Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jenn!

Morocco breaks up militant cell, seizes weapons

14 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

By Zakia Abdennebi

RABAT (Reuters) - Morocco said it had arrested a cell of militants, including a member of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who were planning to launch attacks on security services and stage bank robberies with a large cache of weapons.

Quoting an interior ministry statement, official media reported on Wednesday that Moroccan security forces had broken up a 27-member cell and seized arms that were discovered in Amghala, an oasis in the disputed Western Sahara.

"Moroccan security services have succeeded in dismantling a terrorist cell of 27 members, among whom is a member of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb who was tasked by this organisation to set up a rear base in Morocco where it would plan terrorist acts," the statement said.

"Members of the cell, supervised by a Moroccan citizen who is in the Al Qaeda camps in northern Mali, have been planning terrorist acts using explosive belts and car bombs that mainly target security services and to rob banks to fund their terrorist projects," it added.

It did not say when or where the arrests occured.

The statement said the cell members also planned to send recruits to AQIM camps in Algeria and Mali to undergo paramilitary training before returning to Morocco to execute their "destructive plans".

Moroccan Interior Minister Taib Cherkaoui in remarks carried by the official MAP news agency said members of the cell had also targeted foreign interests and had links with "extremist elements" based in Europe.

The seized weapons included 30 Kalashnikov assault rifles, two rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and ammunition, he said.

Violence linked to militancy is rare in Morocco, a staunch Western ally with a reputation for stability that has helped to entice millions of tourists to the country.

The last big attack was a series of suicide bombings in the economic capital, Casablanca, in 2003 that killed 45 people. Since then security services say they have rounded up more than 60 radical cells.

Mohamed Darif, an expert on Islamic militancy in Morocco, said the latest arrest was the first to suggest the existence of links between AQIM and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front which seeks independence in the Western Sahara.

"It is only a matter of time before Moroccan authorities officially announce the existence of links between this cell and the Polisario Front. This would give credence to the Moroccan thesis on the existence of links between AQIM and the Polisario," Darif said.

Minister delegate of Polisario's self-styled Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Mohamed Beisset distanced his group from the arrests. "Polisario has always condemned terrorism," he said.

"(Polisario) is a partner of Algeria and Mauritania in fighting terrorism in the region. We have offered to do the same with Morocco but they said no," he told Reuters.

The Polisario has been battling for independence for the Western Sahara for 35 years. Algiers could not immediately be reached for a comment.

Since the rise of AQIM over the last few years, the Moroccan government has said that giving territory to the Polisario in the Western Sahara could make it a haven for Islamist militancy.

Algeria, Polisario's main supporter, is itself battling AQIM militants, some of whom are the inheritors of a movement which led to a bloody civil war from 1991 to 2002.

The Moroccan announcement follows a hearing on Monday by an investigating judge in the territory's main city of Laayoune for eight people accused of involvement in violent clashes with security forces that have led to the death of 10 members of the Moroccan forces and two civilians, according to Rabat.

Polisario says the death toll among civilians was higher.

link

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:ranting: Why did you post this rubbish thread, Jenn? It's dropping like a rock because everyone knows that Muslims support terrorism, hate the west, help no one, and cheer those among them who demean and harm non-Muslims whenever possible. Nobody believes this sh!t. Next thing you'll be trying to convince us of is that there are churches and synagogues in MENA countries. I'm warning you, don't even go there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:ranting: Why did you post this rubbish thread, Jenn? It's dropping like a rock because everyone knows that Muslims support terrorism, hate the west, help no one, and cheer those among them who demean and harm non-Muslims whenever possible. Nobody believes this sh!t. Next thing you'll be trying to convince us of is that there are churches and synagogues in MENA countries. I'm warning you, don't even go there!

#######?? :blink:

I thought the OP article was an interesting read, yet you came on a little over 20 minutes after it was posted and slammed it seven ways to Sunday. What gives?


Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

2011-11-15.garfield.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By Zakia Abdennebi

RABAT (Reuters) - Morocco said it had arrested a cell of militants, including a member of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who were planning to launch attacks on security services and stage bank robberies with a large cache of weapons.

Quoting an interior ministry statement, official media reported on Wednesday that Moroccan security forces had broken up a 27-member cell and seized arms that were discovered in Amghala, an oasis in the disputed Western Sahara.

"Moroccan security services have succeeded in dismantling a terrorist cell of 27 members, among whom is a member of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb who was tasked by this organisation to set up a rear base in Morocco where it would plan terrorist acts," the statement said.

