Last updated: 1 November, 2012

Morocco arrests nine-member “terrorist cell”

Morocco on Thursday announced the arrest of a nine-member “terrorist cell” that authorities said planned to set up a training camp in the rugged Rif mountainous region from which to launch attacks.

Five of the nine were remanded in custody, while the other four were being detained “for further investigation by the national brigade of the judicial police under the supervision of the prosecutor general,” the interior ministry said in a statement published by the MAP news agency.

The ministry said investigations have revealed “a plan hatched by members of the terrorist cell to install a training camp in the Rif mountains in order to carry out terrorist acts against public authorities.”

The cell members intended “to make explosives” and take over “commercial premises in Sale to finance their criminal plans.”

The group also “set up a fake security checkpoint near the town of Ouazzane” and also tried to sell “obtain goods belonging to a smuggler active in the area,” the ministry said.

It said the cell members were caught following the arrests on October 17 of two people near Rabat who according to the Moroccan authorities were militant Salafists.

Those arrests arrest had resulted in seizure of several items, including black flags symbolising Al-Qaeda.