– MOHAMED FIZAZI – SALAFIA JIHADIA
Mohamed Fizazi was born in the late 40s’ in Tangiers, Morocco. He moved to Casablanca to the poverty-stricken Sidi Moumen suburb that became, with time, a breeding ground for Islamic militancy.
In the early 90s’, after the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1991, Mohamed Fizazi traveled to Saudi Arabia for religious training and indoctrination. When Mohamed Fizazi returned to Morocco, in contrast to the vast majority of the Moroccan population that believes in the Malekite moderate version of Islam, Mohamed Fizazi began to preach the more extreme Wahhabism doctrine and called his group of followers Salafia Jihadia (see – Salafiya ). He became more extreme with time and in the late 90s, gradually, began openly to support Osama Bin Laden referring to him as a “companion of the prophet” and incited in very extreme terms that “Christians and Jews should have their throats slit”.
In 1999 Mohamed Fizazi became the Imam of the Al Quds Mosque in Hamburg, Germany. In the Al Quds Mosque, known also Taiba Mosque, where the Hamburg Cell members used to convene, Mohamed Fizazi preached regularly his extreme philosophy. He left Hamburg only shortly before The 9/11 back to Morocco. Mohamed Fizazi also had connections to some of the Madrid Trains Bombing such as Hasan El Haski , who was involved also in the 2003 Casablanca Bombings, Jamal Zougam, who met with hims and offered financial assistance to Salafia Jihadia in 2000, and Abdelaziz Benyaich.
Most of the Casablanca Bombings suicide attackers came from the Salafia Jihadia congregation, the rest came from another congregation “Assirat Al Moustakin” (The Straight Path) in Casablanca.
Mohamed Fizazi was among 87 people, most of them Salafia-Jihadia members, sentenced in Morocco in 08/2003, in a trial that centered on the Casablanca Bombings. Mohamed Fizazi received a 30-year sentence after being convicted for preaching radical Islam in Mosques and meeting with the Casablanca attack’s perpetrators.
Mohamed Fizazi has shown no remorse and in 05/2007 participated in a widespread Moroccan prison hunger strike that lasted over 20 days.
* In 07/2009, Mohamed Fizazi distanced himself from any form of terrorism aimed at Western targets in a letter to his daughter, who lives in Hamburg. The letter, translated to German and English, was published by the German magazine DER SPIEGEL, on 10/29/2009. It was generally referred to as an attempt to gain amnesty from the Moroccan King .
* Mohamed Fizazi was among 92 political prisoners freed by the Moroccan authorities on Thursday 04/14/2011.
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