tv Opening Remarks Regional Views Panel 1 CSPAN January 3, 2018 3:32am-4:47am EST
he's interviewed by connecticut democratic senator. >> as a judge of 45 years, having gone from that active life of making decisions and going to court and advocating a case. to judging. was that a difficult transition for you? and did you ever miss the life of advocacy? >> it wasn't difficult. it has been for some who i have known. i have known people who became judges and so disliked the decision making process they left the bench. i was an advocate. i found the decision making process while it was different, challenging, and satisfying. what i like being was attorney. i love being a judge. the opportunity to resolve disputes large and small, they all matter to somebody. some of them have a large
political public significance. and that's a very satisfying role. >> watch after words sunday night at 9 eastern on book tv. on c-span 2. next a look at security threats in the region of north africa known as the maghreb. which includes a discussion which security officials from tunisia, algeria, and morocco. good morning everybody. welcome. i'm very pleased to have you join us today for what's fwoing to be a fascinating conversation. i was talking with our very distinguished speakers just as we were waiting for people to gather. in washington, north africa is kind of a blank spot. there's so much in the region
that we don't know. and we tend to look at we look at europe and africa, the middle east. we don't look at the maghreb. and think about it in a systemic thoughtful way. that will be the opportunity for today. we're going to have a the spend the day with these remarkable leaders. and i do want to say thank you for coming. i'm very proud that you would be here. this is we're going to explore three different things. today. we're going to take an honest look at terrorism. in the maghreb. we'll analyze what the governments in the region are doing. and how they're thinking about it. and we'll hopefully think a bit stra steejically about goals and how to work together. it's a real opportunity to have people of this in these leadership responsibilities and
with this depth of experience to help guide us. this is an opportunity for americans to listen. that's not usually the trait. we usually talk. we rarely listen. but today we're going to listen. and going to have a chance to learn. i'm very proud we have them with us today. i want to say special thanks to the ocp policy center. this is a bright and shiny new think tank. that's been created in morocco. we're pleased to give us an opportunity. to host this event. and i especially want to say thank you to the support from the three embassy teams here. we have had great support and i'm appreciative of all of that help. and it's going to be a good morning. i that you think for coming. and let me turn to you. you'll introduce the speakers and we look forward to hearing them. >> thank you very much. thank you to all of you for
joining us. welcome to the first panel. the fact that so many people are here this morning i think illustrates just how important north africa security is. and how much of a hunger there is for getting more information about security issues. in north africa. it's an issue that we at the middle east program have been working on for a decade. trying to understand drivers of change in the region. trying to understand security trends. and what drives radicalization. and the terrorism challenge. in north africa. we have been trying to shed light on how security challenges in the region are changing. what factors drive those changes. and what that means for u.s. policy. so it seems every decade or so there's a major change in the landscape. in the nature of the threat. so if we lock over the last few decades every decade or so we see the cycle. and phases.
a threat emerges governments counter that threat. through different policies. and there's a period of heightened violence. and eventually a new threat emerges that we didn't really foresee or understand. and this isn't unique to north africa. but it's a recuring theme for anyone that covers security and counter terrorism. i think we're at one of the inflection points again. where the nature of the threat is changing. the territorial of the physical kal fate of isis has been largely dismantled. the flow of foreign fighters to the battle spaces in libya, syria and iraq have dropped dramatically. yet both isis and al qaeda remain lethal. they inspire thousands of people. of disillusioned young people and seek to regenerate across a much wider landscape than ever before. the purpose of this conference is to really understand how the
nature of the jihad threat is evolves. and changing in knot africa. analyze the government stat jis to counter the threat and think about what an appropriate set of policy goals to counter that threat might look like. we'll start off this morning by hearing directly from tunisia security officials. about how they see the threats in their countries emerging and explain the most important components of their government counter terrorism strike that skbri. it's really an honor to moderate such a panel. and i'm grateful to each and every one of you for coming this long way to join us today. i'll introduce the speakers first. and give each of the speakers about five minutes to present opening remarks and we will have a q and a session. and a moderated discussion. and i'll introduce them in the
