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(Rabat, Morocco) A Moroccan court convicted and sentenced 45 Islamist terrorists on Friday for last year's suicide bombing of an Internet cafe in Casablanca. The defendants were found guilty of forming a terrorist gang, making explosives, committing theft and forgery and failing to denounce terrorism.

According to defense lawyer Khalil Idrissi, the longest jail term was imposed upon Abdelkrim Ougard who was sentenced to 30 years.
All those convicted were accused of links to the March 2007 suicide bombing at in Casablanca. The bomber, Abdelfettah Raydi, 23, detonated his charge after the cafe's owner caught him surfing an Islamist website. After the blast, a police investigation found an alleged plot to attack Casablanca's port and police stations and tourist sites around Morocco.

Youssef Khouidri, who dropped his bombs and fled the scene of Raydi's blast, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Twelve others were given six to 15 years, and four people were acquitted, Idrissi said.​
Unnamed rights groups have complained that many Islamists were given harsh sentences based on flimsy evidence. Nonetheless, it's understandable that the Moroccans would take a harsh view of terrorists since the nation has suffered serious attacks in the past. Notably, in 2003, 45 people were killed in a series of bomb attacks in Casablanca.

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