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Govt 7 Sept said it dismantled terrorist cell linked to Islamic State (IS) planning attacks in north; 22 Sept said police arrested one suspected IS-linked militant in Meknes 21 Sept and three in Tangiers and M’diq 16 Sept. Tensions rose between royal palace and Islamist Justice and Development Party and its allies ahead of Oct parliamentary elections; politicians accused palace of seeking to influence elections and staging 18 Sept anti-Islamist march in Casablanca. Govt 22 Sept submitted request to rejoin AU 32 years after leaving.
Govt 16 Aug said it had arrested four suspected Islamic State members allegedly planning attacks in Casablanca. Govt anti-smuggling operation in southern Western Sahara that began 14 Aug sparked protests by Polisario Front independence movement and Mauritania (see Western Sahara and Mauritania).
Govt 15 July said security services previous day dismantled terrorist cell in several cities planning attack and linked to Islamic State (IS) in Libya. Govt 27 July said 52 suspected IS militants arrested 19 July.
Security services 2 June arrested six suspected Islamic State (IS)- affiliated militants, allegedly dismantling cell operating in Tétouan and Martil in north and Casablanca in NW; 8 June arrested at Oujda airport in north Italian suspected of ties to IS and of planning to carry out attacks in Morocco.
Security services 2 May arrested suspected Islamic State (IS)-affiliated militant in Saidia in east; suspected accomplice arrested 3 May in Sidi Bennour in west; authorities 13 May arrested Chadian suspected IS militant in Tangier, reportedly foiling plot to attack Western diplomatic buildings and tourist sites.
Govt 3 April said two suspected militants linked to Islamic State (IS)’s Libyan branch arrested 1-2 April in Casablanca and neighbouring Had Soualem after it dismantled terror cell late March. Security services 29 April dismantled three-member IS-linked terror cell in Nador.
Govt 7 and 24 March said two suspected Islamic State (IS)-affiliated cells dismantled. Tensions between Morocco and UN over Western Sahara spiked (see Western Sahara).
Govt 19 Feb said ten suspected militants linked to Islamic State including French citizen arrested after 18 Feb raids in Essaouira, Meknes and Sidi Kacem.
Security forces 8 Jan arrested seven suspected militants linked to Islamic State (IS) near Casablanca. Interior ministry 18 Jan announced arrest of Belgian-Moroccan national reportedly linked to IS and Nov 2015 Paris attacks. Veteran independent journalist Ali al-Nouzla 25 Jan said he will face trial in Feb for “undermining territorial integrity” after he said Western Sahara one of three “red lines” in Morocco media (others being monarchy and Islam).
Moroccan authorities 11 Dec announced “terrorist cell” reportedly linked to Islamic State dismantled, nine arrested in several Moroccan towns.
Trial of seven journalists and activists charged with threatening national security and failing to disclose foreign funding began mid-Nov. Authorities 16 Nov said four militants with suspected links to Islamic State (IS) arrested in Beni Mellal; police 28 Nov arrested three including two Turkish nationals suspected of ties to IS. Thousands 1 Nov protested in Tangier against high utility prices. King Mohammed 5 Nov pardoned 4,215 prisoners to mark 40th anniversary of “Green March”.
Ruling Islamist Justice and Development party (PJD) 4 Sept won several major cities in local elections, though rival Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) won majority of local seats due to strong performance in rural areas.
Fourteen suspected of forming Islamic State (IS) recruitment network arrested 25 Aug in several cities including Fez and Casablanca, and near Madrid in joint operation with Spanish authorities.
Authorities 13 April reported militant cell near northern city Nador loyal to Islamic State and planning attacks in Morocco and Netherlands dismantled.
Security services 22 March announced terrorist cell dismantled, weapons seized in Agadir.
King Mohammed visited France early Feb, met with President Hollande to discuss terrorism, security cooperation after year-long chill in bilateral relations, suspension in counter-terrorism cooperation. Flights to and from Libya suspended mid-Feb due to security concerns. Three suspected of seeking to join Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) militants in Libya arrested 20 Feb in Casablanca and Oujda, near Algerian border.
Authorities 17 Jan announced Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) recruiting cell dismantled, 25 Jan announced Algerian suspect linked to Sept killing of French tourist in Algiers arrested near Algerian border.