18 terrorists jailed in Morocco

February 27th, 2009 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Rabat, Feb 27 (Xinhua) A Moroccan court has convicted 18 terrorists and sentenced them to jail terms ranging between three and 15 years for their involvement in the 2003 Casablanca blasts, MAP news agency has reported.
A string of blasts had rocked Morocco’s economic capital Casablanca in May 2003 and killed 45 people, including 12 bombers, and injured scores.

Saad al-Husseini, the major suspect in the case, got a 15-year jail term for “harming the interior security of the state, and forming a criminal gang to prepare and commit terror acts as part of a collective project aimed to seriously undermine public order,” the report said.

He was charged mainly with raising and managing funds, and inciting terror acts. Five suspects were given eight years in jail for similar charges as al-Husseini, while one person received a five-year prison term and 11 others got three-year prison terms.

Al-Husseini, who was arrested in 2007, is said to have received training in Afghanistan on the handling of light arms, the manufacturing of explosives and street fighting.

The man is believed to be the founding leader of the military arm of a terrorist group known as the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM).

He is also allegedly involved in the 2004 Madrid bombings. In December 2007, he was interrogated by a Spanish judge in charge of investigating the bombings.

Besides the Casablanca bombings, Morocco also sustained a string of suicide bombings in March and April 2007, that killed eight, including a policeman and seven bombers.

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