Morocco arrests “Al Qaeda bomb maker”

Scene of destruction. A bomb blast ripped through the Argana cafe in Marrakech last month killing 16 people, many of them tourists. Three suspects have been arrested.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the bombing of a Marrakech café that killed 16 people and injured 21 more last month.

The main suspect, “is linked to Al Qaeda and made the bomb”, an unnamed interior ministry official told the AFP news agency. All three suspects are Moroccan citizens.

A statement from the ministry added that the man disguised himself as a tourist to plant two explosive devices that were then remotely triggered. It said the key suspect is, “well-versed in jihadi ideology and shows loyalty to Al Qaeda”.

The attack on 28 April targeted the Argana café, on Djemma El-Fna Square, in the historic city of Marrakech, a popular destination for backpackers and holidaymakers.

14 of the dead were foreigners, eight of them French.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing but suspicion has fallen on Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb, one of a number of Al Qaeda affiliates active in Africa.

Morocco has been the target of terrorist attacks in the past. In 2003 suicide bombers killed more than 45 people when they blew themselves up in a café in Cassablanca.