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People’s resistance to the coloniser and an army coup against a corrupt kingship

Paris Match, juli 1971

On 10 July 1971 a number of high-ranking army officers decided to carry out a coup against King Hassan II, of the Alaouite dynasty. They tried to take over power by attacking and deposing the summer palace where the then king received many guests during a garden party.
Resistance to power has a long history in Morocco. And this coup is one of the attempts to put an end to corruption and abuse of power by a ruling elite.
How it could come to this and what developments led to this coup is explained in this article.

Morocco under occupation
Initially, the Moroccan people rebelled against the occupying forces of France and Spain who had occupied Morocco at the 1906 Convention of Algeciras (Spain) with the consent of the Alaouite dynasty. The struggle to control the North African territory was called pacification by the colonial powers concealing it. This armed resistance, which lasted from 1912 to 1933, is seen as the fiercest anticolonial battle waged against the western powers. Despite the enormous power in men and equipment of the French and Spanish armies, it took more than twenty years to get Morocco and the Rif under control.

In the Rif, the Spanish occupying army experienced fierce resistance led by Mohamed Ameziane (1). This resistance fighter fought until he died on the battlefield in 1912. Although the struggle continued, the resistance was weakened and less well organized until 1921, when the charismatic leader Mohamed ibn Abdelkrim Al Khattabi (1882-1963) managed to reunite the tribes and the Rif resistance fighters won important battles, such as the battle of Anoual (2). In the end they controlled so much territory that in 1923 the Rif Republic could be proclaimed: ‘the Federation of the Riffian Tribes’.

With the support of the Moroccan sultan, the Spaniards and French intensified their attacks, expanded their troops and even used chemical weapons on civilian targets. And with this bombardment with poison gas they managed to put an end to the existence of the Rif Republic in 1926, but not to the desire of the Riffians to be free and independent

The tribe of Ait Atta in the Anti-Atlas survived the longest until they too had to give up fighting in 1933. This terrible war resulted in many deaths and wounded among the indigenous people on the battlefield. Many fled their homes to escape death.

The Alaouite dynasty
Eventually, after the colonial powers had trained a new administrative elite, the national government was transferred to the Alaouite Monarchy in 1956.
The people of the Rif rebelled against this administration in 1958. This population, which lasted the longest in the struggle against the colonial powers, resisted the poor social conditions and unfair treatment by this monarchy.

The Riffians protested peacefully against discrimination and marginalisation by the young ‘Moroccan state’. Because the government in Rabat sent Arabic-speaking officials to the Rif, among others, who spoke neither the native language of the area nor respected the traditions and customs of the Riffians. In addition, investment in the Rif was not forthcoming, causing unemployment and poverty to rise immensely. They informed King Mohamed V of their demands in a letter. King Mohamed V did not respond to these demands, in fact he accused them of sedition and deployed the army against the demonstrators. This army operation against the population of the Rif was accompanied by heavy napalm bombardments, after which 20,000 troops (3) combed out the entire Rif. Eyewitnesses speak of cruel massacres, rapes and looting. At the same time many people were captured, some of whom disappeared without trace.

Also elsewhere in Morocco people were not happy with how the country was governed. This resulted in several demonstrations of the people such as the one in Casablanca in 1965, which was also violently defeated by the army. This protest, which started as a school protest in which the unemployed and slum dwellers joined in, killed many people.

On 7 June 1965 a state of emergency was declared and the then ruler Hassan II sent the government home, suspended parliament, and suspended the constitution, leaving all power in his hands. In 1966 he introduces conscription. The state of emergency lasted 5 years, until 1970. Power was consolidated within a small group around the king, abuse of power and corruption increased considerably. 

Corrupt entourage of the king
During preliminary discussions of a state visit of Hassan II to the US in 1970, General Mohamed Medbouh is addressed by an American Senator on the corruption within Moroccan government circles. Also known as the PanAm affair, this affair is said to involve six Moroccan ministers: Mohamed Imani, Yahia Chefchaouni, Abdelkrim Lazrak, Mamoun Tahiri, Mohamed Jaidi and Abdelhamid Karim (4). King Hassan II decided not to take up these allegations, which leads to a lack of understanding within army circles.

The army coup
On Saturday, July 10, 1971, King Hassan II celebrated his 42nd birthday. For this occasion, the monarch gave a reception at his summer residence in Skhirat, a 3 km-long site with pavilions and villas and an 18-hole golf course, near Rabat on the Atlantic coast. More than a thousand guests, men only, were invited to this reception. The company included the entire government, almost the entire general staff, all commanders of the military units. That made this festive event an ideal opportunity for a coup, the whole family of the king was within reach.

Colonel Mhamed Ababou, Photo: internet

300 kilometres from Skhirat, in the Atlas area, stands the military school for non-commissioned officers of Ahermoumou, which has about 1400 cadets and officers. At the head of this school is 33-year-old lieutenant colonel Mhamed Ababou, the youngest officer with the rank of colonel in the Moroccan army. These 1400 cadets were told by the army command that a two-day army exercise would take place on 10 July at Sidi Slimane, about a hundred kilometres from Rabat. That day, a military column of 60 army trucks with on board 1400 officers, non-commissioned officers and cadets and eight tons of ammunition left Ahermoumou. They were divided into 25 command units of 15 to 40 men, each command unit was commanded by an officer and a special command brigade, consisting of 25 carefully selected non-commissioned officers, who coordinated the operation.

The convoy takes a break at Bouknadel in the Maâmora forest. At that moment Mhamed Ababou, his brother Mohamed and other officers joined and the commander of the Ahermoumou school gave his officers the following order:
Two buildings in Skhirat, which were supposed to have been occupied by rebels, had to be besieged and all entrances had to be closed, foreigners present had to be removed and put in trucks and anyone who tried to flee had to be shot at. Colonel Mhamed Ababou divided the convoy into two groups: a first group which, under his command, would invade the complex in Skhirat from the south. The second group, commanded by his older brother, Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Ababou, will invade the complex from the north. Mhamed Ababou informed his men that liberating the king from the hands of subversive elements and traitors was the objective of the operation. More military units were on their way to take part, the cadets of Ahermoumou were told by their commander.

Mhamed Ababou,
Photo: internet

Lieutenant Colonel Mhamed Ababou (1938-1971) was born in Boured, Izennayen in the Rif. His father worked for the French government in Morocco, which gave him access to the French colonial schools. He studied at the Collège berbère d’Azrou (now Lycée Tarik Ibn Ziad) and at the military academy in Meknes. In 1968 he was appointed commander of the Military School of Petty Officers in Ahermoumou. He obtained his commanding degree at the French School of the General Staff. Ababou belonged to the important cadres of the Moroccan army and led large army exercises. One of his officers described him, he made his men subordinate to his power, he was feared and loved and respected by everyone at the same time, including his superiors”. 

