Morocco: ISIS Sleeper Cell Planning Attack on Casablanca Dismantled

North Africa

The authorities in Morocco detected and infiltrated an ISIS sleeper cell that was planning an attack on the city of Casablanca.

The terrorist threat in Morocco has existed for a number of years and ISIS has managed to establish branches of its franchise in the country. An ISIS sleeper cell detected in the economic hub of Morocco, Casablanca, was dismantled thanks to an operation carried out by the Central Bureau of Judicial Research.

“They have reached an advanced level to carry out dangerous terrorist attacks that would have affected the economy of the Kingdom of Morocco”, noted Abdulhaq Khayyam the head of the Central Bureau of Judicial Research.

Seven individuals affiliated with ISIS were caught as part of the operation. It is said that they were planning to carry out a terrorist attack that would have had a severe impact on the economy of Morocco. Moroccan intelligence has uncovered parts of the plan.

“They were going to target projects in Casablanca and then escape to their safe house. Also, they were planning to set up a mountain camp in the area of Brisha”, again commented Khayyam.

Information gathered through intelligence also revealed that a Syrian national was sent to take part in the planning and implementation of the terrorist attack, marking the trans-national links that facilitating a reinforcement of terrorist networks.

Anti-ISIS security operations in Morocco have been taking place on a frequent basis as the government has sought to crack down on terrorist organisations active in the country. In June of this year, security operations culminated in the arrest of 4 ISIS militants who were planning to attack tourists in the historic heart of Marrakech. The arrests took place in a village in the area of Orica (also Ourika), which is located 30km from Marrakech, a popular destination for tourists around the world.

Efforts are being spent in Morocco to tackle the issue of extremism through governmental measures, including the Institute of Mohammed VI for the Training of Imams in Rabat, which aims to teach aspiring imams how to combat extremism, both in Morocco and internationally.