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Terrorist Organizations and Other Groups of Concern

Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM)

Updated August 24, 2007

From: "Chapter 8; Foreign Terrorist Organizations," Country Reports on Terrorism 2005, US Department of State, April 30, 2006.

a.k.a. Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain

Description
The goals of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) include establishing an Islamic state in Morocco and supporting al-Qaida's war 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, including some who fought in the Soviet Afghan war. GICM members interact with other North African extremists, particularly in Europe. In November 2002, the United States designated the GICM for asset freeze under EO 13224 following the group's submission to the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee. The United States designated GICM as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 11, 2005.

Activities
Moroccans associated with the GICM are part of the broader international terrorist movement. In November, 13 members of a suspected Belgian GICM cell went on trial in Brussels for allegedly providing material support to the group. 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 smuggle arms. In the past, the group has issued communiqu├ęs 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-Qaida, Spanish authorities are investigating the possibility that GICM was involved in the March 2004, Madrid train bombings.

Strength
Unknown.

Location/Area of Operation
Morocco, Western Europe, Afghanistan, and Canada.

External Aid
Unknown, but believed to include criminal activity abroad.