order they will speak. first to my far left. is admiral the national security advisor to the president of tunisia and permanent secretary of the tunisia national counsel. before taking up his post, he had a distinguished career in the tunisia navy for 3 decades. he previously served as the director of military intelligence and the tunisia military to the united arab emirate. he teaches on security and counter terrorism at tunisia higher war college institute of national defense and security forces college. thank you for being here. next ambassador of counsellor in charge of international security affairs at algae ya ministry of foreign affairs. a security and counter terrorism advisor to the algeria foreign
minister. a career in algeria security. and served previously as ambassador counsellor. to the africa union and the arab league. served as ambassador in switzerland, portugal and -- finally to my left. ambassador who is the delegate general of morocco penitentiary and reintegration. during his tenure as the head of the penitentiary system. he has instituted widespread reform throughout the prison system. he has had a distinguished career in public service and served in numerous positions including chief of staff. to the ministry of interior. and served as ambassador to norway and finland. he started off his career as a
university professor in the english department of university. and i have it on very solid sources that you are an excellent teacher. so gentlemen, thank you to all of you for joining us. and admiral, the floor is yours. thank you. >> thank you. ladies and gentlemen, good morning. i would like to thank the center of studies. and the for giving me the opportunity to be here. and talk about the security situation in tunisia. i am also delighted to meet with doctor. among the audience. she was my professor in 2010. ladies and gentlemen, after the uprising of 2011 the country new and stability and seeshz of terrorist acts especially the
year 2013 and 14. and early 2015. tunisia is still threatened by terrorism. and by the impact of the situation especially in libya. i will address in my presentation three topics. i will start with terrorism. root cause of terrorism in tunisia. and then the in libya and impact on tunisia and the i will finish with the strategies adopted to address the threats. the root cause of radicalization of tunisia. i will speak in general youth young generations break with their environment and choose radicalization in cause of feeling of restoration. and satisfaction. feeling of injustice and feeling of failure and desire. feeling of lack of op
appreciation or being subject to stigma. or experiencing -- a specific of radicalization after 2011. the majority of our young our youth is has the feeling of being convinced and they are convinced they were convinced that there is no hope that their situation will change. because of an employment, absence of and so on. two, a reaction of the oppression prohibition of political islam during the e ra. third the sensitiveness for international cause especially those affecting the arab and muslim world. fourth libya after the fall of
the regime. have joined by force or the small terrorist dwrups in libya. in fact since october 2011 after the fall of the regime. the country a weak central government that continues to struggle. libya is a insecure state. by continuous fighting. political violence. and terrorism. there's no national army nor police. the rise of triable conflicts central government liability. libya has become safe haven to ter rests, criminals and smugglers. in part of the situation on tunisia, existence of camps not far away from our borders with
and international -- we promote cooperation with intelligence information sharing. exchange of experience and expertise. and the g 7. i can later in the q and a session. by the law enforcement we adopt counter terrorism in 2015. instead of the last law of 2003. and we have the creation of national commission against terrorism. the adoption of national counter terrorism november 2016. and national strategy on the security in november 2017. we have also adopted some temporary restrictive measures regarding the foreign terrorist
fighters. we tailor made approach. duty to report. and there are the radicalization program in the prison. i want to because of the time we don't have enough time. just to return back to our counter terrorism and strategy. four principles were adopted. the first is entering the human rights. second ensuring the rule of law. the third the enforcement international cooperation. legal assistance, technical assistance. and information sharing. and exchange. the fourth pillar is military and security. having in mind the that the most important is to lead to the spread of terrorism are media, social media, internet and cyber space. conclusion, considerable
improvement of security situation in tunisia despite. and in fact global report 2016 on terrorist threats gave tunisia was better ranked than turkey, france. thank you for listening. >> thank you. mr. president and ceo. first of all i would like to thank the director and team of the csis for the invitation tended to algeria to take part. i have been asked to represent algeria handling of the security challenges facing the country in
the region. in the wake of the ongoing in iraq and syria. this challenges are numerous. they include first the persistence. second the foreign fighters. third the financing of the connection with transnational organized crime. fourth the prevention and the urgent need of. fifth the growing threat of islam phobia. and negative impact on social cohergs and common values. finally the foreign military intervention in countries in violation of sper national law. i will concentrate my on the first one and leave the others for the debate.
