Rabat - Moroccan police on Tuesday arrested the editor of a
popular news website for airing a video posted by al-Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb that incites "acts of terrorism" in the kingdom.
Lakome's director Ali Anouzla was arrested mid-morning,
according to staff running the popular French and Arabic website, with police
also seizing computer equipment from his office.
The arrest follows the publication by Lakome of "a
video attributed to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim), containing a clear
call and a direct incitement to commit acts of terrorism" in Morocco, the
public prosecutor said in a statement.
"Appropriate legal procedures will be applied in light
of the investigation," the prosecutor added.
The video in question, posted on the Internet last Thursday
by Aqim and entitled 'Morocco: the kingdom of corruption and despotism,' calls
for jihad in the north African country and lashes out at King Mohamed VI, who
is pictured being engulfed in flames.
It is thought to be the first of its kind singling out
Morocco since Aqim, the jihadist network's north African franchise, was formed
The YouTube version of the video was removed for breaching
the site's policy on violence.
Its publication by Lakome had already drawn sharp criticism
from Morocco's mostly pro-regime media.
French-language daily L'Opinion called the decision
"totally reprehensible," saying that by airing a video message
defending terrorism Lakome "guarantees that it receives the widest
Morocco has suffered a number of attacks by Islamist
militants over the past decade, the worst of which took place in Casablanca in
2003, when 12 suicide bombers blew themselves up killing 33 people.
The authorities frequently announce the dismantling of
jihadist cells with links to al-Qaeda.