Morocco busts Daesh cell; 11 arrested

In this file photo, A Moroccan policeman stands guard at the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation office in Sale, March 23, 2015. Moroccan police on Oct.14, 2017 arrested 11 members of an “extremely dangerous terrorist” cell linked to Daesh and seized chemical products used to make bombs, the Interior Ministry said. (Reuters)
Updated 14 October 2017
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Morocco busts Daesh cell; 11 arrested

RABAT: Moroccan police on Saturday arrested 11 members of an “extremely dangerous terrorist” cell linked to Daesh and seized chemical products used to make bombs, the Interior Ministry said.
The suspects were active in the neighboring northern cities of Fez and Meknes, in commercial capital Casablanca, as well as in the central town of Khouribga, a statement said.
The ministry said the “extremely dangerous terrorist” cell had planned to carry out attacks in “sensitive areas... in coordination with an affiliate” of Daesh.
Moroccan media broadcast live video footage showing heavily armed and masked members of an elite police unit surrounding a building in Fez.
The ministry said the unit searched an apartment and arrested the “suspected mastermind of the cell and one of his accomplices.”
Police also seized firearms, knives, gas canisters as well as “products used to make homemade bombs” and a car carrying “suspicious material” that was parked near the building, the ministry added.
Morocco has been spared deadly terrorist attacks since a 2011 bombing in Marrakesh’s famed Jamaa El Fna Square that killed 17 people, mainly European tourists.
But in recent months, authorities have regularly announced the dismantling of Daesh cells and arrests of suspected recruiters.


Daesh extremists blow themselves up in north Iraq: army

Updated 59 min 16 sec ago
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Daesh extremists blow themselves up in north Iraq: army

  • The explosion happened in Qayrawan village, next to the Syrian border
  • SDF commander said the fight must continue to eliminate “sleeper cells”

BAGHDAD: Three suspected Daesh group suicide bombers blew themselves up Sunday in northern Iraq, the army said, a day after the extremists’ “caliphate” was wiped out in neighbouring Syria.
Army spokesman Yahya Rassoul said the incident took place in a region near the Syrian border, where extremists sleeper cells are believed to be present.
He said the suspects died as troops surrounded them but there were no casualties among government forces.
Local officials said the suspects were killed as they were trying to attack troops in the village of Qayrawan, south of the mountainous region of Sinjar which borders Syria.
Fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on Saturday pronounced the death of the nearly five-year-old Daesh “caliphate” which once stretched across a vast swathe of Syria and Iraq.
Their victory was hailed as a major landmark in the battle against the extremists but there have also been numerous calls for “vigilance” with many saying the fight is far from over.
Top SDF commander Mazloum Kobani on Saturday warned that a new phase had begun in anti-Daesh operations and appealed for sustained assistance from the US-led coalition to help smash “sleeper cells.”
Diehard extremists continue to have a presence in mountainous or desert regions between Syria and Iraq, which had declared victory over Daesh in December 2017.
In Iraq some of these regions remain inaccessible to security forces.