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Terrorism : French-Moroccan collaboration thwarts an attack against a church

Thanks to intelligence provided by Morocco’s DGST and DGSI, France succeeded in arresting a young radicalized woman in Béziers. According to a source familiar with the matter, she is a «French-Moroccan».

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Based on intelligence transmitted on April 1 by the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST), the French authorities managed to arrest a French national who was planning to carry terrorist acts. In a press release, the French security services revealed that the operation took place overnight from Saturday to Sunday in Béziers. The 18-year-old French Islamist had terrorist plans targeting churches in the south of France.

«Highly operational data transmitted to the French intelligence services related to imminent terrorist plans plotted by this extremist, in collaboration with ISIS leaders, were at the origin of the thwarting of large-scale attacks on French soil», the French authorities said.

The same source indicates that «this operation allowed the seizure at the parental home of the defendant, adjacent to a church, of several suspicious materials, including a saber, homemade explosive devices made from taped bottles and marbles».

Information from Morocco concerning a «French-Moroccan»

A source close to the case, contacted by Yabiladi, confirms that «the alert was given by the DGST (General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance, Morocco) to the DGSI (General Directorate of Internal Security, France) on Friday, as part of the counterterrorism cooperation». «Morocco would have given specific intelligence on the French-Moroccan», the same source added.

While the rapid and effective action of the French police is to be underlined, the contribution of Morocco for this crackdown which made it possible to avoid the worst was ignored.

Four other women, including a minor, were also arrested in Béziers as part of the same operation. The French media specify that the arrestees are the mother and three sisters of the person initially targeted by the operation. 

The arrest took place in the popular district of La Dévèze, south-east of Béziers, according to Le Point. The weekly, which cited a local source, added that the women «were known to be radicalized» and some of them are also known «for viewing ISIS videos». However, «none of the five women taken into custody was known to the police».

The investigation by the National Antiterrorist Prosecutor's Office is open for «terrorist association» and «possession and manufacture of explosives in connection with a terrorist enterprise» in order to determine the nature of the possible project, according to AFP.

It also reported, Monday, that the custody of the 18-year-old girl and two other women of her family were extended by 48 hours, while that of her minor sister was lifted, Monday evening.

Yabiladi contacted the French Interior Ministry for more information about the French-Moroccan counterterrorism collaboration in this operation. We are awaiting responses to questions sent by email.

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