General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (Morocco)

The General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (Arabic: المديرية العامة لمراقبة التراب الوطني; Tamazight: ⵜⴰⵎⵀⵍⴰ ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵜⴰⵢⵜ ⵏ ⵓⵎⴰⵜⵔ ⵏ ⵡⴰⴽⴰⵍ ⴰⵏⴰⵎⵓⵔ; French: Direction Général de Surveillance du Térritoire; DGST), is the civilian domestic intelligence service of Morocco. It is tasked with the monitoring and anticipation of potentially subversive domestic activities.

General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance
المديرية العامة لمراقبة التراب الوطني
ⵜⴰⵎⵀⵍⴰ ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵜⴰⵢⵜ ⵏ ⵓⵎⴰⵜⵔ ⵏ ⵡⴰⴽⴰⵍ ⴰⵏⴰⵎⵓⵔ
Direction Général de Surveillance du Térritoire
Seal of the General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance
Agency overview
Formed12 January 1973; 51 years ago (1973-01-12)
Preceding agency
JurisdictionGovernment of Morocco
HeadquartersTemara, Morocco
Employees9,000 (2019 estimate)[1]
Annual budget1,1 billion dirhams (2016)[2]
Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyMinistry of Interior
Building details
Headquarters of the General Directorate for Territorial Surveillance's Central Bureau for Judiciary Investigations in Salé

Since 2005, the DGST is led by Abdellatif Hammouchi, who also runs the country's national police force, the Sûreté Nationale (DGSN).

The DGST was previously known as the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST).

Organizational structure edit

The DGST is under the administrative supervision of the Ministry of Interior and specializes in counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, and protection of economic and scientific assets.[3] It has a number of central services, led by the Cabinet of the Director-General, alongside a number of territorial brigades which constitute local representations of the DGST across the country and within some government departments.[4][3] The DGST also has a special forces unit, the Rapid Intervention Group (GIR), which intervenes in counter-terrorism raids.[5][6]

Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) edit

The Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (French: Bureau central d'investigations judiciaires, BCIJ; known colloquially as the Moroccan FBI), is the law enforcement branch of the DGST.[7][8] Based in Salé, it was founded in 2015 pursuant to a law passed following the 2011 Marrakesh bombing which gave officers of the DGST the same legal status as police officers.[9][8] The BCIJ is subordinate to the DGST but under the supervision of the Public Prosecutor's Office.[10]

The BCIJ has an elite counter-terrorism unit led by the DGST as well as a unit fighting organized crime under the supervision of the DGSN's National Judicial Police Brigade (BNPJ).[10][11] The first chief of the BCIJ, Abdelhak Khiame, was chargé de mission at the Cabinet of the Director-General.[12] In 2021, the BCIJ announced that they dismantled 86 terrorist cells, arresting 1,386 people since its creation in 2015.[12]

Police for Radio Communications (PCR) edit

The Police for Radio Communications (French: Police des communications radioélectriques, PCR), colloquially known as the "radio center", is the DGST's signal intelligence (SIGINT) directorate.[4][3][11] The directorate intercepts thousands of communications per day, including phone calls, text messages, faxes, and e-mails.[4][13]

The PCR was founded in the 1960s under King Hassan II to help mitigate coup d'états against his rule.[13][11] The DST sought American expertise to reform the PCR for Internet surveillance following the 2003 Casablanca attacks.[14][13] In July 2008, twenty members of Morocco's House of Councillors were arrested and found guilty of corruption following intelligence supplied by the DST from intercepted phone calls by the PCR.[13]

The few dozen technicians for the PCR are specialized in intercepting communications satellites, and cracking encrypted communications.[4] The PCR reportedly provides daily reports of a few hundred selected intercepts from national and international communications to the DGST's Cabinet of the Director-General.[13][4]

As of 2010, the PCR is reported to have operated a computer system which allowed the DST to perform keyword searches from intercepted e-mails, phone calls through speech recognition, and documents through handwriting recognition.[13] According to these reports, system reportedly has automatic traffic sorting and has a dictionary of keywords, phone numbers, and e-mails of interest for monitoring.[4]

