Moroccan politician and reporter held on 'terrorism' charges

Moroccan police detained a leading member of a large Islamist parliamentary party and the correspondent of a Hezbollah television channel.

Moroccan politician and reporter held on 'terrorism' charges

Moroccan police Tuesday detained a leading member of a large Islamist parliamentary party and the correspondent of a Hezbollah television channel, party sources said.

The arrests followed those of 23 people, including the leaders of two new Islamist parties, on Monday.

The arrests aimed at dismantling a cell which was preparing attacks in Morocco, police said.

It was the first time that important political leaders were held on terrorism-related charges in the north African kingdom.

Local observers described the detained politicians as moderate, suggesting that the authorities may have wanted to give a "warning" to Islamists who might threaten the position of the traditional parties ahead of the 2009 local elections.

Detainee Mae El Ainain Abadila belongs to the Justice and Development Party (PJD), a Islamist party in the opposition, which came second in the 2007 parliamentary elections and has 46 seats in the 325-member parliament.

Abadila, who is of Saharawi origin, heads a commission on Western Sahara, which Moroccan political parties regard as Moroccan despite the campaign waged by the independence movement Polisario in the desert territory.

Abdelhafid Sriti, correspondent of the Hezbollah television channel Al Manar, was also detained. He is not related to the PJD.

The arrests followed those of 23 people on Monday, including the leaders of two new Islamist parties. They are Mohammed Moatassim, secretary general of Al Badil Al Hadari (Civilizational Alternative), and Mohammed Marwani, secretary general of Al Oumma (The Nation).

Neither party is represented in parliament.

Police said the arrests aimed at busting a network planning attacks. The suspected leader of the cell, who was identified as Abdelkader Belliraj, was among those held.

The network had links with other organizations in Morocco and abroad, according to police sources.

The PJD was expected to issue a statement on Abadila's arrest.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Şubat 2008, 16:08
YORUM EKLE