Man held in Morocco swoop
CASABLANCA: Moroccan security services have arrested a chemistry graduate after discovering bomb-making materials in a suspected hideout of the Casablanca suicide bombers, a newspaper reported on Monday.
The Arabic daily Al Ahdath al Maghribia said an explosive device had also been found in the house in the Massira district, said to have been used by the attackers who struck on Friday killing 28 people and wounding around 100.
Justice Minister Mohamed Bouzoubaa has pointed to the possible involvement of a little-known Islamist group, Assirat al Moustaquim (The Righteous Path), in the attacks that shocked Moroccans who thought their country was immune to terrorism or the type of violence that has torn apart neighbouring Algeria.
Moroccan press reports said six of the 13 suicide bombers had been identified, and were aged between 18 and 24. The Assabah daily quoted the head of the forensic unit at Casablanca’s main hospital as saying the dead bombers were slightly built, pale and appeared to have shaved their beards only hours before launching the attacks.
“Three of them bore a striking resemblance, suggesting they were brothers,” said another Arabic paper Al Ittihad al Ishtiraki.
Bouzoubaa said all the suicide bombers were Moroccans and some of them had recently returned from abroad. A 14th bomber, captured as he tried to escape, has supplied information on others involved in the attacks.
“There are indications showing that they have links with Assirat al Moustaquim,” he said.
The daily al Ahdath al Maghribia, known to have access to security sources, said security services were also interrogating at least two Egyptians and a Saudi in Casablanca, and that the group that led the attacks had received orders from abroad.
Tangiers authorities were reported to have arrested a French national of Afghan descent and a Tunisian on Saturday when they tried to leave the country at Tangiers port. They had arrived in Morocco about a week ago.
Preliminary results of the investigation show that one of the suspects was in Casablanca at the time of the attacks while the other was in Tangiers.
Communications Minister Nabil Benabdellah said foreign security services were helping with the investigation. —Reuters