Heavy arms discovery made in Morocco

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The Moroccan security service (DST) is believed to have laid their hands on arms weighing 2,270 tonnes of different varieties, including shells. According to the Moroccan media, the arms packaged in plastic wrappings were discovered last Friday on a rural road in El-Hajeb in the Meknès region.

By Ali Babès

The heavy arms merchandise was carried away by the DST, after an alert from concerned citizens. No official announcement, on the origin or destination of the worrying number of arms has been made by the interior ministry.

The question is whether they were destined to an underground group, terrorist groups, or simply transiting Morocco, a well known transit zone for all sorts of illegal trafficking, including weapons.

The DST who have been on alert since last summer are actively on the look out for presumed terrorists. Pictures of the two most wanted have been published on the Moroccan News Agengy’s (MAP) website.

People suspected of terrorism since the Casablanca and Sidi Moumen suicide bombings of april 2007, have also been arrested.

Abbas El Fassi, consevator and newly appointed Prime Minister’s banning of the Al-Bandil Al-Hadari (Alternative Civilisation) islamist party in February, is considered to be one of the most spectacular in the fight against extremists, yet.

The Al-Badil Al-Hadari party, created in 2002 and very active on the Moroccan political scene as the main opposition did not participate in the 2007 legislative elections.

Last February, many of the party’s heads and founding members were arrested by the Moroccan DST, who accused them of terrorist acts under terrorist laws formally put into law two weeks after the 2003 attacks in Casablanca which left 45 dead and dozens wounded.

The unconfirmed discovery of the arms made close to Meknès, — a region known to shelter Salafya El-Jihadia and El-Hijra wal Tekfir Moroccan groups, — does not weaken the theory that Morocco could be a favourable environment for certain terrorist groups close to Al Aqaeda as well as other criminal groups.

Although more than 1000 people were arrested in connection with the May 2003 attacks and over 500 of them convicted after prosecution, DST officials who did not clarify nor give any official information on the involvement of any terrorist groups, only proved the presence of these groups with these convictions.

The country is known to shelter lots of political ideologies close to radical islam, particularly the radical army, a branch of the Chabiba Islamia army as well as groups like the Eddawa wal Tabligh, the Salafia Jihadya and the El-Hijra wal Tekfir among other terrorist organisations considered to be some of the most violent.

Meknès, Rabat-Salé and Casablanca have been classified by the DST as the fiefdom of certain potential or dormant terrorist groups some of which are said to be close to Al-Aqaeda.

In 2007 a lot of embassies, especially the United States, drastically reinforced their security levels after two suicide bombs were detonated close to the US embassy in Casablanca.

Le Quotidien d’Oran

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