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ICC Note: Algeria has detained many Moroccan nationals allegedly attempting to cross through Algeria en route to Libya as ISIS recruits.  Libya has become an ISIS stronghold in Northern Africa, leading stable countries like Tunisia and Egypt to strengthen their national security measures along the Libyan borders in order to protect against ISIS fighters leaving Libya trained or ISIS recruits entering Libya to join them. Algeria’s concerns prompted a meeting with the Moroccan Ambassador to Algeria to discuss the heavy influx of Moroccan men headed to Libya at a time when ISIS controls much of Libya.

1/24/2016 Algeria (Reuters) – Algerian authorities have detained over 200 Moroccans at Algiers airport and summoned the Moroccan envoy to explain an “unusual” increase in the number of Moroccans apparently trying to cross into Libya, airport and government officials said on Sunday.

The foreign ministry and sources at the airport did not confirm why the Moroccans had been held, but diplomatic relations between Algeria and Morocco are often strained over their regional influence and cooperation. Libya in particular has become a regional concern since Islamic State militants gained ground there and called for foreign recruits, especially from North Africa. Tunisia, sandwiched between Algeria and Libya, is building a security wall along its boundary with Libya in an attempt to halt the flow of jihadi recruits crossing over.

“The question about the massive and unusual flow of Moroccans from Casablanca heading for Libya through Algeria in the last weeks was the reason for discussions with the ambassador,” Algeria’s foreign ministry said in a statement published on APS state news agency.  The current “particularly delicate” security situation required more vigilance and cooperation, the statement said without giving details.  The ministry did not mention the detentions. But a security source at Algiers airport said 270 Moroccans had been arrested on Saturday night.

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