History edit

Post-independence and Cold War edit

On May 16, 1956, a year after Morocco gained its independence, the General Directorate for National Security (French: Sûreté Nationale; DGSN) was founded as the country's national police force and was modeled after the French National Police.[15][16][17] Counter-subversion was led by the 7th police district in Casablanca and was led by Houssine Seghir, a plumber in the Mers Sultan district and ex-member of an anti-colonial resistance movement in Casablanca.[15][8]

In 1958, the DGSN was expanded with seven counter-subversion forces labeled "cabinets".[17][18][19] The most notorious of these cabinets was Cabinet no. 1 or CAB 1, which was the cabinet charged with political affairs.[20][21] Among those cabinets was Cabinet no. 7, known as CAB 7 or "the Seventh", which was tasked with interrogations.[19][22]

In the early 1960s, the CAB 1 became a fully-fledged intelligence service after a restructuring led by three CIA officers and French experts.[18][20][22] King Hassan II, an ardent anti-communist, held close ties with Western intelligence services during the Cold War.[8] According to Ahmed Boukhari, the CAB 1 had 300 agents and had brigades in six cities.[23][8] The CAB 1 ran a number of secret prisons, which they codenamed "fixed points".[24] In 2001, Boukhari implicated the CAB 1, Mossad, and the French SDECE in the 1965 disappearance of Mehdi Ben Barka.[25][26][27]

In 1972, following two coup attempts against King Hassan II, the King dissolved the DGSN's "cabinets" including the CAB 1.[28][26] On January 12, 1973, following the dismantling of the CAB 1 a year prior, a Royal Dahir was signed by King Hassan II creating the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (French: Direction de la surveillance du territoire; DST).[3][27][29]

Modeled after its French counterpart, the Dahir set the DST's main responsibility as "safeguarding and protecting the security of the State and its institutions".[30][3] he DST was also tasked with "looking for and to prevent, through the collection of intelligence, activities that are inspired, or undertaken or supported by subversive or terroris" while also being responsible for "responding to interference by external foreign agents".[31]T he same day, a military foreign intelligence service was created, the General Directorate for Studies and Documentation (French: Direction Générale des Études et de la Documentation; DGED), also modeled after the French SDECE.[27][8] The DST and the DGED were both led by Ahmed Dlimi until his death in 1983.[27]

War on Terror edit

During the Global War on Terror, the DST held close cooperations with the CIA and provided an intelligence-gathering platform for the Sahel.[8] In the 2000s, the DST held capabilities in technical eavesdropping and clandestine surveillance.[30]

In 2002, the DST received information regarding an al-Qaeda sleeper cell following intelligence received from an informant. After further investigation by the DST which involved eavesdropping, three Saudi nationals were arrested by the Royal Gendarmerie for planning to attack an American warship off the Strait of Gibraltar.[30][32]

In January 2004, the DST led to the arrest of three underage girls who were planning to commit suicide bombing attacks in Casablanca after information received from a local informant.[30]

In 2005, Abdellatif Hammouchi became the head of the DST, which he later renamed to DGST.[13]

The DGST holds a large network of personal informants, which they use to obtain human intelligence (HUMINT).[30][13] The constant presence of the DGST has infused Moroccan society so deeply that informing the DGST has taken the status of a patriotic duty.[30]

In 2015, the DGST reportedly warned their French counterparts that ISIS leader Abdelhamid Abaaoud was in Greece.[33] After the 2015 Paris attacks masterminded by Abaaoud, the DGST also reportedly informed French authorities about Abaaoud's whereabouts and gave information about the Belgian cell behind the attacks.[33][34]

Prior to the 2016 Berlin truck attack, the DGST contacted the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) regarding a terror cell in Berlin which included the perpetrator, Anis Amri. The DGST contacted the BND four times about Amri, who was named and marked as dangerous by the DGST, and provided information regarding his associates and links to ISIS alongside photographs of him.[35] In 2021, the DGST announced that they had dismantled 213 terrorist cells since 2002.[12]

On 21 September 2022, Qatar and Morocco have signed a joint declaration on sharing the information concerning 2022 FIFA World Cup.[36][37]

