Moroccan security forces, in collaboration with Spanish authorities, dismantled a nine-person Jihadist cell on Thursday, suspected of recruiting fighters for the Iraqi-Syrian Jihadist group, the Islamic State.
The Jihadist cell is a branch of a recruitment network operating across the cities of Fnideq, Tetouan and Fez, comprised of nine Moroccan citizens, some of whom have strong ties in Spain, according to a statement by the Spanish Interior Ministry. The ministry added that the network also operated in the North African Spanish enclave of Ceuta.
While terrorist attacks have not been prominent in Morocco, the North African nation is considered one of the most fertile terrorist recruitment bases, sending fighters to conflict zones of Syria, Iraq, Mali and Libya. Similar recruitment cells are discovered by Moroccan and Spanish authorities every few months.
In May, Spanish police forces uncovered a cell in Melilla, suspected of recruiting fighters to execute attacks in Mali and Libya.
Spanish and Moroccan security forces’ joint efforts led to dismantling a cell suspected of sending Jihadists to Syria in March.
The recruitment cells provide fresh Jihadists with weapons training, assembly and handling of explosives, in addition to car theft to work alongside suicide bombers or as combatants in Syria or Iraq.