the issue of consent to the whole reof the north africa. as well as the central africa. in north africa are returning in numbers. and the connection between terrorism and organized crime. prevention of radicalization. became a top priority. who are discovering it could be home grown threat. islam phobia is on the rise. on both sides. and finally foreign intervention in countries and internal
affairs in violation of international. proven to be the best for and the best can expect for deadly enforcement. in algeria we are still fighting what is left from the national tragedy the country went through in the 90s. these are small groups that do not represent the economy. nor to the normal functioning of the institution or population. the number of terrorists is very limited with little casualty. the military and security measure on this group is very high. in rural area as well. terrorism was through the
combination of plil tear, political, economic and educational policies and strategy. both implementation of including state constitutions and the private sector. civil society, citizens. based on strongly shared rejection of any kind of foreign intervention. i thought it would be useful to go through the main aspect. the number of countries that feel the need to prepare themselves to is unfortunately growing. and i was admitting in and countries like ghana, are preparing themselves fo face the
terrorism. the military and secular. first the fight against ter rich was done since the terrorism in 1992. in full compliance with the laws of the country and in international. second, it is the moratorium suspending the death penalty was put in place in 1993. at the time the system was expected to pronounce nor the penalties against terrorist that are responsible for increasing number of killings. the first concern of the authorities at the time was to protect human life. even if the death penalty was legal and provided by the constitution and the law. the mor toir yum is enforced and
today there is no plan to remove it. third very quickly it was understood that the way out will not be through the only use of arms and military forces. but through isolation of the terrorist groups and within the society. and the reinforcement of the people confidence in the state and its various institutions. policies and strategies were gradually implemented. to achieve the objective. three main long term approaches were launched and implemented. these are the policies of national reconciliation. the promotion of democracy. and i will briefly go through
each of the through each of them. first. the national policy it went through three phases. 1995 as policy. 1999 policy approved by a majority. and 2005 as chapter for peace and consideration. also strongly approved in the referendum. the objective was to end the violence by peaceful means and avoid further loss of life. it was based on four main principles. respect by everyone. of the constitution. the national laws and the democratic and system. second national towards or victims of national tragedy
without exception or discrimination. recognition of the state institution and the -- and fourth on the condition of respect for the give the person who choose the part of violence a chance to return to the families. what excluded from the benefit of the policy the terrorist who committed massacre, rape or used explosive in public places. all the terrorists who surrendered thepss to the authorities inside and out the penalties were either reduced or suppressed foregoing the conclusions of individual inquiries. compensations were paid to the families of all victims of terrorists on the basis that all
of them were considered as victims of the national tragedy. this policy allowed thousands of terrorists to renounce violence and return to their family. in a very short time, it brought peace, security, and stability to the country. in 2017, global law and order reports gallop institute ranks algeria in the seventh position of the safest countries in the world. second, democracy as an antidote to terrorism. the algerian people's history, unity, cultural and social cohesion as well as its strong moral value provided them with the needed resource to defend itself against the threats of violent extremism and terrorism. this was done through the promotion of democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance and independence
of the judiciary, fight against social vulnerabilities, promotion of women's and particular economic environment and social justice. we believe in algeria that democracy is the long-term and dynamic antidote to these threats. this document, i brought it with me. this document gives an overall picture of the progress achieved so far by algeria in promoting democracy and the way ahead to enforce this choice of the algerian people. third -- i'm finishing here. third, the policy of democratization and prevention of radicalization. it is also society approach that involves all sectors and all actors with the aim of reducing and eliminating the potential sources and causes of
radicalization within the society that could be used to feed violent extremism and terrorism. this policy was global in scope. it opposed the logic of inclusion to that of exclusive and exclusion largely developed by the extremist propaganda. to that effect, the economic policy and the huge economic programs implemented since the year 2001 were guided by two main concerns. in one hand, the fair distribution of the benefits of economic development on the whole society and the whole country, and on the other hand, densification and diversification of professional training and jobs for the youth, including the newly graduated from universities. education system went through deep reform in order to give society citizen proud history,
