Moroccan security forces with US backing have foiled an alleged bomb plot by the Islamic State group and arrested a suspected supporter of the banned organization, counter-terror police said Friday.
“This arrest is the culmination of close cooperation between (Moroccan security forces) and US law enforcement,” Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) said in a statement without providing further details on the joint operation.
The suspect arrested was “an extremist belonging to ISIS and originally from the Sala Al-Jadida region north of Rabat,” the statement added.
According to initial investigations, the man is alleged to have pledged allegiance to the group.
He had planned to join a foreign jihadist training camp “before deciding to join the terror attack plan in Morocco using explosive devices,” the statement added.
Police later confiscated electronic devices and materials used to make the bombs.
Moroccan media reported on an extensive national counterterrorism operation on December 8, but official sources did not confirm any such operation.
On October 6, counterterrorism police announced the dismantling of a “terror cell” in Tangiers and the arrest of five suspects accused of plotting the bomb attack.
In September, a cell affiliated with the Islamic State group was dismantled in southern Morocco, and seven people were arrested.
Since 2002, Moroccan police claim to have dismantled 2,000 “terror cells” and arrested about 3,500 people in terror-related cases, according to BCIJ data published in February. [lt/ah]