Morocco sentences 14 Islamists to prison: report
A Moroccan court sentenced 14 suspects accused of forming an Islamist group to terms ranging from four to 15 years in jail, al-Jazeera news channel reported Friday on its website.
The appellate court in Sale, twin city to Rabat, on Thursday handed Rachid Zerbani, head of the self-titled Fath al-Andalous group, a 15-year jail term, while the remaining members of the cell received four to eight year imprisonment terms, the Doha- based network said, Xinhua reported.
According to the report, the Islamists were found guilty of storing explosive devices to launch attacks against state targets, raising funds to purchase weapons and attempting to undermine the country's security.
The cell had links with several Islamist extremist groups in Algeria, Mauritania and other Arab countries as well as groups in France and Spain, a statement by the court said.
Morocco's security forces have been on alert since a series of suicide bombings rocked Casablanca in 2003, leaving 45 people dead. Police said they dismantled over 60 Islamist cells since then with more than 2,000 terrorists having been sent to jail after standing trials.