culture and identity, the citizens tolerant and moderate and open to the rest of the world and a citizen with a strong spirit of criticism and analysis. religious national -- that is moderate tolerant, modern authentic islam was established as the only source of inspiration for all religious activities in the country. mosques got back their traditional law of centers for propagating traditional islam that teaches solidarity, friendship, tolerance and dialogue between all mankind and not muslims only. this effort was reinforced by a great number of long-lasting measures as the improvement of the training of imam, the creation of national observatory
for extremism, creation of academia for fit and another one for fitua. this document here, which is available also, gives a full picture of the policies, strategies and programs implemented in algeria to combat radicalization and promote deradicalization. among many criterias to measure -- in conclusion, among many criterias to measure, the sectors of this policy i would record only first the low number of ftfs, 170, according to the sovereign group based here in washington, and second, the loss of value by the algerian territories which are found only in the bottom and not in the hierarchy of the foreign terrorist groups. and third, the continuous loss of ground in the election processes by the islamist
parties. i stop here and thank you for your attention and i am pleased to try to answer your questions. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, malka. i would like to start by thanking the csis for this invitation. i'm also grateful to the director of the csis and to my two colleagues. i will be very brief in the introduction and expect the questions which will be very particular, i know. so, i will just ask them, many question is what are the security threats in the region, and then the key elements of the governmental strategies with one disclaimer. unlike my two colleagues, i am not a security -- i am not
allowed as a security -- i am rather at the end, the output of the security schedule that is the prison. i deal with those people who have been fought and brought to me, so then i deal with them. as most of you know, since 2002, over 174 terrorist cells have been dismantled in morocco, including 50 cells affiliated to sis. some moroccan leaders of -- some moroccan nationals occupy leading position, occupy leading position in the islamic state, and some are in charge of coordinating terrorist actions in the maghreb region. this is the threat. so, potential terrorists, dormant cells do represent a
real threat with their new modus operandi, which is unconventional, using lone wolves with no single modus operandi, using steel ram, poisoning violence and so forth. between 2013 and 2015, it is said that over 1,600 moroccans terrorist fighters have been in the hotbed in the islamic state amongst 225 were killed, including some who have been -- and this is why we'll be talking about deradicalization, as my former friends talked -- over 200 of these were former prisoners, either in guantanamo or in morocco. so prisons do not serve actually to correct people.
i move on to the next, the moroccan strategy of the governments -- it's the moroccan, all society, all the government, to deal with terrorism is multifaceted, as my former friend and also both friends talk about. it's not only security, it's social economic, it's education, it's religious, it's whatever have you, so it's multidimensional, and this is how morocco actually, like other countries, have faced this threat. i can go on points. some people are already know about this. ever since 2002, when morocco started the first terrorist cell was arrested and morocco started deconstructing extremist ideology by operating religious
field, then close down all -- you know, there were shanty towns mosques. we had to close them down and then create the mohammed fifth radio channel of the holy koran and television and their websites promulgating a decree pertaining to money laundering, terrorism and amend the penal code to counterterrorism, rehabilitation, places of worship to promote a tolerant, authentic, and peaceful islam, training imams and preachers, concluding bilateral agreements to train imams from other countries, foreign countries, creating mohammed fifth foundation of high council for african islamists, engaging in constructive dialogue with offenders, broadcasting these programs inside and explained by qualified preachers. so there are so many aspects of
this, but the main one is the reviving of the university which was if not the oldest university in the world and dealing with deconstructing and teaching, preaching moderate religion. morocco approach regarding the treatment of moroccan foreign fighters consists -- does not consist only in interceptive and upon their return to their home countries and bringing them to justice, legally well-designed and well-managed processes, but also using a multidimensional rehabilitation strategy. the point is not to put these offenders in prisons, but rather convincing them to disengage from religious extremism and lead a life with new religious references, and i think
mr. malka actually met me, and i told him just about a project on which i was working then, which is that of approaching these terrorists in prisons, because most people actually think that the threat is ended once you close them inside cells. that's wrong. you can see from different operations in europe that that's wrong because there are people who was in guantanamo, who was in morocco's prisons and then left sham, the group of sham in syria. he was leader and he was killed there. so, we were working a new approach, that is, dealing with people in a multifaceted way. that is a program i initiated with a group of colleagues, which is called the musalaha.
