“A court in Rabat sentenced 15 militants to 20 years in prison yesterday for plotting terrorist attacks while 26 other defendants were given jail terms ranging from two to 15 years, a judicial source said. Three of the 45 defendants in the so-called ‘Agadir terrorist cell’ were acquitted and another one was fined 3,000 dirhams (33 euros).
“The defendants, all from the southern city of Agadir, were accused of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, offering lodging to a criminal, failure to denounce and attempting to collect funds to commit a terrorist attack. Prosecutors had requested heavy sentences for 12 of the defendants but said 23 others were considered less dangerous.
“The prosecution claimed that the Agadir cell was part of the banned militant group Salafist Jihad, which is blamed for the May 16 attacks in Casablanca that killed 45 people. Defense lawyers had argued that their clients were innocent and pointed to the lack of evidence against them.”
Dr. Badawi! Salam Al-Maryati! Where are you? Where are you to explain to these men that they are misunderstanding the concept of jihad, that peaceful spiritual struggle within the soul of the believer?
“In a separate case, the court sentenced nine radicals to sentences ranging from two to 20 years in prison and acquitted two others in connection with the Sept. 11, 2003, murder of a Jewish shopkeeper in Casablanca.”