"Members of the cell, supervised by a Moroccan citizen who is in the Al Qaeda camps in northern Mali, have been planning terrorist acts using explosive belts and car bombs that mainly target security services and to rob banks to fund their terrorist projects," it added.

It did not say when or where the arrests occured.

The statement said the cell members also planned to send recruits to AQIM camps in Algeria and Mali to undergo paramilitary training before returning to Morocco to execute their "destructive plans".

Moroccan Interior Minister Taib Cherkaoui in remarks carried by the official MAP news agency said members of the cell had also targeted foreign interests and had links with "extremist elements" based in Europe.

The seized weapons included 30 Kalashnikov assault rifles, two rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and ammunition, he said.

Violence linked to militancy is rare in Morocco, a staunch Western ally with a reputation for stability that has helped to entice millions of tourists to the country.

The last big attack was a series of suicide bombings in the economic capital, Casablanca, in 2003 that killed 45 people. Since then security services say they have rounded up more than 60 radical cells.

Mohamed Darif, an expert on Islamic militancy in Morocco, said the latest arrest was the first to suggest the existence of links between AQIM and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front which seeks independence in the Western Sahara.

"It is only a matter of time before Moroccan authorities officially announce the existence of links between this cell and the Polisario Front. This would give credence to the Moroccan thesis on the existence of links between AQIM and the Polisario," Darif said.

Minister delegate of Polisario's self-styled Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Mohamed Beisset distanced his group from the arrests. "Polisario has always condemned terrorism," he said.

"(Polisario) is a partner of Algeria and Mauritania in fighting terrorism in the region. We have offered to do the same with Morocco but they said no," he told Reuters.

The Polisario has been battling for independence for the Western Sahara for 35 years. Algiers could not immediately be reached for a comment.

Since the rise of AQIM over the last few years, the Moroccan government has said that giving territory to the Polisario in the Western Sahara could make it a haven for Islamist militancy.

Algeria, Polisario's main supporter, is itself battling AQIM militants, some of whom are the inheritors of a movement which led to a bloody civil war from 1991 to 2002.

The Moroccan announcement follows a hearing on Monday by an investigating judge in the territory's main city of Laayoune for eight people accused of involvement in violent clashes with security forces that have led to the death of 10 members of the Moroccan forces and two civilians, according to Rabat.

Polisario says the death toll among civilians was higher.

link

Liked the article. Never hear much about Morocco.kicking.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:ranting: Why did you post this rubbish thread, Jenn? It's dropping like a rock because everyone knows that Muslims support terrorism, hate the west, help no one, and cheer those among them who demean and harm non-Muslims whenever possible. Nobody believes this sh!t. Next thing you'll be trying to convince us of is that there are churches and synagogues in MENA countries. I'm warning you, don't even go there!

Actually do you think Middle Eastern and Persian media is beginning to enter Western Society? I was reading something random about ipads today (probably about how rubbish they are) and realized I was reading the Tehran Times. I realize now I've read quite a few articles from there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:ranting: Why did you post this rubbish thread, Jenn? It's dropping like a rock because everyone knows that Muslims support terrorism, hate the west, help no one, and cheer those among them who demean and harm non-Muslims whenever possible. Nobody believes this sh!t. Next thing you'll be trying to convince us of is that there are churches and synagogues in MENA countries. I'm warning you, don't even go there!

Gooooo Morocco!!!!!

Edited by John Galt

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



barack-cowboy-hat.jpg
90f.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting article. Go Morocco indeed!


B and J K-1 story

  • April 2004 met online
  • July 16, 2006 Met in person on her birthday in United Arab Emirates
  • August 4, 2006 sent certified mail I-129F packet Neb SC
  • August 9, 2006 NOA1
  • August 21, 2006 received NOA1 in mail
  • October 4, 5, 7, 13 & 17 2006 Touches! 50 day address change... Yes Judith is beautiful, quit staring at her passport photo and approve us!!! Shaming works! LOL
  • October 13, 2006 NOA2! November 2, 2006 NOA2? Huh? NVC already processed and sent us on to Abu Dhabi Consulate!
  • February 12, 2007 Abu Dhabi Interview SUCCESS!!! February 14 Visa in hand!
  • March 6, 2007 she is here!
  • MARCH 14, 2007 WE ARE MARRIED!!!
  • May 5, 2007 Sent AOS/EAD packet
  • May 11, 2007 NOA1 AOS/EAD
  • June 7, 2007 Biometrics appointment
  • June 8, 2007 first post biometrics touch, June 11, next touch...
  • August 1, 2007 AOS Interview! APPROVED!! EAD APPROVED TOO...
  • August 6, 2007 EAD card and Welcome Letter received!
  • August 13, 2007 GREEN CARD received!!! 375 days since mailing the I-129F!

