RABAT: Morocco on Thursday dismantled a seven-member “terrorist” cell linked to the Islamic State group that was planning to abduct and murder tourists, the interior ministry said.
The suspects, whose identities were not revealed, had “pledged allegiance” to the jihadist IS group, the ministry said in a statement carried by the MAP news agency.
They were planning “terrorist operations” including attempts to “abduct and physically liquidate” tourists at seaside resorts, the statement added.
According to the interior ministry the suspects had undertaken “intensive paramilitary training” in a mountainous region of Morocco.
The arrests were made by the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations, inaugurated in March as part of the kingdom´s beefed-up war against extremism.
Morocco has frequently announced the arrest of “terrorist cells” and reported seizing weapons from groups authorities say have vowed allegiance to IS.
According to the British-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, about 2,000 Moroccans are estimated to be fighting with IS in Iraq and Syria.