Morocco wants women, minors held in Iraq, Syria to come home

SALE, Morocco (AP) — Morocco wants to bring home 671 Moroccan women and children linked with extremist groups who are held in Syria and Iraq, with a top investigative official saying they’re harmless.

Director of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations Abdelhak Khiame, said at a news conference on Monday that the 280 women and 391 minors “are not terrorists” and can’t be blamed “for anything”.

Khiame said the North African kingdom also would “welcome” the return of male fighters, but in their case “will subject them to the law”.

Morocco’s top intelligence official, Boubker Sabik, said 1,659 Moroccans joined the Islamic State (IS) group or other extremists’ organisations, and 742 of them died fighting.

Moroccan authorities dismantled a cell of IS loyalists who were allegedly preparing a plot to harm the economy.