Safaa Kasraoui, a journalist with Morocco World News, reports that Morocco’s counterterrorism strategy has attracted increasing interest among international security services. The efficiency of the strategy led the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) to note that the Australian government does not yet cooperate with Morocco on counterterrorism.
ASPI said that Morocco “portrays the fight against Islamist extremism as a war of ideas that can be won by preaching a tolerant, moderate and non-violent form of Islam.” The institute also recalled that Morocco, which “lies in an unstable region” due to the presence of “Islamist terrorism, ” has not been affected by any terror attack since April 2011 in Marrakech.
The institute said that although Australia takes part in international counterterrorism forums along with Morocco, the two countries have “no bilateral counterterrorism” ties “nor do we have any official counter-terrorism involvement in the Maghreb.”
While no counterterrorism ties have been made yet the Australian Ambassador to Rabat, Berenice Owen-Jones, told Morocco World News that “With the opening of the embassy in Rabat in 2017, Australia and Morocco are set to increase their cooperation on counterterrorism matters, including in global forums.”
With Morocco introducing the anti-terrorism strategy and the Central Bureau for Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) in 2015, the North African country received applause and appreciation from several international powers, including the US.
In its 2018 Country Report on Terrorism, the State Department said, “Following the August attacks in Barcelona, Morocco assisted the Spanish investigation and promised to expand cooperation to track terrorists of Moroccan origin radicalized abroad.”
ASPI mentioned Morocco’s counterterrorism cooperation with European countries, saying that “European countries have also worked closely with Morocco, providing counterterrorism training and equipment, and conducting joint operations with Moroccan security forces.”
Morocco was also listed among the least impacted countries by terrorism, according to the 2018 Global Terrorism Index. Morocco ranked 132nd out of 163 in the report, gaining nine places compared to the 2017 report when it ranked 123rd. The ranking makes Morocco safer than the US, France, and Algeria.