A Swiss national who follows an "extremist ideology" has been arrested in connection with the murder of two Scandinavian women on Morocco - one of whom was beheaded in a graphic film.
The arrested individual is also suspected of "involvement in recruiting Moroccan and sub-Saharan nationals to carry out terrorist plots in Morocco against foreign targets and security forces in order to take hold of their service weapons," according to the Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations (BCIJ), adding that the man also held a Spanish nationality along with residency in Morocco.
Maren Ueland, 28, of Norway and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, of Denmark were murdered while backpacking in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco. Both girls were stabbed multiple times, while one of them was beheaded on video.
Nineteen other men are under arrest in connection with the case, including four primary suspects who can be heard pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. That said, police and domestic intelligence spokesman Boubker Sbik has described the men as "lone wolves," and that "the crime was not coordinated with Islamic State."
As we reported on Friday, the men gloated over the graphic murders, while images of the killing were posted to the Facebook page of Ueland's mother, and the video was sent via Private Message to Ms. Jesperson's friends, according to the Daily Mail.
The clip, in which a suspected ISIS terrorist shouts 'it's Allah's will', was also sent to friends of Ms Jespersen via 'private messenger', it has been claimed.
It has since been revealed that horrific images of the slain tourists have been posted on the Facebook page of Ms Ueland's mother Irene. Some Moroccans bizarrely posted the images in a misguided bid to express sympathy along with calls for the killers to be executed.
Earlier, it was claimed that footage itself had been sent to friends of Ms Jespersen. While it is not clear exactly who sent them the footage, there will be strong suspicions it would have been from warped ISIS sympathisers. -Daily Mail
Jespersen and Ueland had been studying outdoor activities at the University of Southeastern Norway and had taken a month-long holiday in Morocco on December 9. They traveled to North Africa's highest peak, Mount Toubkal, where they camped until they encountered the killers. Both of their bodies were found in their tent, while the graphic beheading video quickly went viral.
In the aftermath of the slayings, Swedish state broadcaster SVT outraged viewers after they ran an article claiming that the gruesome ISIS-inspired murder of two Scandinavian girls in Morocco "had nothing to do with Islam," before warning Swedes that sharing the beheading video could result in up to four years of imprisonment.