The 21st Century Phenomenon



Twins sisters Imane and Sanae Al-Ghariss, born in 1989, were arrested on 09/05/2003, shortly before an alleged plan to commit together a suicide attack and blow up a supermarket in Rabat, Morocco’s capital, because it sold alcohol.  Imane and Sanae Al-Ghariss hatched their plot with an age mate, the imam of their Mosque, as well as four other adults, a legal source said. The Imam informed the police about the plot.

The twins were plotting with a friend Hakima Rijlane, also 14, and radical Islamist accomplices to carry out a suicide attack in the store in Rabat’s residential Souissi neighborhood, The three teenagers and five adults were arrested.

The three girls were being held in the minors’ section of a prison in Sale, near Rabat. They and their five alleged extremist accomplices are accused of “forming a criminal association” and “planning a terrorist act.”

A police source contacted by AFP confirmed newspaper reports that the two sisters had been arrested “days before” their planned supermarket attack. According to the newspapers, the twins had written to the chief cleric at a Rabat mosque to ask whether the attack would be “legal.” After the cleric replied in the negative, the sisters contacted two Muslim extremist groups in Morocco — “Ahl Assounna wal Jamaa” and Takfir wal-Hijra — which sent them written materials on jihad – holy war, Al Ittihad Al Ichtiraki newspaper wrote. “This reassured the two sisters as they plotted their suicide attack,” the paper wrote.

One of the twins planned to blow herself up in the wines and spirits section of the supermarket, press reports said. The twins’ friend and accomplice, Hakima Rijlane, allegedly planned to steal a gun from a relative who serves in the police force.

On 10/01/2003 the twin Imane and Sanae Al-Ghariss and Hakima Rijlane were sentenced to 5 years in jail.


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