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[Published: Wednesday January 05 2011]


27 terrorists arrested by Moroccan security forces


Rabat, 5 Jan. – (ANA) - Moroccan security forces have discovered a terrorist cell and an three arms caches near Amghala, 220 km west of the city of Laayoune, in Western Sahara.

One of the men arrested was a member of the al-Qeada in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) whose mission was to recruit and send volunteers to the AQIM camps in northern Mali and plot terrorist acts using suicide-bomb belts and car bombs targeting security services.

The arrested group was planning to hold up banks in Rabat and Casablanca to finance their terrorist activities in Morocco.

According to the Moroccan minister of interior, Taib Cherkaqoui, the arrested men had links to extremist elements of different European nationalities. The security forces arrested four elements of the group in Figuig and Ahfir, attempting to cross over to Algeria, he said

It must be recalled that the Malian security forces last month arrested a major drug traffickers ring masterminded by the Algerian-backed Polisario Front. 

Mauritanian officials and high-ranking military officers from Niger also confirmed the arrest of Polisario drug traffickers. "This is a major drug trafficking networks in the area of the Sahara, it is called the Polisario network because it was composed over 90% of elements from the Polisario camps," according to a Nigerian security source.
In Chad, another Sahel country where drug smugglers  and lately AQIM elements have been active,  Chadian forces intercepted in early December a shipment of arms and drug on their way North.
Chad is a new front in the war against AQIM and drug traffickers.
According to the pan-African weekly “Jeune Afrique”, the drug traffickers  arrested in
Mali included Breika Ould Cheikh, a ranking member of the Polisario,  Hmoud Ould Ould Maatallah Farha, a former soldier living in the Saharawi refugee camps in the Tindouf area, and Ali Lahcen Ould Brahim, born in Algeria. At least of one of the suspects have already confirmed that he "delivered food to AQIM on several occasions, for financial reasons."

AQIM, with headquarters in the Algerian desert, has recently been active in the Sahel region and has posed serious challenges to the security forces of neighbouring countries. (ANA)


AB/ANA/ 5 January 2011---

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