Morocco busts ISIS-linked cell plotting suicide attacks

Men suspected of being ISIS extremist fighters arrive at a screening point run by US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. (File photo: AFP)

Morocco on Thursday dismantled an ISIS-affiliated cell that was planning suicide bombings, police said, adding explosive belts had been seized and five men arrested.

The five “extremists,” aged between 29 and 43, were detained in simultaneous operations at sites in Tangiers and the Rabat region, said the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations.

Explosive belts, three kilograms (6.6 pounds) of ammonium nitrate, electronic equipment and bladed weapons were seized in raids on homes and businesses of the suspects, the bureau said.

The cell’s alleged leader “had planned with his accomplices to target sensitive installations and sites with explosive devices and belts to destabilize... the kingdom,” it added.

The group had “carried out reconnaissance missions of targets to be attacked by suicide bombers... in order to serve the destructive agenda of Daesh,” it said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

A police officer was reportedly stabbed and wounded during one of the arrests, according to a local media outlet present during the operation, which reportedly involved a large number of Moroccan special forces.

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Last Update: Thursday, 10 September 2020 KSA 19:09 - GMT 16:09
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