Two suspected terrorists arrested in Morocco

Security forces arrest two suspected terrorists in Rabat who were planning preparing for the execution of terrorist acts in Morocco.

RABAT - Morocco’s security forces arrested Sunday in Rabat two people suspected of having links with the Islamic State group.

The latest anti-terror operation in the Moroccan capital came days after the arrest of seven IS-linked members who were operating in Tamaris (a suburb of Casablanca), Ouezzane and Chefchaouen and were going to carry out attacks on sensitive targets at sea.

The Interior Ministry said that the two suspected terrorists who totally adhered to the destructive agenda of IS, were planning and preparing for the execution of terrorist acts in the kingdom.

Last month, the head of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations Abdelhak Khiame warned that the terror threat remained high in Morocco despite the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.

“The ideology of jihad still exists despite Baghdadi’s death,” warned Khiame in a press conference at the BCIJ headquarters in Sale.

“Terrorism does not lie in the IS leader. It’s an ideology.” He said, stressing the difficulty of tracing it on the internet.

Until last year, Morocco had been spared jihadist attacks since 2011, when a bomb attack on a cafe in Marrakesh's famed Jamaa El Fna Square killed 17 people, most of them European tourists.

Two young Scandinavian women were beheaded while on a hiking trip in Morocco's High Atlas mountains last December.

Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and her hiking companion 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland, nature lovers who were training to be guides, were on a Christmas holiday hiking trip when they were killed.

Attacks in the North African country's financial capital Casablanca killed 33 people in 2003.

Those attacks - carried out by 12 suicide operatives who came from one of Casablanca's main shanty towns - greatly affected public opinion.

Morocco has since improved its security and legal framework, alongside boosting supervision of religious affairs and anti-terror cooperation with other states.