Military


Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM)

Description

The goals of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) include establishing an Islamic State in Morocco and supporting al-Qaida's jihad against the West. The group appears to have emerged in the late 1990s and comprises Moroccan recruits who trained in armed camps in Afghanistan. GICM members interact with other North African extremists, particularly in Europe. On 22 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. Designated under EO 13224 in November 2002. GICM was formed by a faction split in the Moroccan group Shabiba Islamiya. Some sources state that the membership of GICM is primarily made up of Mujahadin from the Soviet-Afghan War.

In 2002 the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) was placed on the United Nations list of terrorist organizations with ties to Al-Qaida. However, some European intelligence officials regard GICM as more of an ideological concept than that of a structrual organization. It is believed that Moroccans volunteers trained at camps in Afghanistan commonly associated with Al-Qaida, and by the end of the nineties those that had been trained there began refering to themselves as the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group. These same officials however state that it has no hierarchy, structure, or formal manifesto. However it is clear that GICM members openly support Al-Qaeda's objectives.

Activities

Moroccans associated with the GICM are part of the support network of the broader international jihadist movement. GICM is one of the groups believed to be involved in planning the Casablanca suicide bombings in May 2003. It has also claimed responsibility for the Madrid Train Bombings. Members work with other North African extremists engaging in trafficking falsified documents and possibly arms smuggling. The group in the past has issued communiques and statements against the Moroccan Government.

Strength

Unknown

Location/Area of Operation

Western Europe, Afghanistan, Morocco

External Aid

Unknown




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