Morocco breaks up Qaeda-linked cells
Rabat - Morocco said on Friday it had broken up a three-man cell with links to al-Qaeda which planned to carry out attacks on security headquarters and Western interests in the kingdom.
"The members of this cell intended to join camps of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) outside Morocco to undergo military training with the aim of returning to the kingdom to carry out criminal acts," the interior ministry said.
The cell, which called itself the al-Battar Squadron, "included a former detainee under anti-terrorist legislation, and was headed by one of the most active individuals on jihadist Internet sites with links to the al-Qaeda network", it said.
"This individual had close relations with terrorist organisations in Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Iraq," a ministry statement added.
A security source told AFP the group was "very dangerous", adding that it was "the first time AQIM is implicated in a planned operation inside Morocco."
The interior ministry said: "The members of this cell were in constant contact with the leadership of AQIM with the aim of obtaining the weapons necessary for carrying out their criminal project in the kingdom and of coordinating their operations in line with the objectives of this terrorist organisation."