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Morocco arrests IS suspect in joint probe with US

RABAT (AFP) – Moroccan police said on Friday they had arrested a suspected Islamic State (IS) group member, in cooperation with the United States (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation, who was implicated in plotting “acts of terrorism”.

The announcement came ahead of the opening next Wednesday in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh of a conference of member countries in the US-led coalition against IS.

The suspect, based in the kingdom’s northeastern Berkane region, was implicated in the “preparation of a terrorist plot aimed at delivering a serious blow to public order”, Morocco’s counterterrorism police, the Central Office of Judicial Research, said in a statement.

“The outlines of his terrorist conspiracy were unmasked on the basis of research and technical investigation carried out jointly with the FBI,” it added.

This operation “is further evidence of the persistent dangers of the terrorist threat that hangs” over Morocco and “the importance of bilateral cooperation… with the US in the fight against terrorism”.

The suspect, a 37-year-old engineer, “ran a closed user group dedicated to extremist goals and projects and aimed at recruiting and drawing in sympathisers”, the statement said.

His objective was to carry out attacks against Moroccan and foreign dignitaries on Moroccan soil, it alleged.

A file picture of members of Moroccos?s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation during a counter-terrorism operation. PHOTO: AFP
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