Four suspects have now been arrested in the murder case of two young Scandinavian women, an act which Moroccan police described as ‘bestial’ as they confirmed the rumours one of the girls was beheaded.
Meanwhile, a video has been found in which the quartet swore allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State.
The murder of one of the women was filmed whilst a perpetrator repeatedly pronounced the words 'enemies of Allah'. He also talks about revenge for their brothers in (the Syrian city, ed.) Hajine.
Research showed that the images are authentic. One of the suspects was arrested on Tuesday in Marrakech. After a manhunt the three others could be arrested at a bus stop yesterday.
Found by French couple
The mutilated bodies of 24-year-old Louisa Vesterager Jespersen from Denmark and 28-year-old Maren Ueland from Norway were found by a French couple. They were ten kilometers from Imlil, a small village in the Atlas mountains at the foot of the 4.167 meter high Toubkal mountain.
"My partner and I are here on vacation", according to the French woman who wished to remain anonymous "We did a small walking tour and stumbled on an open tent. Then we saw those girls, a terrible sight. We will carry this with us for the rest of our lives. We did not see the perpetrators."
Related coverage: Moroccan Government Insists “Scandinavian Tourists Killed By Terrorists”
According to Moroccan authorities, the two mutilated bodies carried "traces of violence by knives" on their necks. A source close to the investigation confirmed that the throat of the Danish woman had been cut and the Norwegian woman was beheaded.
The bodies of the young women were taken to the airport of Casablanca on Thursday evening, from where they will be flown to their homeland.
"We do not know the circumstances. But many point out that the brutal murder was a terrorist act," said Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. "And there is also a video on social media."
The Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg spoke of a "brutal and senseless attack that we condemn.”
The perpetrators stayed in the same area as the women and probably stalked them earlier in the day before they surprised and killed the women in their sleep. The Moroccan police released photos of the suspects.
"Safety came first"
The duo studied together at the university and left on December 9 for a journey that would last a month. "Safety came first with my daughter", says the mother of Miss Ueland "these girls had taken all possible precautions to undertake such a trip."
"I was devastated," Miss Jespersen's mother reacted "when I saw those two agents at the door, I knew immediately what had happened."
The boss of a restaurant that had still served the women a few days before they were killed says "they were having fun. They said they wanted to climb the Toubkal, the highest mountain in the Atlas Mountains. I advised them to bring a local guide, but they said they did not need it. The police have requested our camera images. We do not understand how anyone can be capable of such a thing, something terrible has never happened here before."
The region is one of the major tourist attractions of Morocco, the only north African nation that still attracts European tourists in major numbers. The country is deeply shocked by the murders. Last year more than 11 million tourists visited the North African country.
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