According to Moroccan police officials, 18 people have been arrested as of Monday, December 24, in connection with the killing of two Scandinavian tourists near Imlil (Al-Haouz province). According to reports, several of the suspects had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group before the attack. The bodies of the tourists - two women from Denmark and Norway - were found some 10 km (6 mi) from Imlil on a hiking trail to Mount Toubkal in the High Atlas Mountains on Monday, December 17. Similar attacks by IS sympathizers targeting Western tourists cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence is expected throughout Morocco, and especially near tourist destinations.
Moroccan authorities remain on high alert for militant activity. Several attacks have been carried out on Moroccan soil in the past decade, notably a 2011 bombing at a café in Marrakesh that killed 17 people. Over 150 terrorist cells have been dismantled in Morocco since 2002; in 2017, the Moroccan Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) dismantled nine terror cells and neutralized some 186 suspected militants. It is estimated that over 1600 Moroccans have traveled to fight with IS in Syria and Iraq, including 400 who died in combat.
Individuals in Morocco, particularly in Al-Haouz province, are advised to remain vigilant at all times, report any suspicious behavior to the police, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer