Incident Summary:

05/16/2003: In a series of five related incidents, suicide bombers blew themselves up in an international hotel in Casablanca, Morocco. At least 8 people died in this explosion. The attack was part of five nearly simultaneous suicide attacks in Casablanca which killed 45 people, including 12 of the bombers, and wounded 100. Hundreds of people were later arrested in connection with the string of five suicide attacks. Of those arrested, eighty-seven people later tried in court were suspected to have been members of Salafia Jihadia. It was unclear if the perpetrators responsible for the attack had links with Al-Qaida.




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:

Greater Casablanca (Region)


Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Indiscriminate civilians at the Farah Maghreb Hotel in Casablanca, Morocco
Nationality of Target Multinational
Additional Information
Hostages No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Suicide (carried bodily by human being)
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information This was one of the five related incidents (cf. 20030516003-07). The total number of casualties was cumulatively reported as 45 fatalities and 100 injuries and these figures have been distributed evenly across these cases in order to preserve the statistical accuracy of the database. Twelve of the fourteen suicide bombers died in the five attacks. The investigation attributed the attack to the Salafia Jihadia. All the suicide bombers were coming from the same shanty town near Casablanca. Links with Al-Qaida and the suicide attacks in Riyadh four days earlier were also found. On August 19, 2003, a Casablanca criminal court sentenced to death four of the perpetrators in this incident, Hassan Taousi, Mohamed El Omari, Rachid Jalil, Yassine Lahnechearly. Prison sentences ranging from 10 months to life were given to the rest of the accused, including Miloudi Zakaria, who was sentenced to life in prison, and Mohammed Fizazi, Abdelkrim Chadli, and Omar Haddouchi, who were given 30-year sentences.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Salafia Jihadia (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 87
Number of Captured Perpetrators 87
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 8 Fatalities / 20 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 8
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 2
Total Number of Injured 20
Number of U.S. Injured Unknown
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Gina Dogget, "Morocco grapples with first major terrorist attack," Agence France Presse, May 18, 2003."
"Elaine Sciolino, "Aftereffects: Casablanca, officials suspect global terror tie in Morocco blasts," The New York Times, May 18, 2003."
"Four death sentences handed down in Casablanca blast trial," Agence France Presse, August 19, 2003."