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Sunday, July 15, 2007

15 Terror Suspects Arressted in Morocco

Morocco has raised the security alert to maximum, suggesting an attack was imminent [AFP]Moroccan police have detained 15 people on suspicions of plotting terror attacks in the North African country.

Ahmed Bouzouba, the Moroccan justice minister, said in an interview on Friday that the arrests had been made, according to the information from the Kingdom's public prosecutor. "Fifteen detainees are in custody, three of them had been extradited by Libya," he told the Moroccan Assabah newspaper.

"Indeed, these people were arrested as they prepared terrorist attacks," he added, declining to give details because of what he called the secrecy of the ongoing investigation. Bouzouba gave no details on the three Moroccans arrested in Libya before their extradition to Rabat.

"Indeed, security services had arrested 100 suspects since March and 15 others in the latest days," Bouzouba added in an interview to L'Economiste newspaper, also printed on Friday. He did not elaborate, citing the secrecy of the yet to be completed investigation. Police sources said dozens of "radical Islamists" had fled a police crackdown in Morocco in the 1980s and 1990s to settle in Libya.

Last week, Morocco raised the security alert level to the highest rating of "maximum", suggesting an attack was imminent. Morocco's Interior Ministry said it obtained intelligence information on the threat in recent days but gave no details.

Alert The region has been on alert since al Qaeda's affiliate in North Africa, the Al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb which is based in Algeria, threatened to escalate its war against "corrupt" governments in the region and their Western allies.

The al Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility for attacks in Algeria in the latest four months, including three in Algiers on April 11 when 33 people were killed and another on Wednesday that killed eight soldiers at an army barracks in Lakhdaria, 120 km, east of the capital.

Morocco on 'maximum' security alert


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