Morocco authorities dismantle terror cell in Taza

FBI-like Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations breaks up alleged terrorist cell composed of suspects, including their leader who is jihadist veteran on Syrian-Iraqi scene.

RABAT - Moroccan authorities dismantled Wednesday a terrorist cell in Taza in the latest anti-terror operation.

The FBI-like Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) broke up the alleged terrorist cell composed of four suspects aged 33 to 38, bustling in Taza.

The cell’s "leader" is a veteran on the Syrian-Iraqi scene, who had served a prison sentence in 2015 under the anti-terrorism law, according to the interior ministry.

He tried to exploit his jihad experience to prepare the execution of terrorist acts against sensitive institutions in Morocco, the ministry said.

One of the suspects helped finance the operation allowing some Moroccan fighters to join this home, it added.

BCIJ has so far dismantled 57 militant cells planning attacks in the country, including twenty in the last two years. 

Hundreds of Moroccans have joined IS in the conflict zones in Middle East. Moroccan authorities said that 242 out of 1,669 Moroccan jihadists, including some with dual nationality, had been arrested.

BCIJ has adopt­ed a pro-active policy to counter terrorism by closely monitoring Moroccan jihadists returning from conflict zones.