Moroccan Swede jailed on terror charges

A Swedish citizen of Moroccan origin accused of terror-related crimes was sentenced on Tuesday by a court in Morocco to three years in prison.

Ahmed Essafri, 55, has been in the custody of Moroccan authorities for more than a year on suspicions of being part of a 27-man “terrorist structure” which was recruiting volunteers to fight in Iraq.

The network allegedly had links with Al-Qaeda and affiliated Algerian and Moroccan terror groups.

“I believe the whole group was convicted tonight. I don’t actually know how things went for the others, if some of them were released or not,” said Anna Block Mazoyer from the Swedish embassy in Rabat to Svergies Radio.

Essafri, who lived in Sweden for 30 years, is a business man who traveled frequently between Morocco and Sweden. He holds both a Swedish and Moroccan passport.

It was on a business trip to Morocco in December 2006 when he was arrested by Moroccan security police.

Essafri denies any wrongdoing, and his family back in Sweden claims the entire matter is a misunderstanding.

“The Swedish person says that he is innocent and that he hasn’t done anything. Therefore he will absolutely launch an appeal,” said Block Mazoyer.