This Week in Morocco Security News – Caitlin Dearing Scott
Caitlin Dearing Scott, MAC
July 28, 2016
A look at the top security stories from Morocco this week.
- On July 27, Morocco announced that it had arrested 52 suspected militants accused of plotting terrorist attacks in the Kingdom and spreading propaganda for ISIS and other terrorist organizations on social media. According to a statement released by the Ministry of the Interior, Morocco has dismantled 38 suspected militant cells with Islamic State ties since 2013.
- Support for ISIS remains negligible in Morocco, and is among the lowest in the region. A survey conducted by Arab Barometer on “What do ordinary citizens in the Arab world really think about the Islamic State?” found that only .4% of respondents in Morocco agreed with the Islamic State’s use of violence and .7% with its purported goals. And only 1.5% responded that the Islamic State’s tactics are compatible with the teachings of Islam.
- Earlier this week, Moroccan scholars announced the establishment of a research institute dedicated to studying extremism and violence in the modern world. The new body will support efforts to fight violence and combat the phenomenon of intellectual and religious extremism. “As the world is experiencing a growing threat of political violence and extremist movements, the scientific scene is lagging behind in monitoring the phenomena of extremism and violence according to a comprehensive approach,” said the founders of the institute.
- Morocco’s Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mbarka Bouaida, participated in last week’s anti-ISIL Coalition Summit in Washington, DC. The Summit was an opportunity to highlight Morocco’s experience in counterterrorism and countering violent extremism, which includes as Minister Bouaida explained, deconstructing extremist discourse at the national level, and in North Africa, the Sahel, and Europe. Morocco was the first Maghreb country to join the US’s anti-ISIS coalition and is a leading counterterrorism ally of the US.