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Morocco battles Islamic State cells

After attacks in neighboring Tunisia, Morocco is doing all it can to crack down on Islamic State sympathizers.
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RABAT, Morocco — Hardly a week goes by without Moroccan security services announcing the arrest of members allegedly linked to the terrorist Islamic State (IS) organization. Since the official announcement of the establishment of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) on March 20, the dismantlement of a number of jihadist cells that are ideologically linked to IS was also announced. This means that the Moroccan authorities have become certain that the terrorist threat has reached their territory, particularly following the Bardo Museum attack in neighboring Tunisia on March 18.

On March 22, it was disclosed that the most dangerous among those cells — whose plans were thwarted — was dismantled. Moroccan security services said that their investigation confirmed that the arrested 13-member group — which is active in nine Moroccan cities — was planning to assassinate civil, political and military figures, had pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and had called itself “IS Wilaya in the Far Maghreb — the grandsons of Yusuf ibn Tashfin [a commander who helped found Marrakech nearly 1,000 years ago].”

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