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Morocco accused by Algeria of using drug money to finance terrorist groups

February 5, 2014 at 1:44 am

Algeria’s Prime Minister has accused the Moroccan authorities of smuggling drugs through his country to the rest of the region and Europe. Mohammed Sallal said that the profits are used by the Moroccans to finance terrorist groups. Morocco has not issued any statement in response to the Algerian accusations.

According to Shorouq newspaper, Sallal told a political rally in the city of Tlemcen that Morocco should “stop smuggling drugs” to Algeria. “We have confirmed information indicating that drugs money has become a threat to the security and stability of the region because it is used to fund terrorist groups,” he claimed. “Algeria has become a transit zone for Moroccan drugs en route to the rest of the Middle East and Europe.”

Although the Algerian authorities say that they confiscate large quantities of drugs they believe that this is only around half of the total amount sent across the border. “Algerians use half of that amount and the rest is smuggled abroad,” said Sallal. “I have informed the Tunisian authorities of the results of our investigations, which reveal that Morocco uses drug money to fund terrorist groups, including the group which is active in the Al-Shaanbe Mountains.” That particular group has attacked the Tunisian army recently and threatens Tunisian security.

Sallal’s remarks are expected to increase tensions between Morocco and Algeria. Relations between the two North African countries are poor in any case due to the dispute over the Western Sahara. In a recent incident, a young Moroccan stormed into the Algerian Consulate in Casablanca and removed the Algerian flag.

Morocco, which is a major producer of cannabis, is staying silent over the allegations, despite, or perhaps because of, their sensitivity.