The column of Ababou drove into the centre of Rabat around half past two in the afternoon. On this warm and busy day, people looked in amazement at the long line of military trucks full of soldiers with loaded machine guns that slowly drove into the capital of Morocco. Upon arrival in Skhirat, the convoy split into two groups, each group entering through the previously agreed entrance to the Royal residence in Skhirat.

Fleeing guests in Skhirat on 10/07/1971, Paris Match 1971

Assault on the royal palace
The guarding of the royal residence of Skhirat consisted of members of the Royal Guard, paratroopers, gendarmerie and members of the secret service. The cadets of Ahermoumou invaded, without much resistance, the summer palace of Hassan II. The two units of CMI, Compagnies Mobiles d’Intervention, the Mobile Units, who later wanted to come to the aid of the king, were quickly eliminated by the Ahermoumou cadets.

The cadets of Ahermoumou were no older than 20 years and came mainly from poor families from Atlas and the Rif. They were well trained but had no combat experience. When they entered the palace they were surprised by the luxury life of the king and his entourage. The leader of the faithful, as the constitution states, was feasting on refined food and alcoholic beverages.

Colonel Mhamed Ababou was stopped by the palace guards at the entrance. A lieutenant blocked Ababou’s way, he warned the lieutenant if he did not avoid, he was forced to shoot him, the lieutenant shot the colonel and was wounded, but not killed. Then the cadets shot at the fleeing guests, as their commander had ordered.

Fleeing guests in Skhirat on 10/07/1971, Paris Match 1971

After the first shots were fired, the king was led away to the throne room and then placed in an unknown place. He was said to have been hiding in the toilets together with a number of confidants. According to another version, he was in a large garbage container.

One of the guests who usually swung a thick pack of banknotes to the cadets was badly hurt. “That’s not what we came for!” Ahermoumou’s cadets roared.

General Mohamed Medbouh in white polo shirt just before his death, beside him Hassan II with sunglasses, Paris Match, July 1971
General Mohamed Medbouh (1927–1971), Photo: Getty Images

The death of General Medbouh

After the soldiers of Mhamed Ababou had secured the palace of Skhirat, they tried to find King Hassan II. At that moment General Mohamed Medbouh appeared who came to get his story from Colonel Ababou. The capture of the palace would take place without shooting. Whereupon the colonel, the general asked if his part of the mission had been carried out, namely neutralizing the king. According to the colonel, the general’s answer was not convincing, moreover he saw that Medbouh’s companion, doctor Benaïch, a private doctor of the king, was carrying a small machine gun, on which he ordered his soldiers to kill the 44-year-old general.

This general didn’t just get his name Medbouh. Medbouh in Arabic means ‘slaughtered’. This name was given to the family after the Riffian resistance cut his father’s throat because he had betrayed the resistance to the French at the time of Abdelkrim. Moreover, in 1963 the general himself betrayed a conspiracy against Hassan II of which he himself was part at the last moment. Colonel Abadou knew the family history of his compatriot Medbouh.

But the colonel could not ignore him, he needed someone in his position to move his troops freely through the area of three military districts from Ahermoumou to Skhirat. But also to control the army. Medbouh’s influence was great, he was previously commander of the Royal Guard, served in the French army and had close contacts with the CIA (5) and was Minister of Post and Telecommunications. He was also married to the daughter of a senior army officer, Marshal Mohammed ben Mizzian ben Kassem, (1897-1975). 

After the search for Hassan II in the palace of Skhirat, Mohamed Ababou stayed behind in Skhirat together with some of the cadets, and Mhamed Ababou went with the rest to Rabat to continue the coup.

Occupation of government buildings in Rabat
Mhamed Ababou and his cadets took the main buildings of the Moroccan Radio and TV, the Ministry of the Interior and the General Staff in Rabat without encountering much resistance.

Mhamed Ababou, however, made a fatal mistake; to secure the palace in Skhirat the hundred cadets who had stayed behind with his brother were far from sufficient, the area was too large for that.

After the takeover of the radio and TV station, the coup forces reported the takeover of power. The first communiqué read: “The king is dead, long live the republic.

More communiqués followed in the course of the afternoon and evening such as: “The army has revolutionized for the good of the Moroccan people. The royal regime has fallen. We will not let the traitors trample on the honour of this people. The army has taken power and placed all the prefectures and provinces of the country under its command. “This proclamation is made by the People’s Army and the Council of the Revolutionary Army.

There was another proclamation:
“After the destruction of the feudal system, the national armed forces took power in the name of the people. “Moroccans, be vigilant, do not listen to anti-revolutionary and anti-popular orders. Military marching music was broadcast between these proclamations.

Mohamed Ababou
Photo: Wikipedia

Following these radio messages, colonel Mohamed Ababou was informed of the developments, after which he travelled to Rabat. Where after that the main post office of Rabat was taken. Afterwards Colonel Mohamed Ababou joined his brother Mhamed who was in the building of the General Staff of Rabat.

The death of Colonel Ababou

The counterattack didn’t last long. Under the leadership of General Mohamed Oufkir paratroopers were first stripped of the Palace of Shkirat and then moved with tanks in the direction of Rabat.

At the entrance of the General Staff building in Rabat, where most of the deportees were located, General Bachir Bouhali, major of the army’s general staff, appeared at the head of two Rapid Intervention Units.

General Bouhali walked to the main entrance of the building, where Colonel Mhamed Ababou met him, asked the general to surrender and ordered his soldiers to lay down their weapons. The colonel refused and wanted to negotiate this was refused by the general. A firefight ensued in which the general was killed and Colonel Ababou was badly wounded and died on the spot, putting an end to the attempted coup.

Paris Match, 11 juli 1971

The 59-year-old general Bachir Bouhali served in the French army involved in the massacre of Moroccan demonstrators in Oued Zem (Central Morocco) on 20 August 1955. After France withdrew from Morocco he was, like many other Moroccan officers in the French army, handed over by France to Morocco.

During this failed coup, more than a hundred people were killed and wounded in Skhirat: ministers, army officers, doctors of the king, the Belgian ambassador to Morocco Marcel Dupret. The Moroccan army lost five generals during the Skhirat coup: Mohamed Gharbaoui, commander of the tank division, Driss N’michi, commander of the air force, Belbsir Abdelhai, head of the military district of Meknes, Mohamed Medbouh, head of the royal military household and Bachir Bouhali, major of the army’s general staff. Among the wounded was the younger brother of King Hassan II, Prince Abdellah ben Mohammed Alaoui (1935-1983).

