State Dept. annual terrorism report to Congress cites rising threat from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in North Africa and the Sahel
WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The US State Department's new Country Reports on Terrorism for 2009 praises Morocco as a model for security, innovative efforts to curb extremism, and international cooperation to combat the transnational threat from al-Qaeda and affiliates such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in North Africa and the Sahel, which the report cites as one of al-Qaeda's "most-active" worldwide.
"Effective counterterrorism policy must go beyond the law enforcement, intelligence, and military efforts," said Daniel Benjamin, the US State Department's Coordinator of Counterterrorism, introducing the report. It must also take "steps to undermine the appeal of al-Qaeda's world view and to isolate violent extremists."
Released shortly after the recent decapitation of a French hostage in Mali by AQIM, the report highlights Morocco's success in preventing AQIM attacks at home through its comprehensive counterterrorism approach and innovative counter-radicalization policies. It also cites Morocco's extensive cooperation with the U.S. and its continued success working with international partners to disrupt terrorist plots against Morocco, the U.S. and other targets.
The report praises King Mohammed VI's "significant efforts to reduce extremism and dissuade individuals from becoming radicalized," including Morocco's National Initiative for Human Development, a $1.2 billion program launched in 2005 "to generate employment, combat poverty, and improve infrastructure, with a special focus on rural areas."
The report also notes Morocco's official sanction of mourchidates, or female counselors, to help promote moderation and religious tolerance in mosques across the Kingdom and in Moroccan immigrant communities abroad. And it cites Morocco's commitment to maintaining human rights standards and increasing transparency of law enforcement, as well as steps taken to limit and prosecute terrorist financing.
For the complete report, please visit: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/08/145737.htm
The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. For more, please visit www.moroccanamericanpolicy.org
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SOURCE Moroccan American Center for Policy