On 24 October 2022, Morocco and Germany have agreed to expand security cooperation to halt organized crime, including terrorism, human trafficking, Cybercrime, and fraud.[38][39][40]

On 8 September 2023, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 Mw hit Marrakesh-Safi region of Morocco.[41][42] DGST along with DGSN has announced it will contribute MAD 50 million to Special Fund for Managing Earthquake Effects.[43][44][45]

Controversy edit

The DST is mired in many torture allegations and scandals.[46][47] As early as 2002 it operated the Temara interrogation centre, a black site for extraordinary renditions and interrogations on behalf of the United States.[48] After the 2003 Casablanca bombings, the DST became involved in controversial interrogation methods to obtain confessions from suspects. After the 2011 Arab spring protest the secret detention centre is said to have been relocated to the Ain Aouda secret prison. Additionally, it has been revealed that the United States paid Morocco USD $20 million to build a secret detention centre sometime in 2004–2006.[49]

In 2010, Zakaria Moumni a former Moroccan Thai boxing champion, was arrested upon entering Morocco.[50] later revealed that he Zakaria Moumni tortured and then imprisoned on trumped-up charges, on instructions from Mounir Majidi (the secretary of king Mohammed VI) and the head of the DST Abdellatif Hammouchi.[51] and the US official at the same year Ali Aarras, a Belgian citizen, was extradited to Morocco from Spain where he was cleared of terrorism charges because of lack of evidence. After his extradition to Morocco and subsequent trial, he was condemned by judge Abdelkader Chentouf to 10-years in prison. The sentence was based on confessions, which according to Ali Aarras were obtained under torture.[52]

In February 2014, the director of the DGST Abdellatif Hammouchi, while on an official visit to France, was summoned by a French judge to answer for torture allegations in various cases, including the case of Zakaria Moumni and the Gdeim Izik protest camp suspects.[51][53] This caused a diplomatic incident and vivid protestations from the Moroccan state apparatus who responded by suspending judicial cooperation accords with France. And announced that it will sue the plaintiffs for libel.[51][53] However, the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior retracted all its lawsuits in France just days after filing them.[54]

Past directors edit

Counter-subversion department and CAB1 edit

During this era the director of the DGSN was also the joint director of the CAB1.

  • Mohamed Laghzaoui (DGSN) 1956–July 1960
  • Houssine Seghir (joint director of the political police) 1956 – July 1960
  • Mohamed Oufkir (DGSN) July 1960 – 1970, then 1967–1971 as MOI.
  • Ahmed Dlimi (CAB1) 1961–1966 then 1970–1973 (DGSN)
  • Abdelhak Achaachi 1967–1973 (coordinator)
  • Mohamed Achaachi (Head of counter-subversion unit in the CAB1 during the 1960s)

DST & DGST edit

Note: In 2005 the DST was renamed DGST.