The Palace of Skhirat, Paris Match, July 1971

The counterattack by General Oufkir
The Minister of the Interior, General Mohamed Oufkir, was given all civil and military powers by King Hassan II to take control of the situation.
All the coup forces were quickly apprehended on that 10th July 1971: Generals Khiari Bougrine, head of the military district of Fes-Taza, Amharech Mustapha, general director of military schools, Hammou Amahzoun, Hassan II’s brother-in-law, head of the military district of Rabat-Kenitra, Abderrahman Habibi, head of the military district of Marrakech, and Colonel Larbi Chelouati, officer in the General Staff.

At a press conference the same evening Hassan II said threateningly, Within 24 hours the leaders of the rebellion will be executed. We’ll give them just enough time to tell us what they have to say.”
The executioners were given an extra night to work on their prisoners. The four generals, Hammou, Bougrine, Mustapha, Habibi and five colonels including Chelouati and one major were executed on Tuesday 13 July 1971. This execution was broadcast on Moroccan state television, the executed showed clear traces of torture. Many questions were asked about these executions and the time within which they were carried out without trial. Partly in view of the fact that there was no longer any danger to state security.

Imprisoned officers on their way to execution, Paris Match, July 1971

The Moroccan army lost nine of its fifteen generals in three days. Never before in a war, however bloody, had the loss rate under the highest command been so high.

From left to right generals: Mohamed Habibi, Bachir Bouhali, Khiari Bougrine, Hammou Amahzoun, Photo: The New York Times

Witnesses reported shooting at cadets of Ahermoumou by the royal troops while they had already surrendered and laid down their weapons. Colonel Mohamed Ababou was arrested near Achaoun (Chefchaouen) on Wednesday, 14 July 1971 after fleeing from Rabat.

The trial of the military of Ahermoumou
The captured officers, non-commissioned officers and cadets of Ahermoumou were tried by the Kenitra Military Court. At the beginning of February 1972, the public prosecutor had demanded prison sentences ranging from one year to death against officers, non-commissioned officers and Ahermoumou cadets at the Kenitra Court. They were all detained for one year in the Kenitra Military Prison after which they were transferred to the Kenitra Central Prison.

The cadets of Ahermoumou were all acquitted and dismissed from the army corps. At the end of February 1972, 74 officers and non-commissioned officers were sentenced by the military court to sentences ranging from one year to life imprisonment. Colonel Mohamed Ababou was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for his part in the coup against the King of Morocco.

Trial of Ahermoumou’s Cadets, Paris Match, July 1971

Lieutenant-colonel Mohamed Ababou (1934), four years older than his brother Mhamed, was originally from Boured in the Rif, studied at the French officers’ school. Dar el Beida in Meknes. He served in the Moroccan army during the UN mission UNOC, peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1960s. He has held various civil and military positions in Morocco. In 1971 he was an instructor at the High Military School in Kenitra.

After his conviction in February 1972 he served his sentence in Kenitra’s Central Prison and was visited until 1973. In 1975 Mohamed Ababou escaped together with other prisoners from the so-called PF3 (Point Fixe 3) in Rabat, a secret detention centre of the secret service. After this escape attempt an investigation report was issued in the Moroccan media. Since then, every trace of him has been missing.

Disappearance from prison
The other convicted escapees were secretly taken from Kenitra Central Prison to the secret Tazmamart Prison in 1973. Some of them died there after years of imprisonment, even though they had already served their sentences. The survivors were released in 1991, after Hassan II, under international pressure, had recognized the existence of Tazmamart prison and had it closed.

Ribat El Kheir (Ahermoumou), Photo: Internet

The name of the town of Ahermoumou where the military school was located also had to pay off: by order of the palace, the name Ahermoumou was changed into Ribat Al Kheir which means Fortress of Fortune.
More than a year after Skhirat’s failed coup, the Moroccan army will again attempt to overthrow King Hassan II. On Wednesday, August 16, 1972, the Moroccan Air Force opened fire on the plane of Hassan II.


1 Article about Mohamed Ameziane (English)

2 The Battle of Anoual
The battle of Anoual is one of the greatest battles in modern Riffine history that took place between Riffine resistance fighters and the Spanish army between 22 July and 9 August 1921 in Anoual. An area in the Reef between Nador and Al Hoceima. More than ten thousand Spanish soldiers died in this battle, including Spanish general Manuel Fernández Silvestre. This battle is written in Spanish history books such as The Disaster of Anoual or El Desastre de Annual.

3 Number of Moroccan soldiers in the Rif, Rif rebellion 1959 (English)

5 General Medbouh and the CIA (English)

Source list

Gilles Perrault: Notre ami le roi (1990, Gallimard; 1992, Folio) French

Mohammed Raiss: De Skhirat à Tazmamart: retour du bout de l’enfer (2002) French

Thomas K. Park & Aomar Boum: Historical Dictionary of Morocco, (2016) English

Aziz BeneBine: Taz ma mort (2009) French

Series of interviews of Al Jazeera Arabic with Tazmamart survivor Ahmed Marzouki (Arabic)

Ahmed Marzouki: La Cellule n° 10 (2001) French

Article about the failed coup of 1971 on the BBC website (English)

Article on the coup of 1971 on The New York Times website (English)


Translated by: Najat M.

Imad El Attabi, demonstrator of ‘Hirak Rif’, the first to be killed by the hand of the Moroccan security forces during the Hirak Rif protests

Imad El Attabi (1995–2017)

The 22-year-old Imad El Attabi, like thousands of others, went out to demonstrate for his rights in Al Hoceima on 20 July 2017. When he left his house he could not know that he would not return and that a bullet from the Moroccan security forces would put an end to his life. On top of this crime his family was denied the right to say the last goodbye to him. Witnesses of this murder were pressured, intimidated and imprisoned.

When Imad El Attabi took part in the demonstration of 20 July 2017 in Al Hoceima, he was suddenly shot with live ammunition, he was hit in the head and fell to the ground, whereupon his friends took him to the local hospital. Nurse Najib Bouzambou witnessed this. Subsequently, without consulting his family or the doctor on duty, his lifeless body was taken by the local authorities, most probably on assignment from Rabat, the next day by helicopter to the military hospital in Rabat.

