Morocco arrests five would-be jihadists

More than 2,000 Moroccans, including people with dual citizenship, are believed to have signed on with jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.

More than 2,000 Moroccans, including people with dual citizenship, are believed to have signed on with jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.

Morocco arrested five people Saturday in the southern city of Marrakesh on suspicion of seeking to join jihadists in Iraq and Syria and of aiding terrorist activities, the interior ministry said.

Three of those arrested, whose identities were not given, were “preparing to join terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq, in particular the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)” group, a ministry statement said.

The other two were suspected of involvement in terrorist propaganda, with one of them calling for suicide attacks to be carried out in Morocco.

On Thursday, four French Islamists were arrested in Marrakesh and in Laayoune, in Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara, for links to “terrorist organizations.”

And at the end of October, Morocco said it had arrested two jihadists planning to attack banks and multinational companies in the North African country and in France.

It said the men had been motivated by the actions of Mohamed Merah, a French-Algerian killed by French police in March 2012 after murdering seven people, including several children, at a Jewish school.

More than 2,000 Moroccans, including people with dual citizenship, are believed to have signed on with jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.

Worried about the possibility of those people returning and carrying out attacks at home, Morocco put in place reinforced security measures in August to counter the terror threat.

 
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