Notes edit

  1. ^ "LA DGST-DGSN EN ACTION". (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  2. ^ "Loi de Finances 2016: plus de 6,5 milliards de DH alloués à l'Intérieur et la DGST". Le 360 Français (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  3. ^ a b c d e ALM (2003-05-22). "La mission de la DST est stratégique". Aujourd'hui le Maroc (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Boukhari, Karim; El Azizi, Abdellatif (2005-04-20). "Voyage au cœur des services secrets". TelQuel. Archived from the original on 2006-09-09.
  5. ^ "Terrorisme: les forces de l'ordre font la chasse aux loups solitaires". Le 360 Français (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  6. ^ KANABI, Mohamed Jaouad EL (2020-09-10). "Promotion pour l'agent du GIR-DGST blessé lors du démantèlement d'une cellule terroriste". Hespress Français - Actualités du Maroc (in French). Retrieved 2024-05-25.
  7. ^ Lamlili, Nadia (2016-03-18). "Maroc: les coups de filet du BCIJ, le FBI marocain". Jeune Afrique.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "The Political Economy of Security in Morocco: Private Security and Authoritarianism in Neoliberal Times". Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Research Portal. Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  9. ^ Machloukh, Anass. "Haboub Cherkaoui, patron du BCIJ: "Le polisario est un important pourvoyeur de Djihadistes"". L'Opinion Maroc - Actualité et Infos au Maroc et dans le monde. (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  10. ^ a b Benalioua, Mariam (2023-11-20). "Réprimer par le droit: L'intervention de la Brigade nationale de police judicaire dans les procès du Hirak El-Rif". L'Année du Maghreb (in French) (30). doi:10.4000/anneemaghreb.12488. ISSN 1952-8108.
  11. ^ a b c "State of Privacy Morocco". Privacy International. 2019-01-29.
  12. ^ a b c Express, Le Reporter (2022-08-23). "Abdelhak Khiame: L'ancien patron du BCIJ n'est plus". Le Reporter Express (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h El Azizi, Abdellatif (2010-03-20). "Le Maroc, terre d'accueil des espions". Actuel. Retrieved 2024-04-18.
  14. ^ Chaarani, Ahmed (2004). La mouvance islamiste au Maroc: du 11 septembre 2001 aux attentats de Casablanca du 16 mai 2003 (in French). KARTHALA Editions. ISBN 978-2-84586-530-3.
  15. ^ a b Boukhari 2005, p. 19.
  16. ^ Badier, Benjamin (2023-11-20). "De la police coloniale française à la police nationale marocaine : décolonisation et héritages policiers (1953-1960)". L'Année du Maghreb (in French) (30). doi:10.4000/anneemaghreb.12466. ISSN 1952-8108.
  17. ^ a b Vairel, Frédéric (2014), "Chapitre 3 / Défenseurs des droits de l'Homme, féministes, islamistes des militants pas si différents", Politique et mouvements sociaux au Maroc, Académique (in French), Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, pp. 101–142, ISBN 978-2-7246-1595-1, retrieved 2024-04-27
  18. ^ a b Bennani-Chraïbi, Mounia (2021), "Les luttes politiques de l'indépendance : des échanges de coups dans un espace de jeu non délimité (1956-1975)", Partis politiques et protestations au Maroc (1934-2020), Res publica (in French), Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, pp. 81–115, ISBN 978-2-7535-8335-1, retrieved 2024-04-27
  19. ^ a b "L'Affaire Ben Barka: le point de vue des services de renseignement - Centre Français de Recherche sur le Renseignement". (in French). 2015-05-03. Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  20. ^ a b Vermeren, Pierre (2016), III. Constitution et montée des périls (1961-1965), Repères (in French), vol. 5e éd, Paris: La Découverte, pp. 32–44, ISBN 978-2-7071-9065-9, retrieved 2024-04-27
  21. ^ "RFI - Maroc - "Le secret" d'Ahmed Boukhari". Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  22. ^ a b Boukhari 2005, p. 35–57.
  23. ^ ""La CIA a organisé les renseignements au Maroc", témoigne Ahmed Boukhari". (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  24. ^ ALM (2006-07-10). "PF3: A la mémoire des victimes". Aujourd'hui le Maroc (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  25. ^ Boukhari 2005, p. 107–123.
  26. ^ a b "La vérité sur la " disparition " au Maroc de Mehdi Ben Barka". Le (in French). 2001-07-01. Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  27. ^ a b c d Shaffer, Ryan, ed. (2022). The handbook of African intelligence cultures. Security and professional intelligence education series. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-5381-5997-2.
  28. ^ "1973 ou quand le destin du Maroc a basculé". Zamane (in French). 2023-11-10. Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  29. ^ Boukhari 2005, p. 185.