On 8 August 2017 Imad El Attabi was officially declared dead by the Moroccan regime. Thousands of Riffians said goodbye to him during his funeral in Al-Hoceima. That the Moroccan regime had something to hide with regard to the death of Imad El Attabi who was buried in Iyyar Azegwagh, a nearby town near Al Hoceima, is evidenced by the fact that the coffin was not allowed to be opened, his medical file was not given access and his family was put under pressure by the Moroccan regime not to speak publicly about the death of their son.

X-ray photographs with words: “a bullet in the brain yesterday”.

After the funeral, the Moroccan regime started the prosecution against the witnesses of this political murder of El Attabi. The first was Abdelhak Al Fahsi (1999) from Ayt Ulichek in the province of Driouch (Nador). He was a direct witness to the political murder and responded to a call by lawyer Abdessadeq El Bouchattaoui. This lawyer presented himself on facebook as the lawyer of the El Attabi family and searched that way for witnesses of the murder of El Attabi. El Fahsi then contacted the lawyer. This brought not only the lawyer in contact with this witness, but also the Moroccan secret service. To put it mildly, this was a naive action by this lawyer who had also assisted Nasser Zefzafi and other kidnapped Riffian activists. He should have known that he was spied on and that he should not have endangered his clients in this way.

And so Al Fahsi was arrested in August 2017 and falsely accused of crimes. He was systematically tortured during pre-trial detention. This may have had something to do with the fact that Al Fahsi had registered the murder with his smartphone, the smartphone with the evidence was confiscated by the police. During a show trial he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. This sentence also meant that he could not testify in the case of Imad El Attabi. Moroccan criminal law does not allow the testimony of a person with a criminal record. The harsh punishment also served as a deterrent to other witnesses and it was hoped to silence them.

Abdelhak Al Fahsi

Nabil Achahbar also witnessed the murder of El Attabi. Photos and videos show how this Riffian activist was abducted by several Moroccan agents with brute force. All this because he witnessed this political murder and together with others he carried El Attabi to the hospital. The Moroccan court sentenced him to fifteen months in prison and he was released in October 2018.

Nabil Achahbar

The previously mentioned nurse Najib Bouzambou, who was at the hospital when El Attabi arrived there, was given access to the X-ray photographs of Imad El Attabi showing the bullet in his head. Bouzambou was arrested by the Moroccan police on the afternoon of Sunday 13 August 2017 and taken to the police station where he was humiliated, scolded, beaten and abused by Arab-speaking executioners. Najib Bouzambou was sentenced to 2 years in prison.

Najib Bouzambou

Younes Fathi, who was 20 years old at the time, had contact with the witness Abdelhak Al Fahsi who mentioned his name in the trial verbally. Fathi comes from the same region as Fahsi. For this reason Fathi was arrested in September 2017 and was convicted during a show trial for, among other things, taking part in an unauthorised demonstration, funding from abroad. Younes Fathi was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

Younes Fathi

In an interview the Moroccan Minister for Human Rights Mustapha Ramid denied in all tones that there had been deaths during the Rif protest movement (Hirak Rif). In fact, he denied that the Moroccan police who had been specially sent to the Rif had any ammunition at their disposal. That this is a huge lie is clear from a trial verbally drawn up by the judicial police following the fire in a police building in Imzoueren, where it is stated in black and white that this police unit had various weapons and types of ammunition at its disposal.

However, the King of Morocco Mohammed VI praised the bloody behaviour of his police officers in the Reef during his annual speech from the throne on 29 July 2017, more than a week after the death of Imad El Attabi. In doing so, he resolutely rejected all criticism of the police action.

The entire funeral ceremony of Imad El Attabi was directed by the Moroccan regime, nobody else had anything to say about it, including his family. Today, three years later, the actual cause of Imad El Attabi’s death has still not been made public, so no serious investigation has been done into it.

Link to video of El Attabi’s funeral (RIF/NL)

Link to video of Achehbar kidnapping

Link to translated speech from the throne King of Morocco, 29 July 2017 (EN/AR)

Link to full speech Mohammed VI on 29 July 2017 (English)

Translated by: Najat M.


The story of a politician presiding Morocco king’s party involved in the cannabis drug trafficking

Mohamed Dihani, picture from his facebook

Dihani, the former Saharawi political prisoner, continues his live facebook broadcasting to disclose the realities inside Morocco horrendous prisons through his own experience and that of his inmates. After reciting the stages of the dreadful torture he underwent and how Morocco regime fabricates terrorist cells as described in a previous article in this site, he, this time, dwells on the jailed cannabis drug lord who was connected to high Moroccan political figures.

It was during one of the dark nights inside Tmara secret detention centre located south of Morocco capital, Rabat, that Daihani suddenly heard a car swerving its wheels on a stoney passage just beside his prison cell. He could see through a tiny wall opening an escorted detained Moroccan man calling in a high voice to bring him Ali Alhimma, the special secretary and closest friend of the king of Morocco. “ I need to talk to Alhimma. I must talk to him now. I’m talking to nobody till he comes over” Daihani reported the man saying.

The detained man was in fact a drug trafficker and he seemed to have been involved in a failed cannabis pact that aroused suspicion of his bosses. Though he spoke angrily, the heartless jailors who unmercifully tortured the political detainees stood speechless in front of that drug lord. Later in the same night another car showed up but this time carrying Ilias El Aammari, the leader of Morocco king’s party of Authenticity and Modernity.

As in the mafia movies, he stepped out of the car escorted by his bodyguards and heading towards the cell where the drug lord was incarcerated. It was only at that time that the torture began. Daihani pointed out that he could hear the drug trafficker screaming saying that he didn’t know the wherabouts of a shipment that obviously was about the cannabis drug of which Morocco is the leading exporter . The head of the Moroccan king’s political party himself stood supervising on his torture as the drug trafficker was suspected of diverting a drug shipment for his own benefit and there was no place better than that torture centre to make him confess about the true circumstances of that pact definitely worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The presence the president of Morocco king’s party, Ilias El Aammari and the drug trafficker’s incessant demands to call the closest friend and counsellor of the Moroccan king, Ali Alhimma is a clear cut evidence that cannabis intercontinental trafficking in Morocco is under the control, supervision and management of the highest political sphere in Morocco, the king’s palace and his Makhzen regime.

The Moroccan Authenticity and Modernity party was founded by Ali Alhimma the closest childhood friend of Morocco king. Many reports indicate that this political party was ordered by the king himself to outweigh the mounting role of the moderate islamic party, Justice and development still leading the current government. Ali Alhimma’s mission was to set the king’s party up and then post other figures to run it under the king’s direct control and supervision. With this story now, you make the connections and find the true boss of cannabis drug in Morocco.

