CAIRO Ñ Morocco has replaced its national security chief in wake of
the May 16 Al Qaida attacks in the North African kingdom.
King Mohammed has fired Hafez Bin Hashem as director of national
security. Bin Hashem was replaced by Gen. Hamido Al Unaikri, director of
state security affairs.
Officials said the move was part of a reshuffle of police and security
chiefs in wake of the Al Qaida bombings in Casablanca. Al Qaida deployed 14
bombers in attacks that killed 44 people, Middle East Newsline reported. The kingdom has placed 52 people
on trial in
connection with the bombings.
Unaikri is regarded as a confidante of the king and a rising member of
the regime. He was appointed director of state security affairs two months
after the king's accession to the throne in 1999.
The king has also replaced the directors of the Moroccan national police
and intelligence agency. Ahmed Harari was appointed head of the national
Officials said the king has also reshuffled senior officials at the
Interior Ministry. They did not elaborate.
On Wednesday, the king warned that he would not tolerate the use of
Islam to promote violence. He said Morocco would also ban the use of Islamic
ritual that was foreign to the kingdom's tradition.
"No party or group can pretend to be the spokesman or tutor of Islam,"
the king said.