Morocco had been relatively free from political violence following the suicide bombings in May 2003 in Casablanca, but by 2007 the potential for violence had flared once again.
There was growing frustration with the government, which was unable to address the poor economic situation. cultural centre came under attack when two suicide bombers (brothers) detonated their explosives near the buildings.
The security situation continued to be worrying, especially following the March 2007 suicide bombing of an Internet cafe in Casablanca; 47 people were convicted (one was sentenced to up to 30 years' imprisonment) in October 2008 for having taken part in the blast.
In June, 29 persons from Tetouan were sentenced for having recruited Moroccan fighters for terrorist attacks in Iraq.
Phoenicians established trading posts along the Mediterranean coast during the 12th century BC, and Carthage had settlements along the Atlantic coast in the 5th century BC.
After the fall of Carthage, the region's leaders became loyal allies of Rome, and in 46 AD it was annexed by the Romans as part of the province of Mauretania. The Almoravid dynasty conquered it and the Muslim areas of Spain in the mid-11th century; in the 12th century the Almohad dynasty overthrew the Almoravids.
They in turn were conquered by the Marīnid dynasty in the 13th century.
Attacks by pirates from the states of the Barbary Coast compelled Europeans to enter the area: the French fought Morocco over the boundary with Algeria, Britain obtained trading rights in 1856, and the Spanish seized part of Moroccan territory in 1859.
a kingdom in NW Africa: formed from a sultanate that was divided into two protectorates (French Morocco and Spanish Morocco) and an international zone. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature in 1997.Relations with Mauritania and Algeria deteriorated, and fighting over the region continued.Attempts at mediation by the international community met with little success.Foreign direct investment, however, continued to be strong, at billion, and remittances reached .5 billion by June.The political scene remained gloomy after the September 2007 legislative elections.