Rabat – Spain’s police announced on Friday the dismantling of a terror cell in collaboration with Morocco’s security services.
Morocco’s state media said Spanish police arrested two suspects in the Spanish enclave of Melilla and in Mogan, a town in the southwestern part of the Island of Gran Canaria.
The suspects have alleged ties with a terror organization.
MAP quoted Spain’s police, who touted collaboration with Morocco’s General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance to dismantle the terror cell.
“This operation was carried out thanks to the collaboration of the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) of the Kingdom of Morocco and Europol,” the Spanish national police said.
The statement added that the operation came “within the framework of the commitment of the Spanish police in the fight against the global threat posed by jihadist terrorism.”
The Spanish police said an investigation into the case began when experts in counterterrorism detected the presence of a terror structure with ramifications abroad.
According to Spain, the cell was “ideologically linked to the terrorist organization of al Qaeda, whose ultimate goal is to impose an Islamic caliphate through jihad.”
Investigations led police to identify the two individuals suspected of involvement with the terror organization.
Spanish police also reported that the terror organization was taking advantage of “vulnerability indicators” among some women, targeting people who are “easily manipulated and influenced.”
Police carried out searches at the arrestees’ houses, where investigators seized numerous pieces of electronic equipment, telephones, and documents.
The seized items are subject to technical expertise.
This is not the first time Morocco’s security services have assisted Spain’s police in dismantling terror cells or apprehending terrorists.
On May 8, Spanish police arrested a Moroccan man in Barcelona for his alleged ties with ISIS.
The arrest was in collaboration with Morocco’s DGST and the US’ FBI.
Morocco’s government maintains a leadership role in the counter-terrorism field. The North African country also collaborates with international partners in the fight against terrorism, including Spain, the US, and France, among others.
In addition to DGST, all of the other security units in Morocco collaborate in counter-terrorism efforts.
The country introduced in 2015 the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), which reinforced Morocco’s system to address the scourge of terror threats.
Morocco’s BCIJ has arrested hundreds of ISIS members and dismantled a score of terror cells over the years, both domestically and in cooperation with other countries such as Spain.
Several countries consider Morocco’s approach against terrorism a solid and exemplary model.
The latest US Department of State’s annual anti-terror report described Morocco’s approach as effective in its capacity to mitigate the threat of terrorism in the region and beyond.