For the record, in 2017, The US State Department has sounded the alarm over production of cannabis in Morocco claiming that the export of the drug and its processed by-products represents 23 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The kingdom, according to the State Department, remains one of the world largest producers and exporters of cannabis. Around 700 tons were produced between 2015 and 2016, the Department adds.

The export of the plant and its by-product, hashish, represents 23 per cent of the GDP, i.e. $100 billion.
Aside from cannabis, the Department report on drug also points out that the kingdom has become a transit point of cocaine smuggled into Europe due to its closeness with Spain.


Khalil Asmar

Posted on May 9, 2020 by saharavoice

A former Saharawi political prisoner tells his story and unmasks Morocco terrorism lies

Saharawi political prisoner Mohamed Dihani, picture from his Facebook

Seizing this quarantine, a former Saharawi political prisoner began a series of facebook lives to tell his story of political detention, his journey into hell and exposing Moroccan dangerous play with terrorism fire for political and financial goals.

A journey into hell

Mohamed Dihani was arbitrary detained after coming to celebrate the release of one of his family members. He was kidnapped to find himself in Tmara, a city beside the Moroccan capital Rabat, one thousand km far from El Aaiun in occupied Western Sahara where the kidnapping had taken place.

There, in Tmara secret detention center, Daihani faced extreme human degrading treatment and was subject to the most brutal forms of torture that almost claimed his life. He described unimaginable methods of physical and psychological torture in that secret center and in Ezzaki prison in the other Moroccan neighbouring city of Sale. ‘I spent four years in solitary confinement ; one year and half in a cell of one meter per two meters and three years deprived of having a sunbathe. I took a break only inside a hall of about 15 meters for half an hour and the whole walls were painted in grey and black ; colours used to weaken the detainees’ memory’ he said.

Fake terrorists cells

During his journey into Moroccan horrible jails, Daihani met many Moroccan detainees, some of whom had been incarcerated on terrorism charges. Daihani recited the story of the Moroccan R. Hicham who had been subject to blackmail in exchange for his release ; he had to turn into an informer and was sent by the Moroccan secret services to infiltrate the Qaida terrorist ranks operating in the north of Mali but ended up fighting with them from 2005 till 2007. He got detained in 2007 when he came back from Mali as he refused to provide the Moroccan secret services with special information.
This Moroccan ex-jihadist unveiled another plot that aimed at assassinating the former Polisario leader Mohamed Abdelaziz. This Moroccan informer had also been proposed for this mission by recruiting Saharawis in that terrorist act but the plot seems to have been concealed.

The meeting with Moroccan detainees in Moroccan prisons, Daihani discovered the true nature of the terrorist cells that Morocco oftentimes claims to have dismantled to conclude that all these terrorist groups and its dismantling is a pure fabrication by the Moroccan secret services. The “Amgala terrorist cell” that comprised military and civil affiliates and that Morocco claimed to have dismantled in January 2011 was a total scam. It came directly after the firm condemnation of the EU of the brutal dismantling of the Gdeim izik camp that the Saharawis had organised in 2010 in protest of Morocco ongoing occupation and meagre living conditions.

Daihani met the detainees of this so called “Amgala cell”, whose most members weirdly didn’t even practice the islamic rituals as the prayer, asserted that all the court accusations had been based on completely false claims. The prosecuter at the court couldn’t justify the presence of weaponry with which they had been convicted and even the judicial minutes incorporated totally different accusations devoid of any arms possession or terrorist affiliation. The Amgla terrorist cell is a clear cut example of how Morocco uses fake terrorism for pure political and financial gains.

Even worse, Daihani talked about how he himself was subject to blackmail. The Moroccan secret services proposed to release him in exchange of orchestrating terrorist acts in occupied Western Sahara. He was offered to conduct bombings, assassination of local high figures and create an all pervasive fear. A terrorist campaign of which the Moroccans were aiming to strike many birds with one stone: send a message to the world that Western Sahara is a hub of terrorism that threatens international security and that Morocco’s presence in this territory is paramount to security and the fight against terrorism, put the blame on local Saharawi militants and wage a huge campaign of detention among them and charge them with heavy sentences. Accuse Polisario of fomenting, financing terrorist groups and thus discredit its image by linking the Polisario to the Qaida and other international terrorist organisations, tightening its firm grip on this occupied territory and last but not least cadge money off European and American institutions by displaying Morocco as the reliable policeman in the region.


To be continued,

Khalil Asmar

Posted on May 2, 2020.

Burning of portrait of Mohammed VI and the Moroccan flag in Betz/Paris by Riffian republicans!

A dozen republican Riffians burned and trampled on the Moroccan flag and the portrait of King Mohammed VI on Sunday 19 January in Betz, northern France. Videos and photos were posted on social networks.

On the anniversary of the events of 19 January 1984, when thousands of Moroccans protested against the high cost of living, more than a dozen of Riffian republicans demonstrated in front of the castle of King Mohammed VI in Betz, northern France. They burned and trampled on the portrait of the sovereign as well as the Moroccan flag. Images broadcast on social networks triggered a wave of indignation. Similar events had already taken place in October in Paris, when Riffian independence activists burned the Moroccan flag.


Demonstrators calling themselves “opponents of the monarchical regime” chanted the slogan “Vive le Rif“, waving flags of the Rif republic.


On 19 January 1984, thousands of Moroccans took to the streets, particularly in the cities of Nador, Al Hoceima, Tetouan, Ksar El Kebir and Marrakech, to protest against the high cost of living and the country’s economic situation as part of a “revolt for bread and dignity”. After days of riots, the forces of law and order intervened harshly caused hundreds of deaths to restore control.


Similarly in Paris

During the demonstration organised by Riffians in Paris on Saturday 26 October to mark the third anniversary of the death of Mohcine Fikri, a fish merchant whose death sparked a social protest movement in the Rif in northern Morocco, “republicans” trampled on and burned the country’s flag.

They demanded “the independence of the Rif” from “Alawite colonialism [in reference to the Moroccan royal family, editor’s note]”, waving the flags of the “Rif Republic” founded by Mohamed ben Abdelkrim el-Khattabi in the 1920s.

Faced with this gesture, which triggered an outcry in the Cherif kingdom, the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad reacted firmly in a statement published on its official website, condemning a “childish” and “cowardly” act, which shows how much the kingdom was shocked by these acts and demonstrates its weak position. Also the regime and palace friendly news outlets like le360.ma came out with accusations and lies to condemn the flag burning, while not even daring to mention the reason of the sit-in!