    Remove Conditions:

  • May 1, 2009 first day to file
  • May 9, 2009 mailed I-751 to USCIS CS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was an interesting profile on Morocco in my favorite news magazine a few years back:

The Quiet Revolution

Morocco's King Aims To Build a Modern Islamic Democracy

By Helene Zuber

Moroccan King Mohammed VI is using a tolerant interpretation of the Koran in an attempt to modernize his country. Will it become a model state for a democratic version of Islam?

In the late afternoon, Moroccans push their way into the narrow foyer at the Casa Port train station. When the express train to Rabat arrives, the gates are finally opened and the crowd surges forward to the railcars.

The two first class compartments fill up especially quickly at this hour. Many commuters work in the glass and steel high-rises of modern business center Casablanca and live an hour away by train in the quieter capital city Rabat, or in one of the rapidly growing communities along the route. Just before the whistle blows and the express train begins moving again, a tall man in his early thirties settles into one of the plush red seats. Judging by his expensive suit and tie, he probably works in the city. He pulls an inconspicuous black case from his briefcase, unzips it and, murmuring to himself, quickly becomes engrossed in his pocket Koran.

A girl wearing jeans, makeup and headphones over her uncovered hair sits across from the man in the suit. But instead of rock or rap, she's listening to delicate oriental tunes and melodious recitations of the holy scriptures.

Religion is making a comeback in Morocco, and more and more young, well-educated Moroccans are devouring the Koran. The new piety, no longer limited to the mosque or prayers at home, is evident in full public view. More and more women are wearing headscarves, even in Casablanca's western fashion enclaves and Rabat's gleaming shopping centers. The designers of expensive caftans -- creations of brocade and silk, embellished with gold thread -- are now selling their products as luxury couture for the next party, and their clientele is no longer limited to wealthy tourists.

A New Take on an Old Religion

Morocco's 42-year-old King Mohammed VI has discovered religion as a means of modernizing his society -- and progress through piety seems to be the order of the day. By granting new rights to women and strengthening civil liberties, the ruler of this country of 30 million on Africa's northern edge, which is 99 percent Muslim, plans to democratize Morocco through a tolerant interpretation of the Koran.

Morocco's 350-year-old dynasty, the world's oldest next to the Japanese imperial dynasty, claims to be directly descended from the prophet Mohammed. And as "Amir al-Muminin," or leader of the faithful, the country's ruler enjoys absolute authority.

The Conseil Supérieur des Oulémas, or council of religious scholars, which the king installed a year and a half ago, has been issuing fatwas on the most pressing questions of the 21st century -- and, surprisingly, they've been well-received by both young people and hardened Islamists. If the king's reform plan succeeds, Morocco could become a model of democratic Islam.

Five decades after his country declared its independence from its French and Spanish colonial rulers and six years after the death of his father, Hassan II, Mohammed VI is trying to achieve a delicate balance between thousands of years of Islamic tradition and the demands of a globalized world.

Eight weeks ago Mohammed VI, as Morocco's "citizen king" and "first servant," addressed his "dear people" during festivities to celebrate the anniversary of his grandfather's return from exile. "The path we have irrevocably chosen," said Mohammed, "is to strengthen civil rights for the benefit of all Moroccans - whom I view as equals, regardless of their status." The foreign dignitaries in attendance, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, praised the course that the government of Prime Minister Driss Jetou has taken under the king's leadership.

Feminism Islam-style

Soumia Benkhaldoun, 42, is also enthusiastic about her king. An engineer with a doctorate in computer systems, Benkhaldoun is one of the six women representing the Islamist "Justice and Development Party" at the country's opulent parliament building in Rabat. Although her party's true objective is to preserve a devout and god-fearing lifestyle in Morocco, the Islamists are also very pleased with the reforms of family law that began in the fall of 2003.

The public debate in Morocco currently revolves around ways to reconcile the demands of feminists with the Islamists' concept of family. Should women be permitted to go to the beach in a bikini? Should they be able to hold high-ranking public office? Do illegitimate children receive the mother's citizenship? The answers to these and other questions, in Morocco and in other Arab countries, will likely reveal whether the Islamic world is even capable of reform.

"The king has taken our concerns into account," says Professor Benkhaldoun, and a proud smile darts across her girlish face under her white headscarf. Indeed, Mohammed VI has managed to incorporate Morocco's only Islamist party into his reform agenda. The progressive king and the pious member of parliament from Kenitra, a woman so devout that she even fasts once a week when it isn't Ramadan, both base their reasoning on the same source: Sharia, or Islamic law.

The Islamist party has also taken up the cause of this form of family law derived from the scriptures of Islam. Whether it's the issue of polygamy (which, though not prohibited, has become the exception), arranged marriage (which is no longer mandatory, but still possible), or divorce based on the principle of fault (now women are also eligible to file for divorce) -- the devout parliamentarian believes that the core issue is "the stability of the family." Only well-established family structures, says Benkhaldoun, can protect a society facing high unemployment and widespread poverty from collapse.

"Morocco's future lies in the hands of women"

Despite the popularity of the new family law, the monarch had to step in himself after the parliament failed to ratify the new legislation. Mohammed told the members of both houses of parliament, to whom -- in another unprecedented move -- he presented the law for ratification. The new version of the "Mudawwana" was then unanimously approved. The law is an historic compromise, one that is compatible with both the International Bill of Human Rights and Sharia.

Now all Moroccan women, even those who are illiterate, know that they are protected by law, says civil rights professor Fatna Sarehane, who is working on a study about the implementation of the new law. Although many jurisdictions still lack family courts, says the Casablanca attorney, the new legislation is an enormous step forward. For the first time in the country's history, discrimination against women is as punishable an offence as sexual harassment. Even if the Islamists come into power one day, says Sarehane, it's a step that can "no longer be reversed."

Women are particularly strong in Islamist grassroots organizations and the Justice and Development Party. Academic Benkhaldoun, who always wears a strictly conservative, floor-length robe when not at home, has fought for women's rights in the Islamic world for the past 20 years. In her lectures, she attempts to prove that, according to the Koran, women are entitled to participate in government. Political involvement seems to run in the family: Benkhaldoun's mother, as a member of the Istiklal Party, fought for Moroccan independence.

Until recently, Benkhaldoun headed the parliament's Defense and Foreign Policy Committee. She takes her job seriously, preparing conscientiously for debates. She often doesn't come home to her husband and children until after evening prayers, for which parliamentary sessions are interrupted.

The king's newest initiative, which calls for allowing women to be trained as imams in the future, has also met with the Islamists' approval.

Traditionally women are not permitted to speak out during prayer, so as not to "provoke" the men, explains Fatima al-Kabbaj, a graduate of the time-honored Islamic theological University of Karaouine in Fez and the first woman in the 16-member Council of Religious Scholars. Kabbaj instructed the king and his siblings in the laws of faith. She says that the monarch has recognized that women are better able to gain the trust of the illiterate, most of whom are also women. Besides, says Kabbaj, devout women are also more effective with the rural population and Morocco's four million poor than inaccessible imams.

Gaining the people's trust is a difficult proposition in the poor neighborhoods of Casablanca, a city of almost four million. The young suicide bombers who blew themselves up on May 16, 2003, killing 45 people in the process, came from these neighborhoods. Since then, security forces have arrested thousands of alleged members of the radical Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group. In late November, Moroccan authorities cracked down on a cell consisting of 17 fundamentalists suspected of having planned attacks on behalf of the al-Qaida terrorist organization.

Fighting Extremism

On behalf of the king, Minister of Religious Affairs and liberal historian Ahmen Taoufiq is battling the influences of inflammatory Wahhabism, which usually comes from Saudi Arabia. Some of his methods include keeping a closer eye on the country's 35,000 mosques, closing illegal prayer rooms and prohibiting the sale of audio cassettes by imams spouting hate speech. "We want to prevent our young people from being led astray," explains Fatima al-Kabbaj, who greets visitors in her green living room on the outskirts of the capital sheathed in an elegant gray caftan, her head covered with a light scarf.

Serving peppermint tea and homemade sweets, Kabbaj says that the terrorists "have failed to comprehend our tolerant religion." To "fill the void" and prevent "dark men" from gaining power, the people ought to be more thoroughly instructed in the form of Sufism practiced in Morocco, says Kabbaj.

In a reflection of that effort, 50 women, known as Murshidat, joined 150 young men for the first time last spring when they began their studies in Dar al-Hadith al-Hassania, the university's theology department in Rabat. The men will go on to lead Friday prayers in mosques, while the women will give religious instruction there. Their academic program also includes the history of other religions, psychology and languages, such as Hebrew, Greek or German. Fluency in English and French is a prerequisite.

