A French citizen of Algerian origin was arrested by Moroccan police near Tangiers on suspicion of recruiting men to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight for al-Qaida. The suspect was described as a veteran member of the international terror network, who fought in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bosnia. The authorities also announced that he was charged with raising funds and manpower for fighting in Syria. Morocco seems to be turning into a major source of recruits for conflicts in Syria, Mali and elsewhere, though the country itself has experienced few terrorist attacks compared to its neighbors. According to Morocco’s interior minister, Mohamed Hassad, 1,212 Moroccans belong to terrorist groups that participate in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, including several Moroccans who have committed suicide attacks there.
Meanwhile, in a separate but related development, Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has expressed its highest concern about a possible terrorist attack within days. The head of the PST, Benedicte Bjoernland, stressed that the PST received reliable information about the pending attack that could most likely come from individuals with links to Islamic fighters. This information was sent by extremists who fought in Syria, the Associated Press reported. However, the agency does not have any information about when or how an attack would take place, as the terror threat was vague about the target. According to the intelligence service, as many as 50 people traveled to Syria from Norway to fight in the civil war, half of whom have now returned to the Scandinavian country. In response to the threat, law enforcement has been increased at train stations, ports, airports, major intersections and border crossings.