Suspected ISIS terrorists branded two Scandinavian women the ‘enemies of God’ as they filmed themselves decapitating one of the tourists in Morocco.
Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, were found dead near the village of Imlil in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains on Monday.
A video showing the murder of one of the women has been recognised as genuine, Danish intelligence service said today adding that the killings can be connected to ISIS.
Men in the gruesome clip can be heard shouting ‘it’s Allah’s will’ while there are claims that the words ‘this is for Syria’ were used, in an apparent reference to Western bombing missions in the war-torn country.
Separate footage has emerged today showing four men suspected of carrying out the attack pledging their alliance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
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Sitting in front of a black and white flag, one is seen brandishing a knife as they condemn ‘destruction caused by the warplanes of the Crusader alliance’. They also appear to taunt Morocco’s intelligence service, saying ‘where is your knowledge? For here we are…’
They were filmed fleeing the scene between 2am and 3am on Monday, on a camera belonging to another camper.
On Wednesday, police arrested a man from the city whose identity card was found at the murder scene.
Police are not thought to be seeking any other suspects in connection with the crime.
Officers have announced their intention to take the suspects to the murder scene to ask them how they committed the murder, but have not yet scheduled a time for it.
A French couple roday have described the horrific moment they found the two women’s bodies.
‘My partner and I are on vacation and were going on a small hike. We saw a tent that was open. And we saw the two girls. It was horrible. They were corrupted,’ the French woman, who refused to be named, told VG.
‘Both of them lay outside the tent. The tent was open,’ she said, adding that they took a photo to show police where they found them.
‘We will think about this for the rest of our lives. We never saw the men, because we first came to the area in the morning. We were lucky, said the French woman, who is flying home with her partner today.
Earlier, a man who also saw the bodies said one of the victims had been decapitated.
The local resident, who asked not to be named for his own safety, said: ‘I saw the two bodies before the police arrived. One was outside the tent and the other inside. The one outside had been beheaded.’
The killings have sparked fears of a hit to Morocco’s crucial tourist sector – which accounts for 10 per cent of national income – as the kingdom’s relative security has always been a major selling point.
‘What most of us had feared – that is to say a terrorist angle to the double crime in the region of Imlil, has been confirmed,’ said leading news website Medias 24.
‘Shock, sadness and revulsion are perceptible in Morocco,’ it added.
Traumatised by the murders, residents of Imlil are deeply fearful for their livelihoods, and have helped investigators in identifying suspects, a tourism sector source told AFP.
Morocco is generally considered safe for tourists but has battled with Islamic extremism for years, and more than a thousand Moroccans are believed to have joined ISIS.
An anti-terrorism rally is planned for Morocco’s capital
******* UPDATE ******
A 14th person was arrested Saturday in connection with the beheading deaths of two Scandinavian tourists, according to the state-run Maghreb Arab Press.
Moroccan authorities took the suspect into custody in the southwestern city of Marrakech.
The news agency described him as a “Swiss man who holds Spanish nationality with residence in Morocco.”
Authorities have already arrested 13 suspects connected to the killings, state-controlled news agency 2M reported.
Four were suspected on killing the women, and appeared to pledge allegiance to ISIS in a video.
The additional nine were arrested in several cities for their alleged connections to the murder suspects.Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judiciary Investigations (BCIJ) did not identify the latest suspect, but said he espouses extremist and violent ideology, MAP reported.
The BCIJ said the Swiss-Spanish suspect is alleged to have taught communications skills and archery to some of the other arrested suspects, and that he helped recruit Moroccans and Sub-Saharan nationals for terrorist schemes in Morocco.
MAP cited the BCIJ statement that the man is in custody as part of investigations underway into all criminal and terrorist acts he was planning.