it is reconciliation. it is reconciling the offender with himself psychologically. these are psychologically. second, reconcile him with the community and bring him to do something to community when, either from inside the prison or when he leaves the prison. and third, reconciliation with the religious text. these people are understanding religion differently. the religious discourse is misleading them, or they are being misled by wrong ideas about jihad, about so many concepts in islam, so we bring them people renowned and modern people, not, you know, the preachers that just say the koran said this and that and start decanting that. that's not enough. so, the end result is that the first pilot study of these was
25 people or more, 19 jihadists who were arrested before 9/11, and 6 islamic state people are fighters, and 13 of them have been amidsted. they're working outside. they have social projects where they're helping society, and those have been rehabilitated and are now preaching to their peers. so this approach is very general in getting to this and the question is, these are the new things. so, if you ask me what are the main thing to do with what is the drawback that we're facing, i'd call it, as i always say, i call a spade a spade.
how this is not just about developing a pure security or a law enforcement or military approach to solving the problem, but it has to also take into account religious education, social, economic issues. admiral akrout, i'd like to start with you. tunisia has done an exemplary job of improving its counterterrorism, its military and law enforcement capabilities over the last few years since the period of 2013 to early 2015 that you mentioned. so there's been quite a lot of progress on the security front. but when it comes to the social, the economic, the questions of injustice and marginalization that you mentioned, how do you think tunisia's doing in making progress on those issues that actually drive radicalization? >> thank you for this hard question. yeah.
as you said, one of the principles of our city strategy is to not limit our approach on military and security means, but it's multiple and multidisciplinary approach, social, economic, ecology, and so on. and as you know, tunisia is apprising the situation, especially the economic situation is a challenge for us, and finding investment in tunisia is problematic, but we are doing better, each year better than the year before. i give you, for example, the economic growth this year is better than last year, and the last year is better than the year before. investment also is better.
we are trying to -- but after apprising especially in 2011, '12 and '13, the population is asking for everything, and for everything right now. so, we have this problem, but i believe -- and we had many strides, we had people that don't like even to work but to get salaries. but right now things are getting better. and as i told you, the economy is again back, the growth is back, but we have many challenges. why? before, for example, the original context is difficult. before libya or the tunisia is a land of opportunities. even if you have young man,
jobless young man, he went to libya to get some money and to turn back to have his own business, but right now we prohibit even for him to go to libya because of the security situation there. europe is closed, and you know that for a fringe of society, a huge fringe of society going to europe, the only way to go to europe is illegal immigration. so, the situation even in europe, economic situation is difficult, but we are trying to do something. and i believe that each year the results are there and our approach, the military, and not only the security approach, is giving results, good results. thank you. >> thank you. ambassador riache, you talked about the link with organized crime, and it's a theme that people working on
counterterrorism have been talking about for a while now and how organized crime and radical groups feed off of each other, they use the same networks, the same smuggling networks, the same financing modes in some cases. you've been dealing with this for a long time, since the 1990s. in your opinion, is it possible to break that link between organized crime and radicalized groups, and what will it take to break that link? >> it's our wish to break this link, but the problem is that the link is very strong. if you look at it, there is all kind of trafficking. it's the road for the main drugs trafficking. cocaine passes by, heroin passes
by, hashish, small arms, and now with what is happening in libya, passes also by the sahal. illegal migration now is one of the main sources for the terrorist groups. kidnapping for ransom has been a big business for a long time. and we tried to criminalize the by the u.n., to get the u.n. to criminalize taking hostages for ransom, and we haven't been successful up to now. now if you look at the local sources, and when you talk to the people of western africa in
general and sahara in particular, they tell you that boko haram is controlling the market of fish in the sahal, the market of -- qatar, yes. they create their own markets in modern cameroon, in southern chad, in northern nigeria and so on, and the list is long. they are now because of the pressure in nigeria, they are moving the factories of forced migration and secret groups to the sahal. so the problem is a serious one,
and i will not forget that they learned from daesh how to occupy territories, how to manage territories, how to collect taxes, and the boko haram is a good, how to say, student. and they have implemented what they have learned from daesh in syria and iraq. so it's an area where international attention should be concentrated much more, because as long as finance as terrorism is there. and the problem is there is a kind of mutualization of resources, human and material resources between the terrorist groups and criminal groups.
