Morocco: Tension rises as Islamist fundamentalism increases Jihad against Spanish occupation of Moslem lands

Moroccan police have dismantled the Armed Islamic Group Al Hiyra ua Takfir, responsible for up to 150 killings over the past three years. However, this group is one of a mushrooming movement of fundamentalism and a growing resentment against what is seen as Spanish occupation of Islamic lands.

The Armed Islamic Group Al Hiyra ua Takfir (Hegira and Judgement for Infidels) was dismantled on Thursday by Moroccan police as 6 cells with five members each were arrested. Investigators attribute six murders to this group but police sources state that they may have been responsible for up to 150 other killings. The group admits responsibility to 154 other acts of violence.

Their activities were carried out against those they considered as being unfaithful to Islam. Bodies were thrown down wells, throats were slit and people were gunned down for such crimes as “drinking alcohol”. The killings took place around the country, in Tangiers, Nador, Rabat, Mohammadia, Casablanca and Sale.

Many radical Islamist groups have appeared in Morocco in the last decade. They are particularly popular in the poor suburbs of cities where militant activity provides a goal for the unemployed and those without hopes for their future. Al Hiyra ua Takfir described itself as “a hardline Islamist group without concessions”. Other radical groups are beginning a public awareness campaign against what they claim to be Spanish occupation of Moslem lands, for which they are proposing a Jihad, or Holy War.

The Spanish presence in Ceuta and Melilla is increasingly contested among Moroccans, as the show of force over the uninhabited Parsley Island showed recently.


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