  30. ^ a b c d e f Defense Technical Information Center (2004-09-01). DTIC ADA426869: Commander of the Faithful: Morocco, the King, and the Internal Security Forces.
  31. ^ "Morocco: Human Rights at a Crossroads". Human Rights Watch. 2004-10-20.
  32. ^ "L'"Opération Gibraltar" d'Al-Qaeda". L'Express (in French). 2002-06-12. Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  33. ^ a b "Attentats de Paris: le rôle du Maroc dans la localisation d'Abdelhamid Abaaoud". France 24 (in French). 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  34. ^ "Attentats de Paris: Mediapart passe sous silence le rôle du Maroc dans la localisation d'Abaaoud". (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-27.
  35. ^ Amjahid, Von Mohamed; Müller, Daniel; Musharbash, Yassin; Zimmermann, Holger Stark und Fritz (2017-04-07). "Berlin Attack: "An Attack is Expected"". ZEIT ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 2024-04-19.
  36. ^ "Qatar, Morocco Sign Joint Declaration on Sharing Information Concerning FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022". Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  37. ^ Qarjouli, Asmahan (2022-05-29). "Morocco to deploy cybersecurity experts to Qatar for 2022 World Cup". Doha News | Qatar. Retrieved 2022-09-22.
  38. ^ Kasraoui, Safaa. "Morocco, Germany to Expand Counterterrorism Cooperation". Morocco world news. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  39. ^ "Morocco and Germany intensify their cooperation in the fight against terrorism". Atalayar. 25 October 2022. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  40. ^ "Morocco, Germany to bolster cooperation in counterterrorism, cross-border extremism – The North Africa Post". Retrieved 2022-10-27.
  41. ^ "Morocco earthquake: More than 2,000 dead as tremors felt in several regions". BBC News. 2023-09-08. Retrieved 2023-09-11.
  42. ^ "Over 2,000 dead as powerful earthquake hits Morocco near Marrakesh". Retrieved 2023-09-11.
  43. ^ "DGSN/DGST Will Contribute MAD 50 million to Special Fund for Managing Earthquake Effects". HESPRESS English - Morocco News. 2023-09-11. Retrieved 2023-09-11.
  44. ^ Erraji, Abdellah (11 September 2023). "Earthquake Relief: Moroccan Police Donate $4.9 Million to Special Fund". Morocco World News. p. 1.
  45. ^ "DGSN/DGST Will Contribute 50 MDH to Special Fund for Managing Earthquake Effects | MapNews". Retrieved 2023-09-11.
  46. ^ "Un rapport de la CIA confirme l'existence de centres de torture au Maroc". Telquel. 9 April 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  47. ^ "Document - Morocco: Continuing abuses against individuals suspected of terrorism-related activities in Morocco". 16 June 2010.
  48. ^ Prince Moulay Hicham El Alaoui (9 April 2014). Journal d'un Prince Banni: Demain le Maroc (Grasset ed.). Grasset. ISBN 978-2-246-85166-0. 2001. J'y rencontre un journaliste du Washington Post, Barton Gellman, l'un de mes anciens condisciples à Princeton, qui m'apprend – c'est alors un scoop – que le Maroc accueille un « site noir ». Autrement dit, mon pays est impliqué dans les extraordinary renditions, c'est-à-dire qu'il fait partie des pays qui acceptent de recevoir sur leur sol, en toute illégalité, des prisonniers de la CIA pour les interroger à leur façon « musclée ». Barton Gellman affirme en avoir les preuves. En effet, le 26 décembre 2002, il publie son enquête
  49. ^ Adam Goldman (23 January 2014). "The hidden history of the CIA's prison in Poland". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  50. ^ Florence Beaugé (14 October 2011). "Zakaria Moumni dans l'enfer des geôles marocaines". Le Monde. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  51. ^ a b c "Morocco-France row over Hammouchi torture claims". BBC News. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  52. ^ Baudouin Loos (1 October 2013). "La Belgique va-t-elle se soucier d'Ali Aarrass?". Le Soir. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  53. ^ a b "لمغرب يلجأ الى مفهوم العدالة الكونية لملاحقة الأسفري والمطالسي والمومني بسبب الدعاوي التي رفعوها ضد مدير المخابرات". Alifpost. 26 March 2014. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  54. ^ "تفادي حضور الحموشي أمام القضاء الفرنسي قد يكون وراء توجيه دعوى ضد مغاربة الى القضاء المغربي". Alifpost. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014.

References edit

  • Boukhari, Ahmed (2005). Raisons d'états: tout sur l'affaire Ben Barka et d'autres crimes politiques au Maroc.

33°56′06″N 6°51′49″W / 33.935027°N 6.863535°W / 33.935027; -6.863535