the roads for cocaine are secured by the terrorist groups. the roads for hashish are secured by the terrorist groups. and so on. so, there is a great need for the international community to concentrate on this issue and to cut the problem from its origin. thank you. >> thank you. ambassador tamek, you talked about some interesting and cutting-edge work you're doing inside the prisons in terms of amnesty, reconciliation. you've talked to a lot of jihadi salafi prisoners that have come through your system. what has surprised you about what you learn from these people, from the new generation of jihadi salafists? >> as i said, i came across two
groups of jihadists in my last career. when i came to this penitentiary system, i always ask myself questions -- are we going to keeping this vicious circle of getting people arrested people, waiting for them to finish, we don't apply any capital punishment, so wait for them to finish their pay, penalties, and then leave them out and do what they like? so, i started thinking. i start what i call the summer university, fall university, spring university, which is actually addressing all those inmates who have graduated in different schools, and it so happens that among them were some terrorists. so, when we -- i listened and
brought renowned professors in morocco to lecture these people about different topics, and i followed the interconvention of those terrorists, and they were really radical, be they jihadists or islamic state people. so, first university, second university, then i came up with this idea of why not go and touch them directly, especially those who have shown some kind of remorse, some kind of -- and believe me, i came across those salafi jihadists who were really very brilliant people in terms of dealing with the koranic text as it is, as they understand it. you know, they know the verses, they know how to explain them. i don't know anything about that. but the islamic people, they're very superficial. they're fighters, really. as i said, they're soldiers and no more.
that's why the second -- my second operation is that i will separate them, because intellectually, you speak to two different populations so we have to deal with them psychological because they feel that they are actually lower than the others. so, that's the first thing i learned is that the islamic state fighters are foreign fighters coming from the islamic state are not really very much deeply know the text. they just know branches of things, and they're very superficial, so we have to deal with them, and mostly, they are the kind of people who have not, you know, very low educational grade. so, that's the first thing i looked at, and i work on it, and i think i don't know whether it's coming -- certainly, there are brilliant people, quote/unquote, also among the islamic state, but that's the first thing i noticed.
so, we're working for the next, second reconciliation, and so far, i've got 220 people asking to participate in this operation, among them, 120 islamist state people, foreign fighters, returnees. but among the 900, almost 1,000 people who are in prison now, the hardliners are islamic foreign fighters, they are really, really -- they're against everything. they call usa tahote, all of us, the monarchy, everything, all of the arab world, all of the european world, all the american world, they are tahote and they have to be burned down. they are very, very, very tough. i'm approaching them differently, of course, fighting deradicalization. that's the point.
when i came, i found that, you know, prisoners are coming, be they terrorists or others, and i ask the security system whether there is kind of indignation of recruitment in prisoners, petty criminals. they say no. there is not a system that exists what i call the general affair coordination inside prisons, where i get information actually focusing on islamists and on drug dealers, i got more information and i found that when i come 2014 up to 2016, 220 new recruits from inside prison who are actually in with petty penalties, drugs and killing and criminals. so, i have to decide on this. i have to separate the islamist detainees from the rest of the
population. now they were disseminated in 47 facilities. now they are grouped in 16, so they can be controlled. they can be controlled. even the personnel has to be educated. let me tell you this, i was in prison myself, not belong to this trend of ideology, to the former one that is of the extreme left. and we did what we liked with our personnel of prison personnel. the forbidden things then were not self -- the marxist and pamphlets and transistor radios. and we got them by the prison personnel. just kind of sympathized with us. now they can pay everything, these drug dealers and islamist
jihadist prisoners, they can buy anything, so we have to be very careful about the personnel. i keep changing them every month. otherwise, because lest they should be able to be indoctrinated themselves. because i find one or two who started they say in arabic, [ speaking foreign language ] "may god spare you," or something like that. so i'm picking -- you know, and it is a very tough issue, it is very tough to deal with these people. >> thank you very much. we have about ten minutes for some questions. since it's a short period, please keep your questions short. please identify yourself and your institution and try to refrain from making any comments or a monologue. we'll start with ambassador jones, please. >> thank you so much. very impressive and interesting presentations. deborah jones, who served previously as ambassador to
libya. i guess i share some pain with one of you. but my question is, how important do you think addressing terrorism or this kind of transnational ideological terrorism reform in the kingdom of saudi arabia is right now, to the extent that a lot of these young, generally impoverished men who signed up from morocco, tunisia, and elsewhere in europe viewed themselves as part of an umma that was not being taken care of by a corrupt in their view state whose national wealth was going to saudi nationals but who purported to be an islamic state at some level? so, in that context, even kind of the recent shakedown or the approach to the wealthy and the kingdom may have an impact on that as well in terms of the perception, because it's wildly popular, even within the kingdom, what has just happened.
