Terrorism Profiles

Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain (GICM)

Alternative Names:

Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, MICG, Moroccan Islamic Fighting Group, MIFG, Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain, GICM

Location:

Morocco, Western Europe

Leadership:

GICM’s leadership structure is unknown. Many suspected leaders have either been arrested or killed. Based on available information, it appears that while the group may have at one time been hierarchically structured, the group’s operational cells are becoming increasingly autonomous and at risk of being absorbed by stronger Northern African terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Membership:

Although there are no precise estimates for GICM’s size, the group has many members throughout the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Western Europe and French Canada.

Specifically, while the group is based in Morocco, it has operational cells in Afghanistan, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Funding Sources:

GICM maintains strong ties to AQIM from which the group derives training and logistical support.

GICM also receives funding through criminal activities such as document and currency falsification, drug smuggling, and arms trafficking. 

Origins:

GICM is a Sunni Islamist terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaeda and one of several terrorist factions in North Africa that traces its origins to Afghanistan during Taliban rule.

In 1993, veterans of the mujahedeen struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan returned to Morocco seeking similar effective mobilization as the Taliban had achieved. They formed a militant organization known as Shabiba Islamiya to remove King Hussein of Morocco and install an Islamic regime. In the mid 1990s Shabiba Islamiya split into two factions, one of them being GICM.

Major Attacks:

May 2003: GICM was associated with a major militant attack in Casablanca, which killed 45 people.

March 2004: Reported involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, although there is conflicting evidence in this regard.

Ideological Roots:

The group traces its ideological roots to the Salafi movement, which is an ultra-conservative reform movement within Sunni Islam.

Objectives:

GICM’s primary objective is to install an Islamic fundamentalist regime in Morocco.

Tactics:

Suicide bombings, IED attacks, firearm attacks.

Updated on December 16, 2015.

References


  1. “Mapping Militant Organizations.” Stanford University. Last Modified August, 2012. Accessed December 11, 2015. https://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/129
  2. “Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group.” University of Maryland. Last modified 2015. Accessed December 11, 2015. http://www.start.umd.edu/tops/terrorist_organization_profile.asp?id=4341
  3. “Mapping Militant Organizations.” Stanford University. Last Modified August, 2012. Accessed December 11, 2015. https://web.stanford.edu/group/mappingmilitants/cgi-bin/groups/view/129
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