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Preachers Convicted in Casablanca Bombings

September 27, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

A Moroccan court has convicted two Muslim preachers of involvement in suicide bombings in Casablanca and sentenced them to 20 to 30 years in prison. Abdelwaheb Rafiki, known as Abou Hafs, and Hassan Kettani were arrested in February and March -- months before five near-simultaneous suicide attacks on May 16 in Casablanca that killed 45 people, including 12 bombers.

The prosecution portrayed them as closely tied to the attacks, saying they were the brains behind the Salafiya Jihadia, a clandestine Muslim extremist movement. Both denied any direct link to the bombings.

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