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US State Department annual report hails Morocco's counter-terrorism efforts

The US State Department hailed Morocco’s comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy and efforts to combat terrorism and extremism in the country in its recent annual report on terrorism in the world.

The US State Department welcomed the Kingdom’s commitment to strengthening institutional cooperation at regional and international levels in the face of this dangerous phenomenon.

“The United States and Morocco have a long history of strong cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The Government of Morocco has pursued its comprehensive strategy, which includes vigilant security measures, regional and international cooperation, and policies to combat radicalization,” reads the report.

While noting that “no terrorist incidents were reported in Morocco in 2022”, the State Department notes that as part of its strategy, the Kingdom gives “priority to economic and human development, in addition to combating radicalization leading to violence”.

Over the past year, Moroccan law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of the Interior have succeeded in “effectively dismantling cells in the early stages of planning attacks.”

“Moroccan law enforcement agencies have benefited from intelligence gathering, police work and collaboration with international partners to carry out counter-terrorism operations”, says the same source, which highlights the role of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) under the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST).

The report notes the participation of Moroccan security forces in a wide range of U.S.-sponsored programs to enhance technical and investigative capabilities in line with cooperation between Washington and Rabat in this area, notably in financial investigations, intelligence analysis and cybersecurity.

“Border security remains a top priority for Moroccan authorities”, notes the State Department, highlighting that “Moroccan airport authorities have excellent capabilities in detecting fraudulent documents.”

With regard to the fight against terrorist financing, the report points out that Morocco is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), adding that the National Authority for Financial Intelligence is a member of the Egmont Group.

Regarding the Kingdom’s leading role in regional and international coordination, the US report notes that the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat the Islamic State will be held in Morocco in May 2022, along with meetings of the Counter-Islamic Financing Group and the Africa Focus Group on the sidelines of the ministerial conference.

Morocco is also a member of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), succeeding Egypt as co-chair of the GCTF, adds the same source.

The report additionally notes that, regarding the fight against violent extremism, the Kingdom co-chairs the Africa Focus Group of the Global Coalition Against ISIS.

“Morocco has a comprehensive strategy for countering violent extremism that prioritizes economic and human development, in addition to combating radicalization leading to violence and monitoring the religious sphere”, highlights the document, noting that the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs has developed an educational program for Morocco’s nearly 50,000 imams and Islamic scholars to unify religious messaging, both in the country and through its institutions across Muslim African countries.

“The Rabita Mohammadia of oulémas (Islamic scholars) fights against radicalization by producing academic research, revising educational programs and carrying out awareness-raising activities for young people on religious and social topics,” highlights the US State Department.

Finally, the General Delegation of Penitentiary Administration and Social Reinsertion, in cooperation with ministerial departments, has organized several training workshops for its de-radicalization program “Moussalaha” for Moroccans incarcerated on terrorism charges, concludes the report.



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