Morocco claims al-Qaeda crackdown

From the Middle East Newsline, Jan. 8:

Morocco has reported another crackdown on Al Qaida. Officials said security forces have arrested Al Qaida operatives suspected of recruiting Muslims for the Sunni insurgency war in Iraq. They said the Al Qaida network contained scores, if not hundreds, of people, and operated in several major cities in the North African kingdom.

“The first elements of the inquiry reveal the existence of ideological links with and financial and logistical support for international terrorist groups,” the government said in a statement on Jan. 4.

Officials said 62 suspected Al Qaida operatives have been arrested so far. They said the network appeared to have been led or heavily influenced by the Salafist Group for Combat and Call, based in Algeria. In September 2006, Al Qaida announced a merger with the Salafists.

As we have noted, Morocco’s repressive monarchy faces a growing crisis over control of its borders and internal security in the face of vast movements of peoples from its African neighbors.

See our last posts on Morocco, the Salafists and al-Qaeda.