so how do you see -- do you see any impact of transformation in the kingdom on the movement of transnational terrorism? thank you. >> okay. who would like to start? professor nash? >> i will ask the same question. i have no answer to that. really, i am following closely, but i can't give you an answer. as far as saudi arabia is concerned and the impact on the internal situation. thank you. >> would anybody else like to take that question? >> yeah, maybe a short answer. i don't believe that what's going on in saudi arabia will impact these terrorist groups or these dormant cells inside tunisia, but maybe outside, yes,
it could be, because the base of their ideology is wahabiism somehow. so maybe it will have an impact. inside tunisia, with the cells inside tunisia, they are i believe -- they are trying to survive with the pressure of security forces in tunisia. i don't believe that they are -- it's one of their preoccupation what's going on in saudi arabia. >> thank you. professor william zartman in the back. >> to ambassador riache, why do you refuse security cooperation with morocco next door? you've tried to organize the security to the south and east of you, but you turn your back to morocco, which has a very good security record. wouldn't cooperation be a better strategy? >> that's what my neighbor said.
i didn't say that. what i say is we cooperate with everybody. and i give you an example of strong cooperation, strong proof of cooperation. one year or less, there were more than 500 young moroccans traveling to libya with a ticket, one-way ticket. they were stopped in algeria. they were questioned by algeria. and then we referred to our neighbors, to the moroccan authorities, the situation, and we said we have doubts that these people are joining the terrorist groups because the tickets were prepaid tickets paid in libya and one way.
and the rule -- i think the international rule for aviation, you have to have your round-trip ticket. and it appeared that these people were joining terrorist groups. so when cooperation is needed, we are there, because our main target -- and i can go for one hour or more talking about what algeria does as far as bilateral regional and international cooperation is concerned. we suffered from terrorism and we were alone. everybody was keeping quiet, if not supporting indirectly terrorism. 9/11 arrived, and then the whole world woke up to the threat of terrorism.
but before, there was something else. there were internal affairs to algeria. but everybody knew that it was terrorism. but since it was not hurting others, everybody kept quiet. and why we are promoting this cooperation for our own security, because we know the threat is a global one, and the response has to be a global one. we are founding member and active member of the jctf. we co-chair with canada the working group on western africa. and we host the african center for studies on terrorism. we host the african police organization for the african continent. and the list is long.
and our aim is that -- our hope is that no other people, no other country goes through what we have been through in the '90s. i hope i answered your question. >> last question. professor otoway, please. >> dave otoway from the woodrow wilson center. i want to add on to what ambassador jones was talking about, the saudi influence. i just came back from tunisia and morocco and wahabism has long been blamed for the ideological inspiration, but ambassador tamek noted that these jihadis have little ideological or theological formation or knowledge, so is
wahabism the problem really or -- as the source of inspiration, or is it economic considerations that they need to, you know, make money? what do you think the source for jihadism is theologically? is it wahabism? >> okay. i think the reasons are so many, many-fold. wahhabism was ignited, actually, back in the '70s, and even before that. at the same time, the muslim know, this islamist movement which started in maghreb areas we were all the same because of teachers coming from egypt, from iraq, from syria, and they were all muslim brotherhood without anybody knowing them. they were teaching at the high schools back in the countryside. and then came the wahhabism from '70s.
i think that's when it gets material money, and this is how it all starts. so, there is this theological problem. there is the socioeconomic problem, because these people, initially, they were just poor people. they were approached by somebody who taught them. i was governor in chichaoua, and there were people who came to the countryside teaching what they call daiwa, that is preaching people. and they ask to get their i.d.s, and they were grocers, butchers, whatever have you, not even a teacher. so these people, and i said, how come these people teach the precepts of islam? they are not allowed. and they said, well, they've been allowed because there is this mosque of noor in casablanca which allows these people, and this is how it started, and nobody paid attention to it. and i said, no, please, you forbid them.
