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US State Department hails Morocco’s capabilities

The US State Department has published its annual report on terrorism in the world for 2021 in which Morocco is included. The Kingdom is described as a major ally and a strong player in the fight against terrorism, violent crime, money laundering and border protection.

Morocco’s efforts in the fight against terrorism have been described in detail in the very long annual report of the American State Department.

In 2021, the kingdom continued its intense fight against terrorism, allowing it to record no incidents throughout the year thanks to the vigilance of its security services and its proactive approach.

“The country continued to face sporadic threats from small independent terrorist cells, the majority of which said they were inspired by or affiliated with the Islamic State,” noted the report, which recalls that the country is a member of the Global Forum. terrorism, which he co-chairs with Canada, as well as the counter-violent extremism working group of the global coalition to defeat Daesh, and co-chairs the Africa think tank within this same coalition.

Antony Blinken’s department explains that the United States and Morocco have “a long history of strong cooperation in the fight against terrorism”.

The Moroccan government has pursued its global strategy in the fight against extremism and radicalism, while ensuring regional and international cooperation.

Morocco’s efforts in the fight against the financing of terrorism are welcomed by the United States in this report which indicates that Morocco is a member of the Financial Action Task Force on the Middle East and North Africa (FATFIMOAN) and that the National Financial Intelligence Authority is a member of the Egmont Group.

“In 2021, Morocco enacted stricter anti-money laundering legislation, in line with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards, in response to a 2019 MENAFATF mutual evaluation report that placed Morocco on a status heightened surveillance for money laundering”, underlines the publication.

With regard to the fight against violent extremism and extremist ideology, the report recalls certain Moroccan initiatives such as the training center for Moroccan imams in Rabat, which also trains imams from West Africa, and underlines that the kingdom “has a strategy in this area that prioritizes economic and human development in addition to the fight against radicalization leading to violence”.

“The Ulema Rabita Mohammadia fights against radicalization by producing scholarly research, revising educational curricula and carrying out youth outreach activities on religious and social topics,” the report said.

The Department of State, continued the same source, “has supported the efforts of the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Reintegration (DGAPR) to modernize prison management, develop inmate classification tools, control disturbances , change inmate behavior and build more secure facilities”.

“The DGAPR, in cooperation with other ministries, has organized several training sessions on its de-radicalization program, Moussalaha (Reconciliation), for both women and men,” adds the State Department.

On Morocco’s role in international and regional cooperation, the State Department qualifies Morocco as a “major non-NATO ally”, recalling that in 2021 it hosted the maneuvers of the African Lion, “the largest and most complex military exercise of AFRICOM (US Africa Command), which includes specialized training for units related to the fight against terrorism”.

“In 2021, Moroccan security services (…) arrested at least 55 people in 11 counter-terrorism operations, effectively dismantling cells in the early stages of planning attacks against a range of targets, including buildings. public authorities, the security services and eminent personalities”, can we read in the report.

The document notes that Morocco has benefited in this sense from intelligence gathering, police work and collaboration with international partners to carry out counter-terrorism operations, with the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ , under the DGST).

“Moroccan law enforcement has participated in a wide range of U.S.-sponsored programs to enhance the country’s technical and investigative capabilities, including financial investigations, intelligence analysis, and cybersecurity,” notes Blinken County.

He adds that border security has remained a top priority for the Moroccan authorities and that the Moroccan airport authorities have excellent capabilities in detecting fraudulent documents.

Finally, the police, customs officers and the Royal Gendarmerie have set up mobile and fixed checkpoints along the roads in the border areas and at the entrances to the main cities (…) in addition to the navy and guard units. Moroccan coasts who monitored and patrolled the vast coastal waters of Morocco, including the Strait of Gibraltar, to fight against traffickers, adds the American report.

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