Argana Cafe Djemaa el-Fna main square of Marrakesh Morocco.
April 29th, 2011 AFP - The Al-Qaeda terror network is suspected of involvement in a bomb attack on a popular tourist spot, the Argana Cafe, that killed 15 people in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, the government said on Friday.
The victims, mostly foreigners, died Thursday when a suspected suicide bomb exploded at a tourist cafe in Djemaa el-Fna, the main square of Marrakesh.A total of 23 others were badly injured, two of whom died overnight.
French intelligence and anti-terrorism experts will travel to Marrakesh on Friday to help in the probe, a Moroccan official source said, particularly the "identification of the bodies". International police agency Interpol condemned the attack and said it would ensure "the Moroccan authorities investigating this terrible attack have the full support of the global law enforcement community."
The blast was condemned as a terrorist attack by the Moroccan government, the European Union, the United States and France and a Moroccan official said it may have been the work of a suicide bomber. Authorities in France said at least six of the dead were French while the Netherlands said a Dutchman had also died.
Israeli media reported that a 30-year-old pregnant Israeli woman and her husband, who was originally from Morocco, were among those killed. Rabat, Washington and Paris condemned a "terrorist" attack on the cafe, a favourite haunt for tourists in the city about 350 kilometres (220 miles) south of the capital.
Witnesses said the explosion happened on the terrace of the Argana cafe, (SEE WRECKED CAFE IN BACKGROUND OF PHOTO ABOVE)whose facade and first floor were severely damaged, with tables and chairs strewn around the terrace. Dutch tourist John Van Leeuwen said that he had looked the man believed responsible for the attack in the eyes moments before his bomb exploded.
"There were only tourists in the cafe, and three other Moroccans, and one guy that didn't initially look suspicious," Van Leeuwen told AFP by telephone as he waited to catch a flight home with Marjolein Appel, 39.
"But after we found out it wasn't a gas explosion, my girlfriend and I, we looked at each other, and said that must have been him." "There was an Arab man in the cafe, carrying two huge bags, including a backpack, that was an unusual sight, because it was about a metre (yard) high, and a second sports bag, also a very large bag."
BBC NEWS..Morocco: Marrakesh bomb strikes Djemaa el-Fna square. Moroccan government spokesman Khalid Naciri told French television that Thursday's casualties involved a number of nationalities but he would not confirm any as yet.
The interior ministry discounted initial suggestions the blast could have been a gas explosion. "We worked... on the hypothesis that this could... be accidental. But initial results of the investigation confirm that we are confronted with a true criminal act," he said.
I believe the injured were mostly tourists, judging by what they were wearing” Mr Naciri later said that "terrorists" were behind the attack but added that it was "too soon" to give more details.
Medical sources quoted by AFP said at least five of the foreigners killed were women, but this has not been independently confirmed.The office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned the attack as "cruel and cowardly". MORE FROM THIS SOURCE...
CASABLANCA BOMBNG MAY 2003......five bomb blasts killed 45 people. Five explosions occurred within 30 minutes of each other. A Moroccan Government official said all the blasts were triggered by suicide bombers carrying explosives. Spanish television says another powerful explosion was heard in the Jewish quarter of Casablanca on Saturday afternoon. Spanish National Radio said 15 people died in the attack on the Casa de Espana restaurant, SEE PHOTO ABOVE, making it the worst of the five bombings.
Crackdown Against Islamist Opposition in Morocco Intensifies, Moroccan security forces intensified operations last week against al-Adl wa al-Ihsane (Justice and Spirituality Association—JSA), the country’s largest opposition group, arresting scores more of its members in the towns of Bouarfa, Oujda and Nador in northeast Morocco. Fathallah Arslane, Al Adl’s spokesman, told Reuters that 45 group activists were arrested in the town of Bouarfa in northeast Morocco.
January 27 2004, Morocco holds two ‘most wanted’. Two top terror suspects have been arrested during a raid on an Islamic militant cell, say Morocco’s police. A suspect and a policeman died when police conducted an operation near the town of Meknes which resulted in the arrest of 35 people. The Moroccan authorities have been on the hunt for Islamic fundamentalists since five bomb blasts killed 45 people last May in Casablanca. The raid is reported to have uncovered explosives and forgery equipment. Among those arrested were Mohcine Bouarfa age 34, and Tawfiq Hanouichi who followed Abdelwahab Raba of Addaâwa wal Jihad.
Mohcine Bouarfa was born on 11/01/1976 in Meknes, he is single, broker by profession, residing at 38, No. 27, Hay Atlas, owner of CIN No. D654536, he appears to have relatives in Tampa Fl. Both Bouarfa and Hanouichi have been at the top of Morocco’s most wanted list, suspected of involvement in the Casablanca bombings. Mohcine Bouarfa had become radicalized to Islam while serving a 5 year prison term.
July 06, 2005, LA TIMES..2 Sentenced to Death in Morocco, Two men arrested in a sweep aimed at dismantling militant Islamic networks after suicide bombings in Casablanca have been sentenced to death, judicial officials said Tuesday. The Moroccan court that condemned Taoufik Hanouichi and Mohcine Bouarfa also jailed dozens of others in the trial of 46 suspected militants, but it is unlikely that Taoufik Hanouichi and Mohcine Bouarfa will be put to death.
March 12, 2010 Taoufik Hanouichi and Mohcine Bouarfa Prison Break Season II version Jihadi: The details of a botched escape, at least four who are former jihadis but still have blood on their hands: Tawfik El Hanouichi Abdelmalek Bouzekran Youssef Addad and Mohcine Bouarfa, wanted since 2003, following the terrorist attacks of 16 May for having committed the murders, the former “emirs of blood” will be captured in 2006, thanks to a heavy-handed police intervention when bullets were fired.
Bill Warner Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at http://www.wbipi.com/