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Morocco arrests alleged terror plotters

  • Story Highlights
  • Eleven accused of plotting attacks in Morocco, Belgium, state news agency says
  • They allegedly have links to cells sending fighters to Iraq, MAP reports
  • Belgium prosecutor's office not aware of any planned attack in Belgium
  • Morocco has seen a rise in political and extremist Islam in recent years
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(CNN) -- Moroccan security services have broken up an alleged al Qaeda-linked terrorist network planning attacks in the North African country and in Belgium, Morocco's state-run news agency reported Monday.

Citing police sources, the Maghreb Arab Presse report said security forces arrested 11 alleged members of the terrorist network -- including a Moroccan who had lived in Belgium -- in the cities of Fez and Nador.

Belgian police and security authorities were not aware of any planned terror attack in Belgium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor in Brussels, who is authorized to speak publicly on such matters.

Belgian authorities are in contact with their Moroccan counterparts to find out more about the reported plot and arrests, the spokeswoman said.

The Moroccan news agency report said the group has ties to terrorist groups who sent volunteer jihadists to Iraq and to training camps run by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

AQIM operates in North Africa and seeks to destabilize countries such as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, which it sees as enemies of the Islamic state, authorities say.

Three months ago, Moroccan security services broke up a 35-member terrorist network allegedly led by Abdelkader Belliraj, a Moroccan who also lived in Belgium, MAP reported.

He was among those arrested in February, the state-run news agency said.

CNN's Andrew Carey in London contributed to this report

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