Morocco announces arrest of Italian man linked to IS group

AP News
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Posted: Jun 13, 2016 8:37 AM

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Moroccan authorities said Tuesday they had arrested an Italian national on suspicion of plotting attacks in support of the Islamic State group.

In a statement, Morocco's Ministry of Interior said that the unidentified man had been "brainwashed" by the fanatical Muslim group and had unsuccessfully tried to join the organization's training camps back in 2014.

Italy's Interior Ministry did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. The line was busy at the Italian Embassy in Rabat.

The Moroccan statement said the Italian was arrested Wednesday at Oujda airport near the Algerian border. It added that he was ordinarily resident in Belgium but had spent time in Casablanca, Morocco's commercial capital, after arriving in the North African kingdom in June 2015.

Few other details were released.

The arrest was one of several linked to IS in Morocco. Last month officials announced the arrest of a Chadian national suspected of plotting to attack Western diplomatic buildings and tourist sites. In March, officials said that investigators had dismantled a nine-member cell linked to IS in Libya that was in the final stages of preparing "terrorist operations" in Morocco.