Allfe­male IS cell ar­rested

The Myanmar Times - - World -

MOROC­CAN po­lice have ar­rested 10 women who had al­legedly pledged al­le­giance to the Is­lamic State ji­hadist group and planned to carry out sui­cide bomb­ings across the coun­try.

The all-fe­male cell had “tried to ob­tain the chem­i­cals used to make ex­plo­sive belts” and were plan­ning to at­tack “vi­tal in­stal­la­tions”, the in­te­rior min­istry said.

The women had built “close re­la­tion­ships with sev­eral Moroc­can ter­ror­ists also af­fil­i­ated with Daesh [and] based on the Syr­ian-Iraqi bor­der,” it said, us­ing an Ara­bic acro­nym for IS.

The cell was re­cruit­ing and train­ing women in sev­eral parts of the coun­try in­clud­ing the tourist hotspot of Tang­iers and towns close to the cap­i­tal Rabat.

Rabat says more than 150 “ter­ror­ist cells” have been un­cov­ered since 2002, in­clud­ing dozens in the past three years with ties to ji­hadists in Iraq and Syria.

A study by the US-based So­ufan Group said last De­cem­ber that at least 1200 Moroc­cans had trav­elled abroad to fight along­side IS in the pre­vi­ous 18 months.

How­ever, the king­dom, which es­pouses a moder­ate ver­sion of Is­lam, has largely been spared re­peated ji­hadist vi­o­lence that has in re­cent years swept other parts of the re­gion.

But a 2003 at­tack in the eco­nomic cap­i­tal Casablanca left 45 dead, while a 2011 at­tack at a tourist site in Mar­rakesh killed 17 peo­ple. –

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