Morocco: ISIS Cell Brought in Arms through Spanish Enclave


Moroccan authorities said on Monday a “terrorist cell” they dismantled had brought in arms through the Spanish enclave of Melilla to carry out attacks for the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group.

The cell was made up of 13 mem­bers aged between 19 and 37, most of them without primary school education, said Abdelhak Khiame, head of Morocco’s newly-formed judicial investigations agency.

He told reporters that 440 rounds of ammunition, six pistols, 31 handcuffs and electronic gear were seized at a cache near Agadir in southern Morocco. The weap­ons had transited through Melilla, one of two Spanish enclaves in the north of Morocco, Khiame said.

Moroccan authorities had been watching the suspects for over five months, he said, but it was not yet clear if they were linked to cells in Europe. Spain says it has disman­tled several networks, particularly in Melilla and its other North Af­rican enclave, Ceuta, recruiting fighters for the Islamic State.

The two enclaves, the only land borders between Africa and Eu­rope, attract thousands of mostly sub-Saharan Africans trying to reach European countries.

The interior ministry said on Sunday the Moroccan cell was dis­mantled in a nationwide operation and that the arms seized were to have been used for a string of as­sassinations.

The announcement followed last Wednesday’s attack on the na­tional museum in the capital of fellow North African state Tuni­sia, claimed by ISIS, that killed 20 foreign tourists and a policeman.

Raids were carried out in sev­eral cities including Agadir, Mar­rakesh in the south, Boujaad in the centre, Tangiers in the north, Ain Harouda near Casablanca and in the Western Sahara.

About the author

Ihesiulo Grace

Leave a Comment