The terrorists were in possession of knives, electronic equipment and a video praising the Jihadist group

Marruecos desarticula en Tánger una célula terrorista de Daesh

AFP/FADEL SENNA - Members of the Moroccan central intervention brigades (BCI)

The Moroccan police dismantled a terrorist cell composed of four alleged followers of Daesh in Tangier, northern Morocco, on Monday. 

A statement from the anti-terrorist body Central Bureau for Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) said the rapid intervention troops had to fire warning shots during the operation. 

The alleged terrorists intended to join the Daesh group in the Sahel area, but when failed to do so, they decided to perpetrate "dangerous and imminent terrorist" actions against the Maghreb country, the note added. 

During the operation, which took place in the popular Al-Aouama neighbourhood, the police confiscated knives, electronic equipment and a video in which the alleged leader of the network paid tribute to the terrorist group. 

On September 10, the Moroccan police dismantled a Jihadist command linked to Daesh and consisting of five presumed to be suicides who were then planning "imminent" attacks in Morocco. 

The last terrorist attack suffered by Morocco occurred in December 2018, when a Jihadist commando killed and decapitated two Scandinavian tourists in the Atlas mountains; the perpetrators were arrested days later, tried and sentenced, three of them to death.  

Morocco is strengthening security along its borders in view of the growing Jihadist threat in the Sahel. Taking advantage of the opportunity, it signed a military agreement last Friday with the US Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper, described as a "road map" for the next ten years. 

The Moroccan foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, wanted to stress during the signing of the agreement 'the role of Morocco as a guarantor of regional peace and security in a highly volatile geostrategic environment', a veiled allusion to Libya and Mali, two North African countries shaken by violence and tension. 


The International Observatory on Terrorism Studies (OIET) has published a report explaining the success of Morocco's model in fighting terrorism. These actions have given it regional and international prestige which, according to the OIET, "inspires many countries". 

Since the 2003 terrorist attacks in Casablanca, Morocco has joined the international fight against terrorism and radicalisation. To this end, several policies and reforms have been established in the areas of security, religious practice and the socioeconomic situation. 

According to the Global Terrorism Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace 2018, Morocco ranks 132nd in terms of the impact of terrorism. A position qualified by the same index as very low risk. The same institute places Morocco in its report on Global Peace 2019 in 90th place, which is in turn a favourable index. 

However, what worries Moroccan leaders and the international community is the high number of Moroccan combatants in the ranks of terrorist groups such as Daesh and the circulation of names of Moroccans in terrorist attacks around the world. 

In this connection, according to the latest information released by the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), between 2002 and 2019 Morocco dismantled 199 terrorist cells linked mainly to Daesh.  

The number of active cells has progressively decreased. By 2015 Morocco had dismantled 21 cells, 19 in 2016, 9 in 2017, 8 cells in 2018 and 8 in early 2019. These operations led to the arrest of 902 people, including 14 women and 29 minors.