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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05RABAT2526 2005-12-19 09:17:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Rabat
Cable title:  

MOROCCO: 2005 COUNTRY REPORTS ON TERRORISM

Tags:   PTER ASEC PGOV PREL MO 
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1. As requested ref A, Post submits the following text for
Department's use in drafting the 2005 Country Reports on
Terrorism. Embassy POC for this report is Political Officer
Chad Stevens (StevensCI@state.gov).



2. Begin Text:

Morocco

The Government of Morocco remains a steadfast ally of the
international community in the global war on terror. Under
the leadership of King Mohammed VI, the Government undertook
during 2005 important internal reforms to address the root,
socio-economic conditions that create opportunity for
extremist recruitment. Toward this end, King Mohammed VI
launched in May 2005 the National Initiative for Human
Development to combat poverty, create jobs, and improve
infrastructure. The USD 1.2 billion initiative targets
Morocco's poorest rural areas and worst urban slums as a
means to eliminate the economic conditions that foster
exclusion and despair.

Morocco also continued implementation of reforms to the
Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (MOIA), first
announced in April 2004, to promote religious moderation and
tolerance. The reforms include measures to counter
extremist ideology within Koranic schools and mosques, and a
12-month training program for incoming male and female imams
initiated in April 2005. Spreading a message of tolerance
and openness, the MOIA also launched in 2005 a radio station
whose daily broadcasts cover almost all of Morocco. The
ministry also continued development of its TV station and
website in 2005.

Morocco experienced terrorism when, on May 16, 2003,
Moroccan suicide bombers affiliated with the Salafiya
Jihadiya movement attacked several sites in Casablanca
killing 45 people (including the 12 bombers) and injuring
100 others. The Government's swift and ongoing crackdown of
the Salafiya Jihadiya movement has yielded the arrest of an
estimated 3,000 extremists and the sentencing of at least
900 individuals for crimes under the country's new anti-
terrorism law. Many of these cases are still active in the
judicial system, which, in 2005, acquitted at least nine
suspects and reduced the prison sentences of at least 30
individuals.

On March 22, 2005, the Judicial Police arrested seven
individuals from a Salafiya Jihadiya cell in Mohammedia on
suspicions they were planning attacks against a supermarket
and restaurants along the coastline near Casablanca. In
July 2005, Moroccan authorities arrested seven more
individuals comprising another Salafiya Jihadiya cell in
Rabat's neighboring city Sale. According to press reports,
the cell plotted attacks in Rabat and other cities.
Moroccan police linked the Sale cell to six Moroccans whom
Algerian authorities returned to Morocco after they were
arrested while training with militants from the Algerian
terrorist group, the Salafist Group for Call and Combat
(GSPC). In November 2005, Moroccan security forces
dismantled a 17-member incipient terrorist network that had
links to small terrorist groups active in Iraq. Two of the
five Moroccans who were detained in Guantanamo Bay and
returned to Morocco in August 2004 were among those arrested
in the operation.

Moroccan-born extremists associated with the al-Qaida-
affiliated Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) were
implicated in the March 11, 2004 train blasts in Madrid.
Although the recent dismantlement of GICM cells in Europe
has weakened the group, individual members remain at large.

End Text.



3. Given the Secretary of State's designation of GICM as a
Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 11, 2005 (ref B),
and per ref A instructions, Post is also including the
following information on the GICM.



4. Begin Text:

Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM)
a.k.a. Groupe Islamique Combatant Marocain
Description
Moroccan Mujahedin in Afghanistan set up the Moroccan
Islamic Combat Group (GICM) in the mid-1990s to recruit and
train Moroccans to fight in Morocco. The group seeks to
overthrow the Moroccan Government and monarchy, replacing
them with an Islamist state ruled by sharia law. Its long-
term goal is the unification of all Muslim lands into a
renewed caliphate. Since 2001, the GICM has dispersed into
cells in Morocco, Syria, and various European cities.
Activities
GICM cells facilitate the movement of extremists and funds
in Europe and foreign fighters headed for Iraq to conduct
attacks against Coalition forces. GICM members were
implicated in terrorist attacks in Casablanca in May 2003
and Madrid in March 2004. Over the last year, authorities
have dismantled important GICM cells in France, Belgium, and
Italy. Nevertheless, individual members are still at large.
Strength
Several dozen individuals in Europe, the Middle East, and
Morocco.
Location/Area of Operation
Mostly in Europe, notably in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain,
and the United Kingdom.
External Aid
GICM receives financial support from other terrorist groups
and personal contributions from members who often engage in
criminal activities. GICM leader Mohamed Guerbouzi, who
resides in England, was recently granted a financial
settlement as a result of his libel suit against a British
tabloid that connected him to the July 2005 bombings in
London and claimed he was on the run.



5. In accordance with ref A, Post has sent the above text
as a Word Document to S/CT POCs Rhonda Shore and Ed Salazar.
Bush