By Karima Rhanem | Morocco TIMES 2/7/2006 | 6:03 pm
Rabat---FBI director Robert Mueller, who started an official visit to Morocco yesterday to discuss with high-ranking Moroccan officials security issues and international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, said that no country or agency in the world can be successful without cooperation.
“Countries have to work closely together in an era of globalization and technology to exchange information to prevent attacks and criminals from from preying on our people,” he told Morocco Times.
“Therefore associations and friendships bewteen our countries are exceptionally important,” he added.
Mueller also said that the FBI has also addressed ways to cooperate with Moroccan security officials to exchange information in policing and fingerprints and DNA dabatases.
The FBI head was recieved on Tuesday in Rabat by HM King Mohammed VI.
“I have discussed with King Mohammed VI the fact that the War on Terror addresses certainly those few individuals who would undertake terrorist attacks,” Mueller told Morocco Times.
“But this also means that we have to work with the social structure, developing jobs and opportunities that King Mohammed VI has in his vision over the last several years. My discussion indicated how it is important to compliment him on addressing these issues,” he stressed.
The FBI head was accompanied in the audience by US ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Riley, and FBI representative in Rabat, Lauren Anderson.
Today's meeting was also attended by Al Mustapha Sahel, Minister of Interior, Hamidou Lâanigri, General Director of National Security, and Abdellatif Hammouchi, head of the Direction Générale de la Surveillance du Territoire (DGST).
The US official is also scheduled to visit Algeria and Tunisia this week. Reuters reported on Monday that the FBI head's visit coincides with Moroccan media reports that suspected al Qaida members were attempting to sneak into Europe from the region.
According to the same agency, Moroccan media has suggested group members were infiltrating waves of illegal sub-Saharan migrants arriving in Morocco and Algeria.
Mueller's visit precedes that of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, due in the Maghreb region on Sunday after a NATO summit in Sicily. It will be Rumsfeld's first visit to the Maghreb.
Morocco, a strong US ally in the region, has clamped down on suspected cells of Islamic radicals since 2003, when multiple bombings in the country's business capital Casablanca killed 45 people and shocked the normally peaceful country.
Robert Mueller was nominated by President George W. Bush and became the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 4, 2001, only one week before the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of more than 3000 people.