MAP - Saturday, November 2nd 2019

Counterterrorism: US Department of State Lauds Moroccan Strategy

Washington, - The Moroccan counterterrorism strategy was lauded in the yearly country report on terrorism issued on Friday by the US Department of State which recalled that "the United States and Morocco have excellent and long-standing counterterrorism cooperation".

"The Government of Morocco continued its comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that includes vigilant security measures, regional and international cooperation, and counter-radicalization policies," wrote the report.

"In 2018, Moroccan law enforcement under the coordination of the Ministry of Interior, aggressively targeted and reported to have arrested 71 individuals and effectively dismantled more than 20 terrorists cells planning to attack a range of targets, including public buildings, prominent figures, and tourist sites," the same source recalled.

According to the yearly report, Moroccan law enforcement, mainly the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), leveraged intelligence collection, police work, and collaboration with international partners to conduct counterterrorism operations.

Moroccan law enforcement agencies participated in a wide range of U.S.-sponsored programs to improve the country's technical and investigative capabilities, including financial investigation, intelligence analysis, and cybersecurity, it said.

Border security remained a top priority for Moroccan authorities, the same source noted, saying that Moroccan airport authorities have excellent capabilities in detecting fraudulent documents.

Morocco has a comprehensive countering violent extremism strategy that prioritizes economic and human development in addition to countering radicalization and oversight of the religious sphere, it underlined.

The report cited Morocco as a major non-NATO ally and an active member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP).

Morocco also has strong cooperation with European partners –especially Belgium, France, and Spain –to thwart potential terrorist threats in Europe, it stressed, adding that the Kingdom co-chairs the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) while being an active member of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS.