RABAT (Reuters) – A suspected Islamic State militant and bomb maker went on trial in a Moroccan court on terrorism charges after his arrest in cooperation with U.S. intelligence, police said.
The 24-year-old Moroccan was active in the city of Sala Al Jadida near the capital, Rabat, and was in the advanced stages of planning attacks, police said in a statement.
He was arrested on Dec. 16 as part of an operation in cooperation with U.S. intelligence and security agencies, police said without offering further details.
“This operation reaffirms the importance and efficiency of the close bilateral cooperation between the Moroccan police and intelligence and U.S. intelligence and security agencies on the field of countering violent extremism and terrorism,” the statement said.
Compared with other countries in North Africa, Morocco has been largely insulated from militant attacks. The most recent took place in December 2018 when two Scandinavian tourists were killed in the mountains near Marrakech.
Morocco’s counter terrorism agency, known as BCIJ, has arrested 65 militant suspects so far this year.
The United States declared Morocco a major non-NATO ally in 2004 and both are members of the Global Coalition to Defeat Islamic State.
(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Nick Macfie)