Mohammed Sghir Janjar, publisher of a literary publication and Minister Taoufiq's representative in the Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Sciences in Casablanca, is pleased about what's happening in Rabat, calling it "a small, quiet revolution." Using Harvard University as a model, the best students will be encouraged to enter a doctoral program in the university's Department of Theology -- for a monthly stipend of €200, a princely sum in Morocco, where a quarter of university graduates are unemployed.

A Religious Democracy

Janjar is convinced that once they have obtained their doctorates, the graduates of the program "will bring a new debate over the Koran into society." The king, he believes, wants to "transform religious governance into democracy." For this reason, those who are entrusted with promulgating the king's message must have certain freedoms; otherwise they would lack credibility.

But can the plan succeed? Can the Moroccan king control the interpretation of the Koran in a country where anyone can gain access to competing foreign views on the internet? The palace, at any rate, is willing to try anything. It's even set up a website that will enable the faithful to chat with religious scholars at 1,000 key mosques. In addition, Radio Coranique Mohammed VI has been broadcasting religious programming for more than a year. And during the last fasting period, the king not only had a woman lead the traditional religious discussion panel at the palace, but also inaugurated an Islamic satellite TV station.

Another tool in Mohammed's battle for the souls of his subjects is the "National Initiative for Development." Although officially more than half of the government's budget is spent on social projects, Morocco is still ranked 124th on the United Nations Human Development Index. With a budget of just under €25 million in immediate aid and another billion euros between 2006 and 2010, the government hopes to reduce poverty by half within the next five years.

If the king has his way, Moroccans will liberate themselves from the slogans and handouts of radical Islamist preachers. Although they may represent a threat to Mohammed VI's reform policies, the only Islamist party seen as capable of succeeding in next year's parliamentary election is the Justice and Development Party.

The party's young leaders are using the Turkish ruling party, AKP, and the German Christian Democrats as their model. In the eight cities controlled by the Islamists, they have already dispensed with prohibitions on serving alcohol, Western films and provocative swimwear -- knowing full well that Morocco's economy depends on tourism.

Voters could put the reformed Islamists in the majority in the parliament, provided they are allowed to run for office throughout the entire country. That's why Soumia Benkhaldoun and her fellow party members look for candidates close to the people, using grass-roots voting. They have understood the king. They've even understood many other men.

Translated form the German by Christopher Sultan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great article Mr Big thanks for sharing.


B and J K-1 story

  • April 2004 met online
  • July 16, 2006 Met in person on her birthday in United Arab Emirates
  • August 4, 2006 sent certified mail I-129F packet Neb SC
  • August 9, 2006 NOA1
  • August 21, 2006 received NOA1 in mail
  • October 4, 5, 7, 13 & 17 2006 Touches! 50 day address change... Yes Judith is beautiful, quit staring at her passport photo and approve us!!! Shaming works! LOL
  • October 13, 2006 NOA2! November 2, 2006 NOA2? Huh? NVC already processed and sent us on to Abu Dhabi Consulate!
  • February 12, 2007 Abu Dhabi Interview SUCCESS!!! February 14 Visa in hand!
  • March 6, 2007 she is here!
  • MARCH 14, 2007 WE ARE MARRIED!!!
  • May 5, 2007 Sent AOS/EAD packet
  • May 11, 2007 NOA1 AOS/EAD
  • June 7, 2007 Biometrics appointment
  • June 8, 2007 first post biometrics touch, June 11, next touch...
  • August 1, 2007 AOS Interview! APPROVED!! EAD APPROVED TOO...
  • August 6, 2007 EAD card and Welcome Letter received!
  • August 13, 2007 GREEN CARD received!!! 375 days since mailing the I-129F!

    Remove Conditions:

  • May 1, 2009 first day to file
  • May 9, 2009 mailed I-751 to USCIS CS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i swear i'm not trying to turn this into a western sahara discussion, but even my husband, staunch supporter of moroccan sovereignty over western sahara that he is, was a little ehhhhh, ok sure over the article. the moroccan govt sure loves them some al qaeda-polisario "connections", that's for sure. how real those connections may be is another story entirely. i'm taking it with a big grain of salt, but i also lol'ed at this quote in the article-"Polisario has always condemned terrorism". that's just absurd.


I-love-Muslims-SH.gif

c00c42aa-2fb9-4dfa-a6ca-61fb8426b4f4_zps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...