Channel News Asia

Handcuffs

Morocco has indicted five people on charges of plotting “terrorist acts” and belonging to an illegal religious group, the official MAP news agency said on Monday (Dec 29). The suspects were referred to the prosecutor who levelled the charges against them ahead of their trial, it said without adding when the first hearing will be held.

The men, whose names were not given, were indicted on charges of “forming a criminal gang aimed at carrying out terrorist acts” as well as membership of “an illegal religious group” and aggression. The news agency did not say what “terrorist acts” were allegedly planned by the suspects.

However, last week the interior ministry announced their arrest, calling them self-styled religious vice squad police who wanted to impose their view of “virtue” on others. The suspects are believed to have carried out several knife attacks in the northern city of Tangiers, the ministry said.

In September, authorities arrested another group of suspects in Tangiers, a conservative town, accusing them of setting up a self-declared “religious police” force and attacking a man who drank alcohol.