Morocco says breaks up Islamic State cell with Dutch ties




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RABAT Morocco has broken up a militant cell it said was loyal Islamic State and was planning stage attacks at home and Netherlands, Interior Ministry said Monday.

cell, latest a string of militant groups Morocco says it has uncovered, operated near the northern city of Nador, with a sixth member planning use guns and bombs against security the Netherlands, the ministry said.

“The members of the cell were planning specific terrorist in the kingdom, including assassinations of people they accuse of being against the Islamic State beliefs,” its statement said.

“Investigations showed that the members of the cell were holding secret meetings … and were taking part in paramilitary in one of the forests of the town of Selwane, near the city of Nador.”

The Moroccan domestic intelligence service gave Dutch authorities that allowed the arrest of the member living in Netherlands, the statement said.

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Hundreds of fighters from Morocco and other Maghreb such as Tunisia and Algeria have joined Islamist militant in Syria’s civil war. Some are starting to head home and create a new jihadi battlefield, security experts say.

Last month, Moroccan authorities said they arrested members of a militant cell planning to create an Islamic State affiliate in the North African kingdom, seizing guns and accusing its members of plotting attacks.

Morocco has suffered several bomb attacks by suspected Islamist .

In 2011 a blast in a cafe in Marrakesh killed 15 people including 10 foreigners. That was the worst since 2003, when suicide bombings killed more than 45 people in Casablanca.

 

* (Reuters)*