it was not -- it was an individual initiative. whereas the minister of interior allowed them to do it with the minister of islamic endowment, they were allowed. so i said no because these people are teaching the wrong thing. and actually, the first cells that were arrested in morocco, 60 -- almost 70% of them belonged to these movements, to these so-called moderate movements of islam, these people who are just going and praying and doing daiwa and so on and so forth, and some of them or so went to afghanistan after we said, yes, there is this theological background, there is socioeconomic background, and there is also what's happening, and my colleagues actually pointed on this -- what's happening, there is a kind of a hard knocks on the muslim world. look at the palestinians. look at what happened in iraq. so these are things, people react to this. and people are not all intellectuals.
they can't manage to analyze things, strategies and so forth. nope, our friends are killed, so we move on, let's try to fight to defend them. so, there are so many-fold, actually, aspects of this problem. >> ambassador riache, do you want to give one minute? >> i would just add something that it is not only ideology, it is the context. these people are marginalized. they have problem, inner problem and outside problem. they feel that this society isn't their society. these people are against -- this society's working against them. this society doesn't represent
them. and they try to find something to fuel this sensitivity to all the young people. it could be a religion, it could be injustice, as i said that some sensitivity of international causes, and especially those affecting arab and muslim worlds. all of this are factors. we cannot have -- i was in the university, and we have our teacher telling all the time, please give me the profile of terrorist. i told him that there's no profile for terrorist. everybody could be terrorist. if there is a group of parameters that makes this guy a terrorist. you cannot say ideology or poverty or something, is together. and when you see, for example,
the last event, terrorist event in north sinai against a mosque where 305 person were killed in the mosque, you can ask yourself, is that islam? they try to find an answer. they said these guys are not in our way of practicing islam, but they are not muslims. so, it is problematic. we saw after the uprising in tunisia many criminals becoming terrorists. so it's -- and each -- i return back to the foreign fighters and their radicalization. we cannot say this transpose this system for everybody. everybody is a case. so, you treat everybody -- you
can radicalize one in six months, but the other all their lifelong and you cannot deradicalize him. thank you. >> i just want to go back to the issue of fts and to say that these people are the threat of the future for three reasons. first, they are people who are ideologically well trained, well formed. they have convictions. or most of them. second element, these people are military trained. they fought wars. they know how to kill. they know how to use explosives. and so on. they are ready for the worst.
and third, they come from 100 countries or more. and most of them, they are going to go back either to their countries or to new zones of conflict. and in the sahal, we expect the return of some of them. and these people and the daesh proved it, they know how to use internet. they have connections. they know how to use the social networks, and they are connected. and every one of them is a bum, whatever. he is in tahiti or in the u.s. or in algeria, and they are connected among themselves. and i am raising this point just to say that internet today is
the best tool of the terrorists and we need to pay more attention to this issue, work together closely with the internet industry. otherwise, we are leaving wonderful tool in the hands of terrorists to destroy even internet, because tomorrow if there are national regulations promoting controls, censorship and so on, internet will be not the same. it will be something else. and in order not to let these terrorists destroy internet, we have to act, and i thank you. >> thank you very much. this has been an incredible
discussion for lots of reasons. i've certainly learned a lot. i think it's actually the first time that i know of that we've had a panel in washington where tunisia and algerian and moroccan officials have sat together on the panel and expressed their positions and their views, so i hope we can repeat this and perhaps continue this discussion with the three of you at some point in the future. each of you brought your own perspective, but i think there are also common themes that ran throughout the remarks in the presentation, and one of them is the need to cooperate, the reality that this is not just a moroccan fight or a tunisian fight or an algerian fight but that all of you have to work together more closely, more effectively, and hopefully, later on in the day we will talk about how the united states can work more effectively, both bilaterally and also on a multilateral level. so i want to thank each of you for coming. and admiral akrout, ambassador
riache, ambassador tamek, thank you so much for taking the time, for traveling such a long distance, for sharing your thoughts with us. i also want to thank the ambassadors of morocco, algeria, and tunisia, who played an important role in helping put this panel together. we're very grateful for their support. so thank you again. i hope you enjoy the rest of the discussion. we are going to take a two-minute break as we refill the water and bring up our next panel of speakers. thank you very much. [ applause ] [ room noise ]