2019 was a successful diplomatic year for Arif 

In December 2018, Nasser Zefzafi was one of the three finalists of the European Sakharov Prize. In the presence of Nasser Zefzafi’s parents, this was extensively discussed in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 9, 10, 11 & 12 December 2018. The nomination of Nasser Zefzafi for the Sakharov Prize 2018 ensured, among other things, that the European institutions became familiar with the Rif case. 2019 is a year in which the European Riffians managed to have a structural presence in the highest European body, the European Parliament.

The working group behind Nasser Zefzafi’s nomination for the European Sakharov Prize organised itself into a newly established organisation: Freedom & Human Rights Organization. One of the first diplomatic successes of FHRO was the establishment of a group of friends within the European Parliament called; Friends of The Rif. This group of friends consists of MEPs from different European political groups and from different European countries. Together with FHRO they form the Friends of The Rif 2019-2024.

One of the first things the group of friends did was to send an official letter (3 April 2019) to the Minister of Justice Mohamed Aujjar in Morocco, urging the release of the Hirak prisoners. The letter was signed by 25 MEPs and one member of the European Council. Almost all Moroccan media reported on this letter, Morocco has never reacted to the letter. The group of friends also contacted Federica Mogherini, High Representative for the foreign and defence policy of the European Union, by means of an official letter signed by several MEPs, in which attention was drawn to the Hirak prisoners. The pressure on Morocco slowly started to take off.

FHRO started to contact different European institutions to increase the pressure on Morocco. A number of meetings were held with EEAS (European External Action Service). EEAS is the diplomatic organization of the European Union. It supports, for example, the High Representative for Foreign and Defence Policy in the implementation of the European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. On 19 February 2019, EEAS issued a warning regarding Moroccan spies in Brussels.

In February 2019 it was also announced that Nasser Zefzafi’s health was deteriorating. Miguel Urban Crespo, member of The Friends of The Rif, gave a passionate speech in the European Parliament on 13 February 2019 in which he drew attention to the health situation of Nasser Zefzafi. In the meantime, Morocco continued to isolate the Rif area. On 18 February 2019 the Dutch journalist of the NRC, Gerard van der Aa, was expelled from the Rif. On 16 March 2019 David Penefuerte Rendon was denied access to the Rif.

Meanwhile the group of friends started to get more and more structure and welcomed more and more MEPs. On 27 March 2019, the second meeting of the group of friends took place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The group of friends included Miguel Urban Crespo, Lola Sanchez, Ana Miranda Paz, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Bart Staes, Kathleen van Brempt, Helmut Scholz, Philippe Lamberts, Brendo Benefei, Florent Marcellesi, Kati Piri, Judith Sargentini, Anne-Marie Mineur and Bodil Valero.

The trials against the Hirak detainees ended in March 2019. FHRO had made contact with Juan Soroeta of AIODH in the weeks preceding the statements against the leaders of the Hirak prisoners. At the beginning of March 2019 agreements were made between FHRO and AIODH for international observers from AIODH to visit the Hirak trials, this took place on 6 March 2019. During this visit, the international observers spoke with the lawyers of the Hirak detainees, other international observers (ISLP) and family of the Hirak detainees. In April 2019, the leaders of the Riffian People’s Movement were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment ranging from 5 to 20 years. The indignation, anger and powerlessness was felt all over the world. Virtually all media in the world reported on these sebtences. MEPs of the group of friends strongly condemned these statements. Miguel Urban Crespo appeared on social media immediately after the convictions of the Hirak leaders to express his support and solidarity with the prisoners. In May 2019 the European elections were on the agenda, an exciting time for the group of friends. Who would come back after the elections? A number of MEPs within the group of friends had already indicated that they would not be going for another term in the European Parliament. FHRO supported the campaigns of the MEPs of the group of friends who went for re-election. FHRO organised a conference in Madrid on 12 April 2019 in cooperation with PODEMOS Spain. On 4 May 2019, FHRO organised a conference in Antwerp, together with MEPs from the European group S&D and the European group Green. At the end of May 2019, it became clear which MEPs had been re-elected.

Shortly after the European elections in May 2019, it became clear that Barts Staes, Anne Marie Mineur, Judith Sargentini, Lola Sanchez, Bodil Valero and Marie Christine Vergiat were no longer in the European Parliament and were therefore no longer part of the group of friends. FHRO used the period up to the summer holidays of 2019 to make contact with newly elected MEPs. In addition, contact was made with national politicians from the Netherlands, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium to discuss the situation of De Rif in the national parliaments of those countries. In the Netherlands, Germany and Spain questions were put to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs about the situation in the Rif.

The discussions that were held with the new MEPs began to get results. MEPs Tineke Strik, Pernando Barrena, Manuel Pineda Marin, Sira Rego, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Diana Riba Giner and Leila Chaibi joined the group of friends The Friends of The Rif shortly after the summer holidays. In the meantime contact was also made with Fourat ben Chikha, Belgian member of the Council of Europe.

ISLP, a group of international observers from America who had observed the trials of the Hirak prisoners in Casablanca, issued a damning report on these trials. FHRO presented and discussed this report to several MEPs in September, October and November 2019. The report will certainly be followed up in 2020.

On 10 September, the group of friends sent an official letter to David Maria Sassoli, the new President of the European Parliament. His predecessor Antonio Tajani, had expressed his support for Nasser Zefzafi and the Riffine People’s Movement. The letter asked whether the new President would continue along these lines. On 31 October 2019, President Sassoli replied to the letter. In it he stated that the European Parliament supports and supports the finalists of the Sakharov Prize. He also indicated that the new Euro-Morroccan Partnership for Shard Prosperity had been launched in June 2019. One of the structural issues on which this Partnership is based is ‘the convergence of values’ in which human rights and freedom of speech are important. He proposed that the Maghreb delegation of the European Union contact FHRO for this dossier. The President would forward the letter to this delegation and contact the head of this delegation, Mr. Cozzolino, to take up the matter. FHRO has since made initial contacts with the head of this Maghreb delegation. To be continued in 2020.

FHRO had made contact with APDHA, an NGO from Spain, before the summer holidays of 2019. This NGO was mainly concerned with the flow of refugees from North Africa. When the mass arrests in the reef area began, thousands of reefs fled to Spain. APDHA could clearly see this in the explosive increase in the number of refugees from the Reef area. FHRO, together with Rafael Lara of APDHA, drew up a manifesto, Manifesto pro el rif. This manifesto was presented to the European group GUE/NGL on 11 September 2019 at a group meeting to which APDHA and FHRO were invited. Together with APDHA, FHRO held several livestream sessions on social media for Rif refugees in which information was given on how to act upon arrival in Spain. In October 2019 it was announced that APDHA had nominated Nasser Zefzafi for the annual human rights award of this organisation.

