Morocco’s BCIJ Dismantles 4-Member Terror Cell in Tangier

Morocco’s BCIJ Dismantles 4-Member Terror Cell in Tangier

Rabat – Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) dismantled on Monday a four-member terror cell affiliated to ISIS in Tangier.

The BCIJ launched a series of rapid intervention operations to arrest the suspects, who are aged between 23 and 26, in several areas in the Tangier neighborhood of Ouama.

BCIJ fired warning shots at the onset of Monday’s operation, which enabled security services to arrest the main suspect along with three other members of the terror cell.

Searches of the suspects’ houses allowed the BCIJ to seize knives and electronic devices, which will be the subject of the necessary technical expertise.

Preliminary information showed that the members of the terror cell hoped to join ISIS camps in the Sahel but were unable to do so.

Subsequently, the members of the cell were planning to engage in a “dangerous” terror project to undermine Morocco’s security and stability.

Investigations also led the BCIJ to a video documenting the members’ allegiance to the leader of the terror cell.

In the video, the members of the cell also “vowed to comply with his orders and directives that serve the agenda of [ISIS].”

The BCIJ press release said the ISIS affiliates pledged their allegiance and recorded the video in an area located on the outskirts of the Beni Makada neighborhood in Tangier.

The statement said that the operation confirms the continuing terror threats targeting the security of Morocco. What also remains a threat is the “insistence” of terrorists following ISIS ideology to carry out terror operations that seek to “seriously affect the safety of citizens and public order.”

The BCIJ arrested the members of the terror cell as part of its efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism in Morocco and the region.

The operation comes less than a month after the BCIJ launched multiple counter-terrorism operations in several cities to arrest members of a cell who were active in Tangier, Rabat’s Temara and Skhirat provinces, and Tifelet, a city 67 kilometers from the Moroccan capital.

BCIJ considers the leader of the multi-city terror cell dangerous. He showed resistance during the arrest and attacked a BCIJ member with a sharp tool during the operation.

One of the suspects also attempted to blow himself up with a gas cylinder during the arrest.

The head of the BCIJ, Abdelhak El Khiam, said Morocco “avoided a bloodbath” after dismantling the terror cell on September 10.

He said the members of the cell were planning to attack sensitive areas in the North African country.

Morocco’s government continues to vow to reinforce efforts to battle terrorism.

The latest statement to renew the national commitment against terrorism came last week when several Moroccan officials met with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on October 2.

Morocco’s Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in Charge of the Administration of National Defense Abdeletif Loudyi lauded the US-Morocco cooperation against terrorism.

He aso renewed Rabat’s commitment to continue to fighting the scorge of terrorism in the Sahel region.

Top security officials in Morocco consider Sahel a “breeding ground of terror cells.”

Morocco and the US during the Friday meeting signed a military agreement, aiming to reinforce security cooperation between the two countries at all levels.