On February 23rd, 2012, The Moroccan Court decided on the sentences for 27 men who were arrested last year. The group was arrested on January 4, 2011. Each of these 27 ended up with a prison sentence of 1 to 6 years. These sentences were established for allegedly planning terrorist attacks.
The court in Sale, Morocco, found Hicham El Ba, a 40 year old Moroccan, to be the leader of this operation. The court accused Hicham El Ba and other Moroccan men of collectively planning terrorist attacks in order to do serious harm to public order, steal, and profit. The interior ministry and the court also discovered that one of these men is a member of AQIM, or Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. This organization said that they want to make Morocco “a base for preparing terrorist acts.” The AQIM is thought to be based in the surrounding countries of Algeria, Niger, Mali, and Mauritania.