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.