Maren Ueland of Norway and Louisa Jespersen of Denmark were friends and roommates who went on a hiking trip in Morocco. While they were there, they befriended three locals and offered to go hiking with them. While hiking, the men kidnapped them and then proceeded to saw their heads off with a knife while filming the ordeal.
Facebook posts suggest the women may have in contact with the men as they posted their trip status online:
It took some digging, but the men had uploaded the video online and we were able to find it. In the video, one of the women can be heard screaming for her mother (0:07) as he saws her head off:
A man suspected in the killing of two female tourists from Norway and Denmark in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains belongs to a militant group, a prosecutor said on Wednesday, without identifying the group.
The women’s bodies were found on Monday in an isolated area near Imlil, on the way to Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak and a popular hiking destination.
The man was arrested in Marrakech, Morocco’s main tourist hub, and police were hunting other individuals identified as suspects.
“We are working to bring before justice three other suspects on the run,” said police spokesman Boubker Sabik.
The two tourists, Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, of Denmark and 28-year-old Maren Ueland of Norway, were killed in an unguarded area in hard to reach mountains, he said.
Investigations are also going on to authenticate a video tape shared on social media claiming to show the killing of one of the tourists, the general prosecutor said in a statement.
The video purportedly showed the killing, with a woman screaming while a man cuts her neck with what appears to be a kitchen knife.
A source from Imlil said one of the victims was found dead inside her tent while another was found outside.
Citing a security source, Morocco’s public TV channel 2M said on its website that investigations showed that the slaying of the two tourists was militant-related. It did not elaborate.
Morocco has been largely insulated from the militant attacks that plagued other countries in North Africa. The latest bomb attack in the country dates back to April 2011 when 17 people were killed in a restaurant in Marrakech.
Morocco has stepped up its effort to counter militant groups with the creation in 2015 of its own version of the FBI. The Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations has so far broken up 57 militant cells, including eight in 2018.
According to reports, the reason for the murder by the men was in part motivated due to “sexual frustration” as investigators are reporting:
Detectives investigating the horrific slaughter of two Scandinavian backpackers in their tent in Morocco believe it was sexually motivated.
It’s thought the three suspects from nearby Marrakech may have stalked Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Norway, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Denmark, before attacking them while they slept on Monday.
The women were found in and outside the tent. One had been decapitated, while the other had a serious throat wound.
But a police source told Morocco World News the murder investigation has excluded robbery as the motive because none of the victims’ belongings were missing.
Rather, sexual assault may have been the motive for the crime at a spot 6 miles from the remote mountain village of Imlil, near the foot of Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak.
It has emerged that the suspects were camped 600 meters (less than half a mile) from Louisa and Maren.
It is alleged that after committing the murders, they fled, leaving their tent, where a forgotten ID of one of the arrested men was found.
The suspects were also filmed on CCTV moving toward the spot where the women were camping.
They are now being hauled back to the scene of the crime to explain how the killings happened, according to a source.
A source told Morocco World News: “The suspects were camping in the same area that the murder took place.
“Witnesses saw the group at night as they were heading to the camp area.” (source)