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Escape of Nine Prisoners from the Kenitra Prison in Morocco - page 4 / 4

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radicalized. A few of the escaped prisoners belong to home grown organizations, such as Tariq Al-Yahyawi who is a member of the Al-Hanweeshi group.

Since the Casablanca terrorist attacks in 2003, Moroccan security forces have broken up more than 50 Islamist cells and arrested thousands of people. No significant attacks have occurred since then.

Consequences of the Prison Break

Even though the nine escaped prisoners might not have been directly involved in the 2003 attack, the consequences are severe. It is possible that they might try to contact former associates and reconstitute their groups to carry out more terrorist plots. The fact that they believe they were mistreated in prison can make them more vengeful than before. They may not only pose a threat to Morocco: other possible destinations include Algeria, where they can join al Qaeda in the Land of Maghreb; or Spain.

Their successful escape from prison can motivate other prisoners to escape, or embolden militants. It is vital for the Moroccan government to enhance security inside jail and to investigate thoroughly the possibility of radicalization of prison staff and the help they might have given the escaped prisoners.

Prepared by Nidaa Abu-Ali

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