French media sources have revealed the latest international security initiative aimed at preventing the likely return of terrorists to Libya from Syria and Iraq. An emigration that poses a great danger to the security of the countries of North Africa and the southern Mediterranean Sea. This action by the international community is familiar to Morocco, given the experience it has accumulated in the fight against terrorism at both the operational and intelligence levels.
According to French sources, this initiative could be implemented in the coming days with the participation of Interpol, Europol, the World Customs Organization and the European Border Guard Agency. This security armada aims to intercept terrorists who might cross the Mediterranean to reach Libya. The British daily The Times reported that between 100 and 300 Syrians have arrived in the Libyan capital, adding that their number could reach 500.
The daily Al Ahdath Al Maghribia reported in its Friday 3 January edition that these fighters affiliated to factions of the Free Syrian Army (ASL) have formed a semi-official army occupying several regions between the Euphrates and the city of Azaz.
It should be recalled that elements of the Royal Navy participated in Operation Neptune II, which was conducted from 24 July to 8 September in the maritime borders of Morocco, Algeria, Spain, Italy and France. The mission of the operation was to detect terrorist threats posed by certain individuals suspected of using the maritime routes between northern Africa and southern Europe during the peak tourist season. This joint intervention led to the opening of 31 new investigations, including more than 12 related to the movement of terrorist suspects.
Operation Neptune II was preceded in July 2018 by the Neptune 1 mission to detect fighters who had entered the country undercover among travelers and were traveling on false passports. This large-scale action resulted in more than 300,000 identity searches of Interpol databases.
In the same context, last October Morocco took part in joint maritime military exercises in the western Mediterranean in which France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta and the Maghreb countries also took part. The aim of this operation was to develop the operational capabilities of the Royal Navy in the field of air and maritime security control and in the fight against terrorist networks.