Moroccan authorities dismantle ‘Daesh cell’

-Cell members had been active in northern cities of Tetouan, Fnideq, Morocco’s interior ministry says
– Moroccan authorities on Wednesday dismantled a “Daesh-linked terrorist cell”, according to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry, reported Anadolu Agency.

“Within the context of preemptive operations to counter terrorist threats, the Central Office of Judicial Research [intelligence agency] — in coordination with Spanish security authorities — managed on Wednesday to dismantle a terrorist network consisting of two operatives loyal to the Daesh terrorist organization,” the statement read.

The operatives, the ministry asserted, had been active in Morocco’s northern cities of Tetouan and Fnideq.

“The security operation coincided with the arrest of two of the suspects’ associates in Spain, which was carried out within the framework of the strategic security partnership between the two countries,” the ministry statement read.

It added: “Preliminary investigations have revealed that members of this terrorist cell had close ties with terrorist fighters in Syria and Iraq who are actively recruiting volunteers to fight for Daesh.”

According to the ministry, a total of 38 “terrorist cells” have been dismantled in Morocco — including many linked to Daesh — since the beginning of 2013.

Last month, the Moroccan authorities announced the arrest of a three-member Daesh “cell” that had been planning to carry out attacks inside the country.

The cell’s targets had reportedly included “vital state installations, security offices, tourist sites and foreign nationals from member states of the international U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition”.

A 60-nation coalition — led by the U.S. — has been striking Daesh targets in Syria and Iraq since 2014, when the terrorist group overran vast swathes of territory in both countries.