Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group
Definition/Scope: (DoS) The goals of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) include establishing an Islamic state in Morocco and supporting al-Qa’ida’s jihad against the West. The group appears to have emerged in the 1990s and is comprised of Moroccan recruits who trained in armed camps in Afghanistan and some who fought in the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation. GICM members interact with other North African extremists, particularly in Europe. On November 22, 2002, the United States designated the GICM for asset freeze under EO 13224 following the group’s submission to the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee. Moroccans associated with the GICM are part of the broader international jihadist movement. GICM is one of the groups believed to be involved in planning the May 2003 Casablanca suicide bombings, and has been involved in other plots. Members work with other North African extremists, engage in trafficking falsified documents, and possibly arms smuggling. The group in the past has issued communiqués and statements against the Moroccan Government. In the last year, a number of arrests in Belgium, France, and Spain have disrupted the group’s ability to operate, though cells and key members still remain throughout Europe. Although the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, among others, claimed responsibility on behalf of al-Qa’ida, Spanish authorities are investigating the possibility that GICM was involved in the March 11, 2004, Madrid train bombings. They appear to be mostly operating in the areas of Morocco, Western Europe, Afghanistan and possibly Canada.
Broader Terms:foreign terrorist organization