The third meeting of The Friends of The Rif took place on 17 September 2019. This was a meeting with the assistants of the MEPs in which especially the organization of the Friends of The Rif was discussed. On 17 October 2019 the fourth meeting of The Friends of The Rif was on the agenda in the European Parliament in Brussels. During this meeting, FHRO presented various initiatives for the year 2020. 2019 was a year in which the European Reefs succeeded in having a structural presence in the highest European body. The foundations were laid for structural cooperation with MEPs to keep the topic of the Reef on the European agenda. There are several initiatives on the agenda in the coming months. Morocco will have to get moving anyway. Will Morocco choose for a solution or will they put the heels further in the sand? In any case, the group of friends will be ready for both scenarios until 2024.

A final message to the European diaspora from De Rif: Be proud of what we have achieved together in recent years. Few minority groups have conquered the streets of Europe for three years with demonstrations, sessions, meetings and demonstrations. We have been heard clearly in Europe in recent years. We have all conveyed the message loud and clear. We have to push on, push on, push on. Keep going, keep going, keep going and keep going. We are the people of Abdel Karim el Khattabi, we do not bow. It’s in our DNA. Our history was written by our ancestors, the European diaspora will make history again together with the Riffine People’s Movement.

Long live the Reef.


Mohamed Chacha (1955–2016)

Chacha during his commemoration in Utrecht 2010

By: Amazigh Informatie Centrum
The poet, musician, and above all Amazigh activist Mohamed Chacha was born on 15 August 1955 in Ixef n Cebdan, Qabu Yawa, North Morocco. As a teenager, Chacha worked as a fisherman in the port of Qabu Yawa. Here he was fired for demanding better working conditions together with other fishermen.

At a young age he became aware of the dictatorship in his native country. His first confrontation with the regime of the late King Hassan II was during a student protest. He was arrested and beaten. This eventually resulted in the suspension of school. At the age of 22 (in 1977) he fled to the Netherlands to apply for political asylum there.

Until his death he lived and worked in Amsterdam, where he was active in the radical Moroccan movement Ila Alamam (Forward) and the Moroccan Workers’ Committee in the Netherlands (KMAN). In the end, he left these organisations for ideological reasons. Chacha always remained involved in various human rights organisations. In addition to his activism, as an autodidact he was mainly concerned with literature, language and culture.

Amazigh movement
In the 1980s he was one of the most prominent members of the young Amazigh movement in the Netherlands. It consisted of artists, poets, writers and students. This inspired Chacha to write in Tamazight after he published his first books in Arabic. In the 1990s he founded the Izouran Foundation (roots) with the aim of publishing Riffin literature. Chacha also supported linguist Roel Otten in his lessons in Arabic and Tamazight by reading from his work to improve the speech and listening skills of his students.

Both his songs and his books sing and describe the fate of the workers, women and other marginalized and oppressed groups. Chacha was a passionate and active person. He followed a series of theatre courses and played in various plays, as well as writing his own plays. He took part in cultural events and political meetings throughout Europe. He did this as a spectator, performer and troublemaker. Chacha played lute and sang Izran (Amazigh poems). He also made radio and TV programmes for the Pirate Radio and Amazigh TV, among others. His programmes were mainly about art, culture and politics.

Back in Morocco
For political reasons, Chacha was not allowed to enter his native country for a long time. After the death of Hassan II in 1999, he returned to Morocco to see for himself what the country was like.

In the first years of Mohamed VI’s regime he still had some faith in the promises of the new king. He became disappointed when it became clear to him that a democratic Morocco among the Moroccan Alawites could not be achieved. In the last ten years of his life he joined the Rif movement that advocates a free Rif republic as it was founded by Abdelkrim el Khattabi in 1921. Self-determination for the Rif was his last political demand.

Islamic Criticism
Chacha was critical of religions, especially Islam, the religion he inherited from his parents. He studied the ancient islamic writings such as the Koran and the Hadith (traditions). In his surroundings he often discussed the contradictions in these ‘holy’ texts. On his Facebook page he regularly posted verses from the Koran and stories from the origins of Islam that he did not understand himself or that he found to be in conflict with human rights. These included the marriage of minors, the rights of women and the actions of the prophet Mohamed and his companions.

Last years of life
In 2004, Chacha underwent a lung transplant. His doctors had predicted that he would be able to live with those lungs for another eight years, which eventually turned out to be twelve years. On his sick bed in Amsterdam he continued to write his latest novel: Hdem bna (Hdem bna) (Break down, build up), which he was unable to finish. He continued to work on it until three days before his death. He died on Wednesday 29 June 2016 in Amsterdam at the age of 61.

Chacha was publicly buried in his native village, where women were also present, which is contrary to the Islamic customs in Morocco where only men are allowed to participate in funeral processions. This made Chacha an activist even after his death.



  • Al-Maghrib Al jadid 1979, poetry. “The New Morocco”.
  • Qasaid Al Fuqaraa 1985, poetry. “Poems of the poor”.
  • Ayna Al Amal 198, poetry, “Where is hope”.
  • Kalimaat Mutamarrida 199?, poetry, “Rebellious words”.


  • Raz, Thuɛayantt d tawra zi yitaan 1995, poetry. Hunger, nudity and flight from the dogs.
  • Reẓ ṭṭabu ad d teffeɣt tfukt 1997, roman. “Break the taboo, and the sun will shine”.
  • Ajḍiḍ umi yitwagg celwaw 1998, novel. “The blind bird”.
  • Cway zi tibbuhelya ɛad war twid, 1999, poetry. “Unfinished folly”.
  • Abrid ɣer yezran 2000, study on Izran. “The road to songs”.
  • Tuf teqqen 2015, novel. “It’s stuck”.
  • Tarwa n umadal 2015, children’s book. “Sons of the world”.
  • Aṛaji 2016, poetry. “The waiting”.
  • Tayri n tayri 2016, novel. “Love of love”.
  • Hdem bna 2016, novel. “Abort, build up” (not yet published).


  • Hunger, nudity and flight from the dogs: rebellious verses, 1993. (translation of Raz, thuɛayantt d tawra zi yitaan, 1995).

Translated by Najat M.

