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Thread: Morocco (catch all)

  1. #1
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default Morocco (catch all)

    Moderator's Note

    This thread was called 'Morocco breaks up al-Qaeda recruiting' until the 19th May 2014 and was renamed 'Morocco (catch all)'. The catalyst being a new film and article see new Post 4. There is a small, seperate thread on the disputed territory of Western Sahara (ex-Spanish Sahara) at: (ends).

    Looks like our staunch US ally has been busy since the suicide bombings in Casablanca in 2003

    Moroccan security forces broke up a network helping to recruit fighters for al-Qaeda's North African branch and arrested around 20 people overnight in several towns across the country, a government official says.
    The gang was involved in sending volunteers to training camps run by the Algerian-based al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), the official said, confirming an earlier report by state news agency MAP.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-19-2014 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Add Mods note

  2. #2
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Largo, Florida

    Default In Morocco's 'Chemist,' A Glimpse of Al-Qaeda

    7 July Washington Post - In Morocco's 'Chemist,' A Glimpse of Al-Qaeda by Craig Whitlock.

    On March 6, Moroccan police surrounded a cybercafe here and arrested a fugitive who many people assumed had fled the country or was dead. Saad al-Houssaini, known as "the Chemist" because of his scientific training and bombmaking skills, had vanished four years earlier after he was accused of helping to organize the deadliest terrorist attack in Moroccan history.

    It turned out that Houssaini hadn't gone anywhere. Since 2003, according to Moroccan police documents, he had remained underground in Casablanca as he rebuilt a terrorist operative network and recruited fighters to go to Iraq. He also spent time honing his bombmaking techniques, designing explosives belts that investigators believe were used in a string of suicide attacks this spring, including one that targeted the U.S. Consulate in this North African port city.

    "The Chemist" provides a vivid example of how veteran members of al-Qaeda's central command have continued to plot major terrorist attacks around the world, particularly in Europe, North Africa and Iraq, despite the capture or deaths of many of the network's top operatives since Sept. 11, 2001...

  3. #3
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    New York, NY

    Default Can Morocco's Islamists check al-Qaida?

    A Crucial Test for Arab Democracy: Can Morocco's Islamists Check al-Qaida? - Le Monde Diplomatique, Aug 2007.

    Excellent read on Morocco's upcoming elections and the Islamist party there. Interesting to see that the American diplomatic stance towards the PJD is apparently not reflexively hostile.

    “The United States encourages our Islamists, invites them everywhere, and that annoys us,” complained a government source. “Morocco pleases them and worries them at the same time. They like it that we’re modernising, but the fact that we already have democracy destroys the basis of their [Samuel] Huntingdon-type theories of an Arab-Muslim nation in need of democratisation. They don’t actually want to see our progress.”

    This displeasure grew with the speculation this past year that the Islamists will achieve a sweeping victory in Morocco’s parliamentary elections on 7 September. Will those predictions come true? Ask anyone on the streets of Casablanca or Rabat or travelling in a shared taxi if they’re going to vote and they laugh. Then, with some pride, they say: “I never vote! What’s the point? The political parties are all the same. Same old tricks. Same policies. It’s all rigged.” Then one or two add: “The PJD is better than the others.” The PJD is the Justice and Development Party, Morocco’s third largest, and Islamist.

    Others say: “Al-Adl, they’re the only really good people.” Al-Adl wal-Ihsan (Justice and Charity) is Morocco’s foremost political and religious force. It uses Sufism to propagate its utopian vision among those at the heart of Morocco, the poor and the marginalised. It firmly opposes all violence and acts as a counter to the radical extremists. But it also challenges the legitimacy of the monarchy and is banned, though tolerated ...

  4. #4
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default Root causes of terrorism: a film

    Morocco is a country rarely reported upon on SWC and this Salon article, which reviews a new film, Horses of God, on the radicalisation of those who bombed Casablanca in 2003:
    .. a wrenching social-realist drama from the French-born Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch, offers a powerful example of the depth of debate about the root causes of terrorism within the Arab world
    As Ayouch’s film makes clear, the young men who carried out the attacks were desperately poor kids from the slums who had never even seen the skyscrapers and glamorous restaurants of the central city before, let alone encountered any Jews or Westerners except the ones on TV. Whatever “Islamic extremism” they may have absorbed had been recently implanted by opportunistic evangelists who filled the gaps in a failed state and a divided society, offering a measure of self-respect and discipline to dead-end kids who had none.

    ....The Islamist movement offers these boys much more than sermons about Allah and jihad; it offers food, drink and employment, physical training and education and, (my emphasis) for the first time in their young and increasingly desperate lives, the sense of belonging to a community that cares about them. Even the fact that Yashin’s friend Nabil (Hamza Souidek) is apparently gay, an open secret in Sidi Moumen, doesn’t seem to matter to the zealots. The path of Allah offers redemption to all sinners,

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