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Moroccan student arrested near Marrakech for 'spreading IS propaganda'

The Moroccan government approved a new high-level plan to confront terrorism [AFP]

Date of publication: 9 December, 2015

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A Moroccan student has been arrested for allegedly painting graffiti and handing out leaflets promoting the ideology of the Islamic State group, announced the General Directorate for National Security.

A student has been arrested in the village of Sidi Zouin near the Moroccan city of Marrakech for allegedly spreading propaganda supportive of the Islamic State group.

The 19-year-old had been handing out leaflets promoting the ideology of the militant group, according to the General Directorate for National Security's statement issued on Tuesday.

The student had also painted a graffiti mural of the IS flag on a wall in his village, according to the statement.

A few hours earlier, the Moroccan interior ministry announced the arrest of another man in the northeastern city of Berkane.

The 19 year-old student had been handing out leaflets promoting the ideology of the militant group

That suspect had reportedly been coordinating with IS leaders is Syria to carry out attacks in Morocco after pledging allegiance to the group.

Last month, the Moroccan government approved a new high-level counter-terrorism plan to "confront the spectre of terrorism in Morocco", reported Moroccan daily al-Massae.

"Special units consisting of police officers have set up crisis cells at police headquarters of major cities, ready to receive alerts and coordinate with the General Directorate of National Security in case of a terrorist threat," a source revealed to al-Massae at the time.

The new counter-terrorism plan is set to increase surveillance along all Moroccan borders and tighten security to foreign admissions into the territory.

The plan was approved a few days after a series of attacks hit Paris, leaving more than 130 people dead.

Espionage in Spain

Meanwhile in Spain, a Moroccan woman was arrested on charges of espionage after allegedly leaking confidential information on terrorism investigations to "foreign intelligence services", according to Spanish website Ok diario.

The suspect, who provided translation services to Spain's judicial authorities from the Moroccan dialect Tarifit, was allegedly caught stealing sensitive information on phone conversations among suspected terrorists back in 2012.

Police investigators discovered that the accused had erased approximately 17 files of evidence that could have led investigators to active terrorist networks in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.

The final destination of the stolen documents remains unknown, as well as with whom she allegedly shared the confidential information.

The Moroccan woman, whose name has not been publicly released, will face trial at the National Court of Madrid.

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