Updated

Morocco and the United States Officially Launch “Initiative to Address Homegrown Terrorism”

Washington, DC, November 16, 2017 (MACP) – The United States and Morocco officially launched the “Initiative to Address Homegrown Terrorism” yesterday in Malta, convening over 70 government officials, law enforcement officers, and non-governmental representatives from 25 countries to “discuss trends and issues associated with homegrown terrorism, and highlight available tools and programs to address this threat.”

Announced in September as part of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and in partnership with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), the initiative will work to “[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.”

Participants at the launch “reviewed ways to improve information sharing, both within and among governments, and examined prevention and intervention programs,” kicking off the process to develop “non-binding good practices for policymakers and practitioners that will highlight comprehensive and integrated approaches to preventing and detecting homegrown terrorists.”

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. In addition to serving as Co-Chair of the GCTF, Morocco participates in the State Department Antiterrorism Assistance Program, cooperates with US Customs and Border Protection and DHS to address watch-listed travelers, and has a framework agreement with the US to develop “mutual expertise in the areas of crisis management, border security, and terrorism investigations to strengthen regional counterterrorism capability and to deny space to terrorism and terrorist networks.”

Morocco is also at the forefront of efforts to counter the appeal of violent extremism within its own borders and in the broader region. One of Morocco’s key programs to provide religious training – by  the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Morchidines, and Morchidates, which aims to prepare the next generation of Muslim religious leaders from across the region to counter extremist interpretations of Islam – continues to be in high demand, and in 2018 will welcome a record 1,240 foreign Islamic preacher trainees from Mali, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Chad, Nigeria, and France.

“As ISIS fighters return from losses in Syria, countries throughout the region are becoming more diligent in their counterterrorism efforts,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco, Edward M. Gabriel. “Morocco’s multi-dimensional strategies have long made it as a global leader in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism and a key ally for the US in addressing these issues.”

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

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CONTACT:  Caitlin Dearing Scott, 202.587.0855

The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a US-based independent non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform and educate opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about the US-Morocco bilateral relationship.

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