Counter-Terrorism: Morocco And The Murderous Militant Minority

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May 24, 2011: On April 28, a terrorist bomb went off a popular tourist café in Marrakech, Morocco, killing 16 people. Most of the dead were foreign tourists, and it was the worst terror attack in eight years. The bomber was sloppy, however, and police were able to track him down, along with two accomplices. What they found was a determined al Qaeda admirer who was unable to connect with al Qaeda central, or travel to current terrorist hotspots (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Chechnya) because the Moroccan police were monitoring anyone going to those places. But the arrested man was able to get a workable bomb design on the Internet, and was able to get bomb making materials locally. There are a lot of official al Qaeda "how to be a terrorist" stuff on the Internet, but wannabes tend to pay insufficient attention to the need for security.

The incident also demonstrated that, as long as there is a lot of pro-terrorist propaganda out there, some small percentage (often less than one percent) of the population will buy into to it, and seek to carry out terror attacks. Since there are so few terror attacks in places like Morocco, each one that does occur is a big deal. But it's not much of a trend.

 


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