Source: https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/mohamed-chacha-1955-2016-84d772c319d5

Prisoner of Conscience Mohamed Jalloul

Mohamed Jalloul before the imprisonment in 2012

Mohamed Jalloul, before his ‘arrest’ in 2012 he was asked by Radio Rif why he called Morocco „Amur N Akuc“ and not the Maghrib. His answer was: “I use the word Amur N Akuc and not the word Maghrib because Maghrib is the Arabic word for the place where the sun sets. If I use the word Maghrib it will seem as if I am in the east. I am in my own country. When I say Maghrib, my reference is abroad and my landmark is the Middle East, while I am in my own country. That is uprooting, we are in Amur N Akuc which means the land of God. That is the original name of Morocco. But when we use the word Maghrib, we suggest that we are part of the East and that we are not independent”.

Mohamed Jalloul and Nasser Zefzafi

Mohamed Jalloul (1971) is a Riffian teacher, human rights activist and trade unionist. He was imprisoned for 5 years for his participation in the February 20 movement in 2012. Shortly after his release, he was re-arrested on 26 May 2017, three days before his fellow fighter Nasser Zefzafi was arrested for his participation in the Riffian people’s movement too. He is the father of three children. His underage daughter Houda had to make a statement to the police after she protested against the kidnapping of her father.

Mohamed Jalloul together with his daughter during a demonstration in the Rif

In June 2018, Mohamed Jalloul was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in a sham trial. On appeal in April 2019, the sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment was maintained.


Translated by Najat M.

Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Amekrane

Mohamed Amekrane, Photo: Al Jazeera

Mohamed Amekrane was born in 1938 in Chaouen in the Rif. He comes from a poor family with seven children, of which he is the oldest. He studied at the military school of Toledo in Spain and continued his studies as a fighter pilot in France.

When Morocco bought Northrop F-5 fighter jets from the United States in the mid-sixties, pilot Amekrane started an internship in the US. He belongs to the first generation of Moroccan jet fighter pilots and makes a career in the Moroccan Air Force as a fighter pilot. Amekrane reaches the rank of lieutenant-colonel, holds the position of commander of the airbase of Kenitra, the jewel of the Moroccan Air Force where two squadrons of F-5 fighter jets are stationed. In 1972 he was promoted to sub-commander of the Moroccan Air Force.

Amekrane married in 1963 a German woman, Mellita, who was renamed Malika Amekrane. Together they had two children, Rachid (1964) and Yasmina (1965). Every month he sent part of his pay to his family. He speaks six foreign languages. He was suspected of participating in the Rif Revolt of 1958/1959 (during this period he did an internship in Marrakech).

Amekrane suffered from kidney cancer, and in 1972 he was admitted to a Parisian hospital for treatment of his illness. In the summer of that year he returned to Morocco, against the advice of the French doctors. He gave in to the pressure of General Mohamed Oufkir who needed the lieutenant-colonel in Morocco as a matter of urgency for his dark plans…

Source: https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/luitenant-kolonel-mohamed-amekrane-3d0a7f4fe419

Translated by Najat M.

Moroccan Military Intelligence DGED

Direction Générale des Études et de la Documentation (DGED), the Moroccan foreign intelligence and counter-espionage service, is one of the most important Moroccan secret services, founded in 1973 in the wake of the two failed coups of 1971 and 1972 on the model of the French secret service Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage, abbreviated as SDECE. The DGED is a military organization directly under the control of the King.

Since its creation, the DGED has been run exclusively by army officers. Colonel Ahmed Dlimi is regarded as the founder of this intelligence service, where he was in charge from 1973 until his death in 1983. General Abdelhak el Kadiri succeeded him and stayed on until 2001, in which year he was succeeded by the Rif born General Ahmed El Harchi, who was the last soldier to head the DGED. In 2005 the king appointed his former classmate from the Royal Collège, Mohamed Yassine Mansour, as head of the DGED.

Yassine Mansouri, Director of the DGED

In principle, DGED operates outside Morocco and is therefore responsible for supervising the political and economic activities of Moroccans living abroad, as well as collecting information for various Moroccan intelligence services. Morocco has some 15 intelligence services in total. DGED is represented in all Moroccan embassies or consulates. In addition, employees of Maghreb Arabe Presse (the Moroccan State Press Office) are also responsible for sending uncensored confidential notes to DGED. Once all the filters of the hierarchy have been passed, DGED messages are sent directly to the Royal Palace of Rabat.

Letter from DGED to the UN following a request for information about the head of the Libyan secret service. ‘Hacker Chris Coleman’

DGED is made up of three main directorates: the executive directorate in charge of field operations and rapid intervention operations with special units, the anti-espionage directorate and the communications directorate in charge of the coordination and monitoring of means of communication between all departments in the service.

DGED cooperates with foreign intelligence services in the field of security and terrorism-related matters, including exchange of information on specific Moroccans sought by foreign intelligence services.

DGED’s budget is estimated at an annual amount of USD 1 billion. In addition, the service has a so-called ‘black box’ or secret pot from which the informants of the service are paid. According to a blog article published in 2013, the DGED has 4000 employees and more than half of them are military and 5% are women. According to the same article, DGED’s special units have between 250 and 300 members and hundreds of informants work for the service in Europe.

Police Brigadier Rédouan Lemhaouli of the Rotterdam-Rijnmond police force was dismissed by his employer in 2008 for “serious dereliction of duty”, following an official report from the Dutch secret service AIVD. In the same case Mohamed Zyad was dismissed, he worked as a desk clerk at the police station in The Hague on a voluntary basis.

The court in The Hague sentenced Rédouan Lemhaouli to 240 hours community service for passing on secret information from the Dutch police systems to the Moroccan services. The Moroccan French-language weekly TelQuel paid attention to this subject with an article in which can be read that there is a Moroccan organisation established in the Netherlands called ‘Voice of Moroccan Democrats in the Netherlands’ (SMDN) that deals with the defence of these Moroccan spies.

In March 2019, the Spanish media revealed that Morocco was behind the terrorist attacks of 2004 in Madrid. These terrorist attacks killed 191 people and wounded 1800 people.

In Germany, the name of the Moroccan intelligence service also appeared during the terrorist attack on 19 December 2016, in which 12 people died and 56 were injured when a truck drove into people’s homes at a Christmas market. According to German media, the Tunisian Bilel Ben Ammar is an agent of the Moroccan secret service. Bilel Ben Ammar is said to have helped the attacker to escape from the scene of the terrorist act.

In 2018, the Belgian authorities arrested the Moroccan woman Kaoutar Fal and expelled her from the country because of a threat to Belgian state security.

Translated by Najat M.

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