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Morocco and the United States to Launch New Counterterrorism Initiative

Washington, DC, September 21, 2017 (MACP) – In a fact sheet issued yesterday, the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) announced that the United States will launch a new initiative with Morocco, “The Initiative to Address Homegrown Violent Extremists,” to be implemented in partnership with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ).

The Initiative will “[address] the growing threat posed by ISIL/Da’esh-inspired and linked Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs), exploring ways for stakeholders to tackle these issues in a coordinated manner.”

It will also “explore factors that are driving individuals to become HVEs, how these individuals can be better identified, highlight any differences in the HVE radicalization process from that of FTFs [Foreign Terrorist Fighters], promote interventions to dissuade or prevent individuals from becoming HVEs, and identify opportunities for stakeholders to coordinate and collaborate more effectively to prevent, detect, intervene, and respond.”

The aim of the new Initiative is to develop a set of new “Good Practices” that will serve as a companion to the GCTF document The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum on Good Practices for a More Effective Response to the FTF Phenomenon. The Hague-Marrakech Memorandum was established following an initiative by Morocco and the Netherlands to create the FTF Working Group within the platform of the GCTF. Morocco currently serves as a Co-Chair to both the GCTF and the FTF Working Group alongside the Netherlands.

Morocco is committed to promoting regional security and cooperates closely on counterterrorism and other security efforts with the US and countries throughout Europe and the Middle East, and, along with the Netherlands, was re-elected yesterday to an additional two year term as GCTF Co-Chair. Remarking on the re-election, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita said it was “an eloquent testimony to the confidence of the international community in the Moroccan approach, developed in accordance with the highest guidelines of King Mohammed VI, to fight against terrorism.”

Morocco is also at the forefront of efforts to counter the appeal of violent extremism within its own borders. A recent report by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy concluded that “US, European, and Moroccan experts should seek to draw lessons from Morocco’s overarching success at preventing jihadist terrorism at home.”

 “Morocco has long been a leader in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism and a key ally of the US in addressing these issues in Africa and the Middle East,” said former US Ambassador Edward M. Gabriel. “This latest initiative is further testament that Morocco is committed to working with the US and other partners to confront one of today’s most pressing challenges.”

For more on Morocco’s approach to countering violent extremism, see our factsheet

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Contact: Jordan Paul, 202.587.0855

The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

This material is distributed by the Moroccan American Center for Policy on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

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