This morning I was informed of a suicide attack here in Morocco  Casablanca (the financial capital), to be precise.

As it turns out, only the bomber himself was killed, and the rest of the story was pretty straightforward.  The BBC reported this morning that prior to the attack, a patron of a cyber café had been told by the owner that he was no longer permitted to view "jihadist" (BBC's term, not mine) websites and that the bombing was perhaps in retaliation, although there is question as to whether or not the bombing was intentional.  A friend accompanying the bomber managed to escape and has not yet been questioned.

The bomber hailed from Sidi Moumen, as did the perpetrators of 2003 bombings in Casablanca which killed 45 people and targeted a five-star hotel and some Jewish cultural buildings.

Whether or not this will affect tourism remains to be seen.  Morocco has basically been on terror alert since 2003, but tourism has only increased, particularly in Fez and Marrakesh, both major historical centers.  Casablanca, on the other hand, has very little of interest to tourists; most go only to see the giant Hassan II mosque  funded entirely by donations  then move on to the former imperial capitals, the Sahara, or the Mediterranean coast.

Personally, I'm not concerned.  As a co-worker reminded me this morning, "you could be hit by a bus at any time."  Morocco has far less crime, even "terrorist" or "religion-related" crime, than my home country and less than most developed countries.  I'll stick it out. 

 

 

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