Friday, October 28, 2011

Othmani Sentenced to Death in Marrakech Bombing that Killed 17, Injured 20 Others

Adil Othmani, who plotted and carried out the April 28, 2011, bombing of the Argana Cafe in Djemaa el-Fna square in Marrakech [Morocco], was sentenced to death by a Moroccan judge. earlier today (October 28). Two remotely-control activated nail bomb built into bags and left in the cafe killed 17 people, most of whom were foreign tourists, and injured 20 others. Eight of those killed were French citizens.

Othmani was tried with eight other defendants charged in the bombing, one of which was given a life sentence. Seven others were given sentences ranging from two to four years in prison for offenses that included being members of an illegal organization, helping prepare the bombing and failing to tell police about the bomber's identity.

COMMENT: It should be noted that Morocco is one of the West's most dedicated partners in the global counter-terrorism effort and has been most successful in prosecuting defendants charged with acts of terrorism. The carnage left by the Marrakech bombing was only surpassed by the large-scale May, 16, 2003 bombing attack in Casablanca that involved 14 suicide bombs who walked into various businesses in Morocco's business capital, killing 12 of themselves and 33 innocent people. The five-star Hotel Farah was included among the targets. More than 100 people were injured in the attacks as well. Eight of the dead were Europeans (three Spanish among them) and the rest were Moroccan.

Unfortunately, nine Islamic extremists connected to the Casablanca bombings were later convicted and sentenced to prison, but in April 2008, all of them escaped from the Kenitra Prison, north of Rabat. One of the nine had been sentenced to death, six to life imprisonment and two to 20 years. It was later proved that the inmates had considerable "inside" help in facilitating their escape. All nine remain at large.

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