Morocco government on high security alert over terror threats
Morocco's government put its security services on high alert due to a reported "serious terror threat," according to Reuters Friday.
Rabat said that the country's security may be at risk due to the return of Moroccan fighters from Iraq and Syria.
"The threats are linked to the increasing numbers of Moroccans belonging to organizations in Syria and Iraq. Many of these fighters, including some who are leading those organizations, don't hide their willingness to perpetrate terrorist attacks against our country," said the government statement that was issued this week, according to the Reuters report.
Hundreds of Moroccans have joined jihadist groups, like the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), which declared its own caliphate two weeks ago. Rabat, and other north African governments worry that the return of these fighters will encourage similar developments-and terrorist activities--in their home countries.
For example, one Moroccan fighter posted a video online promising to create an Islamic state in Morocco, according to the Reuters report.
"We will bring this back to you in the kingdom of Mohammed VI," one Moroccan militant said in the posted video.
Rabat and other north African governments have been conducting extensive operations to remove jihadist cells in their countries that sent nationals to fight in Syria and Iraq.
"Authorities have arrested around 160 members who returned home. Most of them have been arrested when their plane landed at Moroccan airports," said Abdel Rahim Ghazali, a spokesman for an association of families and former detainees that defends the rights of jailed Islamists, reported Reuters.