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Alleged Casablanca Mastermind Caught, Dies

Morocco said on Wednesday it had captured the alleged mastermind of suicide bombers who killed dozens of people in Casablanca this month but said he had died from chronic heart and liver disease. State prosecutor Moulay Abdellah Alaoui Belghiti told state television that Abdelhaq Moulsabbat had been arrested on Monday in the central city of Fes, whose poor districts are reputed to be strongholds of radical Islamists. Moulsabbat died while being taken to hospital, he said. “He (Moulsabbat) suffered chronic heart and liver diseases. His liver weighed 2.1 kilograms (4.6 pounds) against the average 1.4 to 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds),” Belghiti said. “His health condition did not allow investigators unfortunately to complete all the elements of the investigation,” he told state television. He described Moulsabbat as the “general coordinator of the attacks” and “emir” (commander in Arabic) behind the attacks on five central Casablanca locations on May 16 that killed 31 members of the public in addition to 12 suicide bombers. Forensics traced Moulsabbat’s woes to some medicines he used to take, Belghiti added. MORE SUSPECTS Another would-be bomber was caught trying to flee, and a second surviving bomber was arrested the following day. The judicial police in their investigation have been focusing on a small ultra-conservative Islamist group known as al-Assirat al-Moustaquim (The Righteous Path), based in Casablanca’s low-income Sidi Moumen neighbourhood and reputed to have followers in other cities including Fes. Belghiti added that another group of suspects would appear later on Wednesday before the public prosecutor. He gave no further details. Full Story

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