Terrorism. The dismantling of the Tangier cell as seen by the Moroccan press

The vigilance of the Moroccan security services has once again nip a terrorist project in the bud and put terrorists out of action before they act. It is in this context, said the national press, that a terrorist cell affiliated to the organization “Daech”, active in the city of Tangier and composed of four individuals aged between 23 and 26, was dismantled at dawn Monday.

The dismantling operation, said the daily Al Ahdath Al Maghribia in its Tuesday, October 6 edition, was supervised by Abdellatif Hammouchi, head of the DGSN-DGST pole, in person. Indeed, in the early morning of Monday, he held meetings on the spot with the special forces in charge of the intervention to finalize the final touches, but also to reassure his troops. This is how the operation was carried out and successfully concluded in four sites in the “El Aouama” district in the capital of the Strait.

According to the daily’s sources, a mural drawing representing “Daech’s flag”, spotted on an electric substation in the Beni Mekada district of Tangier, would have been the thread that led the security services to locate the terrorist projects of this cell of Hamza Abou Raitaj Chamali. The latter is reputed to be dangerous. He had already threatened his parents and grandmother with death. “He did not hold any office and distinguished himself by his disobedience to his parents, whom he accused of being atheists,” said a neighbour at the “Kifache” site. He added that the emir of the cell, whose sons-in-law are in Syria in the ranks of Daech, had also threatened to kill his brother who was devoting himself to his passion, music. “One day I’m going to cut off your head”, he said, according to the neighbour. As for the other three accomplices, daily sources indicate that they worked in the sewing trade. According to a press release from the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ), reports the daily Assabah in its edition of the same day, the searches carried out by BCIJ officers and scientific experts, at the scene of the intervention, led to the seizure of edged weapons, cutlery, equipment and electronic media, which will be submitted to the expertise necessary for the laboratory analysis of traces and digital evidence.

According to initial reports, the members of the terrorist cell, who were unable to reach the “Daech” camps in the Sahel region south of the Sahara, have decided to join dangerous and imminent terrorist projects aimed at destabilizing the security and stability of the Kingdom through terrorist methods inspired by the operations that the organization was conducting on the Syrian-Iraqi scene. He added, on the basis of the BCIJ communiqué, that “research and investigations, as well as security monitoring operations, made it possible to learn of a video documenting an allegiance made by the emir of this terrorist cell to the so-called current emir of the “Daech” organisation, threatening to comply with orders and orientations serving the agenda of this terrorist organisation”.

The daily Al Akhbar, for its part, said in its edition of the same day, confirms the persistence of terrorist threats to the safety of the Kingdom and the stubbornness of extremists imbued with the “takfirist” ideology, affiliated to the Daech organisation and ready to carry out terrorist operations aimed at undermining the security of individuals and public order.

The suspects arrested in connection with this terrorist cell were placed in custody at the disposal of the preliminary investigation, conducted under the supervision of the competent public prosecutor’s office in charge of terrorism affairs, with a view to revealing all their terrorist plans and projects and to determining all the possible ramifications and links of this terrorist cell. The operation, the national media emphasise, is part of ongoing efforts to combat the risk of violent extremism and neutralise terrorist threats to the security of citizens.

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