Morocco breaks up ISIL-linked 'terrorist cell'

RABAT (AA) – Moroccan authorities say they have dismantled a local "terrorist cell" linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) militant group.

"The three-member cell had declared their allegiance to the so-called ISIL," the Moroccan Interior Ministry said in a Tuesday statement.

According to the ministry, the three cell members – who were arrested in the northern city of Fnidaq – had "close links" to another cell that had recruited fighters for the ISIL before being busted by authorities last summer.

Preliminary investigations, it added, had revealed that the brother of one of the three arrested militants had recently been killed while fighting for the ISIL.

The ministry went on to say that the three men would be referred to court once security forces wrapped up their investigations.

Last year, Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad had put the number of Moroccan nationals fighting for the ISIL in Syria or Iraq at some 1,200.

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