Moroccan Group Put on Terrorist List
Posted: November 5, 2005
A Moroccan terrorist group allegedly involved in the deadly March 11, 2004, train bombings in Madrid has been officially designated by the U.S. government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
The Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (more commonly known by its French acronym, GICM) is thought to have significant links to Al Qaeda and to have been behind a number of lethal bombings in Europe and the Middle East.
The organization also has a history of targeting Jews; in May 2003, GICM suicide bombers attacked a synagogue and Jewish cemetery in a coordinated attack on Jews and foreigners in Casablanca.
Announced on October 11, 2005, the FTO classification makes it a formal crime for anyone in the United States to aid or provide support to the GICM. Prior to this designation, the U.S. government had frozen the organization's financial assets in 2002, and its members were placed on a terrorist exclusion list in 2004, barring them from the country.
The GICM was founded in the late 1990's by a group of Moroccan Islamic militants with the dual goal of overthrowing the Moroccan monarchy and supporting Al Qaeda in its "jihad" against the West. It is believed to work closely with other militant groups and reportedly has operatives in Europe, where a number of its members have recently been arrested.