"Morocco is in a state of extreme alert and this situation prevails as
much in Casablanca as in other cities and sensitive zones in the country,"
Moroccan Communications Minister Nabil Bin Abdullah said. "Terrorism can
strike any time."
The alert was reported on April 18 in wake of a series of suicide
bombings in Casablanca. So far, the attacks have not resulted in casualties
other than the bombers themselves, Middle East Newsline reported.
Officials said a security alert has been relayed to authorities in
several major cities in the North African kingdom. They said the most likely
target of an Al Qaida attack remains Casablanca.
Officials said Morocco has increased security around foreign
installations and major hotels. They said churches and synagogues have also
come under additional protection.
"Moroccan authorities have beefed up security at consulates, hotels
frequented by foreigners and religious places," Bin Abdullah said.
Officials said Moroccan security forces have captured a suspect believed
to have assembled the explosive vests given to suicide bombers. They said
the unidentified suspect assembled at least 15 such vests as well as other
types of bombs.
The alleged bombmaker was said to have provided authorities with the
chemicals used in the explosive vests. Officials quoted the suspect as
saying that the suicide bombers were told to roam urban areas and determine
The suicide bombings were attributed to an Al Qaida-aligned network
based in Casablanca. Officials said more than 30 Moroccans, believed
aided by Al Qaida commanders abroad, have assembled or acquired explosive
vests and targeted U.S. diplomatic missions, Western shipping and strategic
sites in the kingdom.
"The fight for us is on two fronts," Bin Abdullah said, "to protect
citizens and ensure the stability of the country and to continue building a
strong democracy which is being targeted by terrorists and to strengthen
social and democratic development."