Morocco dismantles IS-linked terror cell, weapons arsenal

Rabat, Jan 27 (IANS) Moroccan security services have managed to stop a dangerous terror attack as they on Friday dismantled a terror cell linked to the Islamic State (IS) that stretched across several cities, said the Interior Ministry.

In a statement, the ministry said the cell comprised seven members who all followed the IS and had in their power an arsenal that contained two explosive belts, a machine gun with a night vision device and seven pistols, Efe news reported.

Police also confiscated four knives, a large amount of ammunitions, two wireless telecommunication units, camouflage pants, stun batons and chemical products, supposedly used to manufacture explosives.

According to the ministry, police managed to stop a dangerous terror attack as the cell members were receiving instructions from military IS commanders in Syria, Iraq and Libya on how to perpetrate attacks in Morocco.

The arrests took place across four different towns along the Atlantic coast and in Morocco.

The ministry said the cell intended to recruit younger members to commit unspecified sabotage attacks and cause the largest number of victims possible, as well as cause panic among civilians and destabilize the country.

On December 21, the head of the criminal investigations office Abdelhak Khiam said Moroccan security services had arrested 548 suspected terrorists and dismantled at least 40 cells in the last two years.