"Morocco has dismantled 40 terrorist cells and arrested 548 people since 2015", Head of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (French acronym BCIJ), Abdelhak Khiame, said. "Twenty-one cells were dismantled in 2015 and 19 in 2016, including 4 cells linked to the terrorist cell Al Faye Wa Al Istihlal, thanks to the proactive policy adopted by Morocco", Khiame said. He pointed out that 36 of these cells are linked to the "Islamic State" terrorist organization, noting that, as part of the Kingdom's proactive strategy to fight this destructive plague, 548 people (275 in 2015 and 273 in 2016) have been arrested and brought to justice. "Between 2015 and 2016, BCIJ has arrested 71 individuals who returned to Morocco from IS conflict zones. Among the 47 people arrested in 2016, 39 came from the Syrian-Iraq conflict zone and 8 others from Libya", he added.

"Related to the individuals attempting to join IS, 3 people have been arrested: 2 attempted to travel to Libya and one to the Syrian-Iraqi area," Khiame said. "They all have been brought to justice. BCIJ, which handled five cases related to weapon holding, presented 22 former prisoners, 14 women and 20 minors, to justice and repatriated 27 people", Khiame said. Regarding counterterrorism efforts at the national level since 2002, he recalled that 167 cells have been dismantled, 46 of which were closely linked to groups active in IS conflict zones. Pointing out that 341 terrorist attempts have been foiled by Moroccan security services, Khiame reported that out of the 2,963 individuals arrested and brought to justice, 277 had heavy criminal records.

Several Terrorist Attacks Foiled in Europe Thanks to Morocco Intelligence

"Cooperation between Moroccan security services and their European counterparts has foiled several terrorist attacks in Europe, Director of the Moroccan Central Bureau of Judiciary Investigations (BCIJ), an arm of the General directorate of national territory", Abdelhak Khiame, said. "Several attacks that were about to be committed in European countries, notably in France, Spain and Belgium, have been foiled through an exchange of important information between Moroccan security services and their European counterparts", Khiame said in an interview published by Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure.

BCIJ Director stressed that Morocco never holds information which is of paramount importance for the security of other countries, noting that the Kingdom defends the security of its European partners and neighbors because its security depends on their security. To illustrate the effectiveness of cooperation between Moroccan and European security services, he cited the dismantling of a terrorist cell in Verviers (southern Belgium) and the localization of the main suspect in Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, thanks to the information provided by the Moroccan authorities. The Belgian paper presents Morocco as a country at the forefront of the fight against terrorism with one of the best intelligence services in the world. Morocco has provided vital information to help European countries track down the run-away terrorists following Paris attacks, reported the daily.

Spain Has Close Cooperation with Morocco Following Dismantling of Terror Cell

The Spanish Interior Ministry has "close cooperation" with Moroccan security services following the dismantling a pro-ISIS terror cell. “This operation reaffirms the exemplary nature of the close cooperation between the Moroccan and Spanish security services", said the Ministry in a statement. The Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) in coordination with Spanish security services dismantled, on Wednesday, a terror cell composed of two pro-ISIS individuals in the northern cities of Tetouan and Fnideq. This operation coincides with the arrest of two accomplices of the suspects residing in Spain. Preliminary investigation revealed that the members of this terror cell have close relations with fighters in the Syrian Iraqi territory as part of coordination to recruit and send volunteers for jihad in the ranks of ISIS. The two suspects will be brought before justice after the completion of the investigation, conducted under the competent public prosecutor's office.

Head of DGST and DGSN Named 'Man of The Year 2016' by Maroc Hebdo International

Maroc Hebdo International Weekly chose director general of the territory surveillance directorate (DGST) and national police (DGSN) Abdellatif Hammouchi as "Man of The Year 2016". The weekly paid thus tribute "to the man who represents a task of paramount importance and a prevailing situation because it impacts all of us". Abdellatif Hammouchi is "Mr. Security", he has under his supervision all the domestic security mechanism, the DGSN and the DGST, said the weekly in a statement.

Hard to image such heavy responsibility in these times, it said, adding that Morocco is in phase with cross-border security threats and has assisted many foreign countries in their counterterrorism fight.