3 French nationals suspected of IS links arrested in Morocco

They are accused of “involvement in fundraising for extremist circles to finance terrorist operations”
A picture taken on December 20, 2018, shows Moroccan police officers driving a truck carrying the bodies of the two murdered Scandinavian hikers as they are being transported from a morgue in the central city of Marrakesh to the airport. – The bodies of Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and 28-year-old Maren Ueland from Norway were found on December 17, after the two friends had pitched their tent at an isolated mountain site two hours’ walk from the tourist village of Imlil. (Photo by – / AFP)

Moroccan authorities said Tuesday they had arrested three French nationals suspected of links to the Islamic State jihadist group for alleged involvement in “financing terrorism”.

The suspects, one of whom is of Algerian origin, were arrested on Monday in Sale near the capital Rabat, the General Directorate of National Security said in a statement.

Investigations have shown that the suspects have “succeeded in forging close ties with active fighters” within IS in Syria and Iraq, it said.

They are accused of “involvement in fundraising for extremist circles to finance terrorist operations,” it said, adding that investigations were continuing with a view to finding possible accomplices.

The North African kingdom, which relies heavily on tourism, was shaken by the grisly murders of two Scandinavian hikers by suspected jihadists in the High Atlas mountains in December. 

In 2011, a bomb blast at a cafe in Marrakesh’s famed Jamaa El Fna Square killed 17 people, mostly European tourists. An attack in Casablanca killed 33 people in 2003.

Jihadists of Moroccan origin have also been involved in numerous attacks abroad in recent years in France, Belgium and Spain.


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