Authorities in Morocco have arrested an Italian national on suspicion of plotting terror attacks in support of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the North African country. In a statement issued on Monday, Morocco’s Ministry of Interior said the suspected Italian militant, who lives in Belgium, was apprehended at Oujda airport near the Algerian border on June 8. He was arrested based on intelligence showing that he had ties to Daesh and that he was involved in a plan to attack targets in Morocco, according to the statement. The ministry added that the unidentified man had been “brainwashed” by the Takfiri group members and had tried to join their training camps in Syria or Iraq back in 2014 but had failed. The authorities said the suspect was sent by Daesh terrorists to visit Morocco in June 2015, adding that he had identified targets in Casablanca, Morocco’s commercial capital. Reports say thousands of militants from Morocco and other Maghreb countries, such as Tunisia, have joined terrorist groups operating in the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and also Libya. Some are threatening to return home and shape networks to carry out attacks and recruit more members. Moroccan security officials say they have dismantled 152 “terrorist cells” since 2002, out of which 31 were linked to Takfiri terrorist outfits in Iraq and neighboring Syria. According to official data, at least 2,000 Moroccans have joined Daesh so far. A total 246 of them died in Syria and 40 others in Iraq, but 156 militants returned to Morocco. Daesh is mainly operating in Iraq and Syria, but the Takfiri terrorist group has been also present in other countries as well, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Libya, and Yemen. The terror group has been committing brutal crimes against different ethnic and religious groups in areas under its control.
An attack by Daesh Takfiri terrorists has killed five members of security forces in Iraq’s western city of Ramadi months after the Takfiri group was purged from the area.
Army officers said on Monday that the Iraqi forces were killed in the capital city of of Anbar province after several explosives-laden vehicles were detonated at the entrance of a major military base and during the ensuing clashes.
“Our forces killed all the attackers and destroyed all the car bombs but there were a number of killed and wounded among army ranks,” Major General Ismail al-Mahalawi said, adding that fierce gunfire erupted after the explosions but the soldiers managed to bring the situation under their control.
Other sources confirmed the death of five soldiers, saying 11 others were wounded in the attack.
Mahalawi, as the head of the operations command for Anbar, is currently supervising Iraq’s battle on the ground against Daesh in Fallujah, another city in the province, which is located around 60 kilometers from the capital Baghdad. Fallujah has been under the control of militants for the past two years.
Iraqi forces have already liberated key cities like Ramadi and Hit in the sprawling province.
Iraqis have also begun preparations for a highly-anticipated offensive against Daesh in Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s northern Nineveh province.
However, the Monday attack in Ramadi indicated that people and security forces are still vulnerable to Daesh threats in the areas that have been retaken from the terrorists.
Since Ramadi’s liberation in December, the Iraqi government has been facilitating the return of local population to the city while operations have begun to rebuild the city’s civilian infrastructure.