Morocco decided, since the international community has imposed the good offices of the US veteran diplomat Christopher Ross as the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Western Sahara, to use all means to be stated an indispensable partner of the anti-terrorism at a time when its reputation was severely affected by several cyclical factors:
– Cannabis trafficking, the barons acting under the orders of Morocco’s Makhzen, became one of the main sources of financing of the terrorist group Al Qaeda installed in Mali.
– The failure of the so-called autonomy plan that was not given any consideration by the international community committed to the international law and UN resolutions, namely the principle of self-determination for Western Sahara as a non-self-governing territory.
– The fear of losing control of the resources of the former Spanish colony, the only way for Morocco to compete with Algeria at the regional leadership level.
– The serious violations of human rights in the occupied territories of Western Sahara which have turned into an open prison locked before the international observers.
– The assertion of Algeria as a military power, and its economic and strategic increasing role.
– The public display of dirty laundry of the kingdom by the cousin of King Mohammed VI, Prince Hicham El Alaoui.
– The WikiLeaks cables revealing the involvement in the trafficking of cannabis conducted by some leading figures in the entourage of the royal palace as well as the statements made to the newspaper Echourouk of a former Moroccan secret service agent Hicham Bouchti incriminating the Moroccan regime’s drug trade.
The Moroccan authorities have a long experience in the exploitation and manipulation of the terrorist threat, a sensitive issue in the eyes of Western powers. The chaos in Mali offers the opportunity. The economic and social situation in Mauritania allows elements of Moroccan DGED (External Moroccan intelligence agency) to swiftly act with ease. From Nouakchott, the Moroccan agents multiply attacks against the Polisario Front and Algeria. Some Mauritanian sites talk of « collusion » of the Saharawi movement with terrorist organizations in Mali.
The attack against the Sahrawi camps and the birth of MUJAO:
October 23th, 2011, a group of terrorists attack the town of Rabouni, the administrative capital of the Polisario Front and abducts two Spanish aid workers and an Italian.
Moroccan relay in Mali, the AFP correspondent in Bamako, Serge Daniel stood hounding on the Saharan movement in a period of suspense until the captors reveal their identity and claims. The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trinidad Jimenez arrived in Rabat two days after the abduction to seek help from the Moroccan authorities. Although the incident took place on an Algerian land, but it seems that the Spanish administration suspected Morocco
of being the mastermind behind that terrorist operation; the same suspicions were unequivocally shared by the Saharawi officials.
The kidnappers would maintain the suspense for two weeks. Then it is a mysterious Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) claiming responsibility. A movement that signed its birth certificate with its attack against the host house of Rabouni, where these foreign aid workers responsible for monitoring programs and assistance to the Sahrawi refugee camps, had been staying. MUJAO would be,since, distinguished from other terrorist organizations active in the Malian territory by its hounding position against Algeria subsequently making it its main target. Its name indicates the West Africa but the GPS is fixed on the North and more specifically on Algeria (Attacks in Tindouf October 23th, 2011 at Tamanrasset, March 3rd, 2012, June 29th, 2012 Ouargla and especially the kidnapping of seven Algerian diplomats in Gao in April 2012). The media releases and attacks on Algeria and Polisario, the swashbuckling battlefield horse of the MUJAO, leave no doubt about the role of the Moroccan secret services.
And in a weird coincidence, the founding father of this movement, Hammada Kheirou Ould Mohamed is a native of Mauritania; a country that a month after the attack against Rabouni expelled Abdelhafid El Bakkali in December 21st, 2011. El Bakkali was disclosed as a Moroccan DGED officer acting under the cover of the MAP correspondent, the official news agency of Morocco. Since then, relations between the two countries are limited to keep up appearances, especially since the attempted assassination of the Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz. At the same time, according to documents revealed by the Moroccan hacker Chris Coleman, the French journalist Vincent Hervouet was charged by a Moroccan agent of DGED Ahmed Charai to fabricate a story on a TV program against the Polisario. In effect, in an email dated in December 7th, 2011, Hervouet announced to his Moroccan « employer » that he would talk in his program stating that, « the kidnappers of the two French in Mali to be sort of type of Qaida in the Maghreb (AQMI) coming from the Polisario camps”
At the same time, their relay in Mauritania, Sahara Media, appears to provide media connection with the terrorist group and becoming, thus, their privileged spokesperson.
The report that condemns Morocco
Reacting to a dispatch from AFP correspondent in Bamako, Serge Daniel, the other relay of DGED in Mali, the former spokesman of the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amar Belani, said: « This is a blatant undertaking of misinformation, since the regional relay of instigation and fallback of MUJAO are well known to all and they are not on the Algerian territory » A clear allusion to Morocco. A charge that is reinforced by the findings of the French army in the Valley of Amettetaï that was reported by a TV program (Envoyé Spécial) broadcasted in October 17, 2013 on France2 TV channel.
In the report, members of MUJAO fled before the arrival of the French paratroopers unit that began clearing away the Valley of Ametettaï.
« After the Valley of Amettetaï, the military took on to that of Terz, further south. After three days, the second “RED” of paratroopers descends into the valley. The essential, controlling water points in this desert region. The information is accurate. The jihadists were there, but they fled. The first camp is destroyed.
A bivouac for about fifteen people containing floor mats and blankets. So, we assume that if there is ammunition, it would be at the south side of the river. I have a group in displacement there to make a checkpoint.
A little further into the river, the search begins. Rock after rock, cavity after cavity, cave after cave, until the military make a discovery: A series of caches that will take the military several hours to empty. In the middle of nowhere, computer hardware, hard drives, electronic components and also an arsenal of big guns. Two-pipe guns, machine guns of 14.5, heavy weapons that can be installed on pick-ups. » I found a dozen passports with a dozen of identity cards, « one of the soldiers announces.
Egypt, Tunisia, and even Canada. These passports, valuable sources of information show that the international jihadist has formed here a powerful rear base army. All these documents and above all the GPS devices found helped in tracking the motorway of the Jihadists for the foreign fighters.
Here, on TV screen, a map is displayed indicating in red points the path that is followed by the terrorists down from inside Morocco to north of Mali.
“The Ifoghas massif will take months to deliver its secrets” underlines the commentator. In fact, the 400 prisoners captured by the French army have certainly provided valuable information that is now in the hands of the French military, but the traced motorway following the marked GPS points leaves no doubt. The terrorists of MUJAO indeed come from Morocco and are all former Moroccan cannabis traffickers
A dispatch from the “Jeune Afrique” magazine dated 5 September 2012 reported that « The French intelligence services say that weapons were recently delivered, via Burkina Faso, to the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) « .
« As a result, French officials are puzzled how truckloads of weapons could have crossed the Burkina without the backing up of the authorities, » says French magazine. Another complicity discovered in the country of Blaise Compaore who resides now in Morocco to escape the justice of his fellow countrymen.