, as well as prints and portraits of the leader of the Daesh jihadist group in the Sahel-Saharan region, Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, who was killed last August in a French aerial bombardment.