Morocco arrests 10 suspected DAESH terrorists

Morocco says 10 suspected DAESH terrorists including Frenchman have been arrested as they were planning attacks in country

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Central Office of Criminal Investigation (BCIJ) shows ammunition and weapons seized by Moroccan authorities as they carried out raids against a "terrorist cell", in the capital Rabat, on Feb. 19, 2016.

A terrorist cell numbering 10, including a Frenchman, who are suspected of having ties with DAESH terror group were arrested in Morocco as they were planning to carry out attacks in the North African country, authorities said on Friday.

In a statement, Moroccan Interior Ministry announced that the arrests took place in several towns, including Essaouira, Meknes, Sidi Kassem and Al Jadida, but did not reveal the identities of those detained.

Reporters were shown weapons, ammunition, tasers, swords and bomb materials seized from hideouts at the offices of Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), the judicial wing of Morocco’s domestic intelligence service.

Bureau head Abdelhak al Khayyam said "This new cell is too dangerous ... I don't call it a cell but an armed brigade."

Al Khayyam said the group had pledged allegiance to DAESH and set up a hideout near the desert city of Tan Tan in an arid area riddled with caves.

The group was planning to use the 16-year-old as a suicide truck bomber, al Khayyam said, and attack institutions and prominent Moroccans on Friday.

Morocco is on guard against deadly attacks like those claimed by DAESH in Tunisia last year that killed 59 foreign tourists.

Moroccan authorities say 152 "terrorist cells" have been broken up since 2002, including 31 with ties to DAESH in Iraq and Syria.

TRTWorld and agencies