Morocco sentences three former Guantanamo detainees

Morocco sentences three former Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] Morocco state news agency MAP [media website] reported Friday that a criminal court in Salé, a twin-city of the capital Rabat, has sentenced three former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees to prison for their involvement in terror activities. Mohamed Slimani was sentenced to five years in prison for his alleged role in creating and participation in a "criminal gang, practice of activities in a non-recognized association and organization of un-authorized public meetings." Najib Houssani and Mohamed Ouali each received three year sentences for falsifying administrative documents. The charges were related to the men's connection with Salafia Jihadia [MIPT backgrounder] and unrelated to their detention at Guantanamo Bay, where the three spent up to 4 1/2 years in US custody. Moroccan authorities acknowledged in February that the United States transfered the three to Moroccan custody [US DOD press release].

The Salafia Jihadia is an offshoot of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group [MIPT backgrounder]. Both organizations are allegedly linked with al-Qaeda and are believed to be responsible for the May 16, 2003 Casablanca suicide bombings [BBC report] that killed 45 people, including 12 suicide bombers. AP has more. Maghreb Arabe Presse has local coverage.