Prosecutions of suspected militants double in Morocco
Authorities say about 1,500 Moroccans have travelled to Syria or Iraq to fight for the Islamic State group
Morocco prosecuted twice as many suspected militants in 2014 than in the previous year, the state prosecutor said Thursday, linking the rise to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
"The number of terrorism-related cases last year stood at 147, compared to 64 in 2013," El Hassan Eddaki was quoted as saying by the MAP news agency.
He said the increase of approximately 130 percent was due to "tensions linked to the situations in the Sahel countries, Syria and Iraq."
Eddaki said 323 suspects were sent to trial last year, against 138 in 2013.
Authorities say about 1,500 Moroccans have travelled to Syria or Iraq to fight for the Islamic State group, which has declared a "caliphate" straddling the two countries in areas it controls.
Last year Morocco said it had dismantled dozens of "terrorist cells".
In September, Rabat introduced new legislation to try to stem the flow of volunteers, imposing prison terms of between five and 15 years for those convicted of joining "terrorist groups".