Two Scandinavian women were found dead near the village of Imlil in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains this week – Maren Ueland, 28, and Louis Vesterager Jespersen, 24, had been on vacation. Those responsible for their deaths, suspected ISIS terrorists, regarded the women as “enemies of God” and shouted “it’s Allah’s will” as they filmed themselves decapitating one of the tourists.
The Danish intelligence service said the video showing one of the women’s murders was genuine and confirmed the killers are connected to ISIS.
Additional footage showed the four murder suspects pledging their alliance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. One man was seen holding a knife as they condemned “destruction caused by the warplanes of the Crusader alliance” and taunted Morocco’s intelligence service, asking “where is your knowledge? For here we are…”
The tourists were seen with three men in Marrakesh before heading to the Atlas mountains to hike. The suspects are between the ages of 25 and 33, with three identified by their initials. According to officials, the suspects include: “RA,” who was born in 1985 and works as a salesman, “AE,” a carpenter born in 1991, and “OA,” who was born in 1993, though no details about his employment were given.
They were arrested at a bus station in Marrakesh after a trader alerted police that the men were carrying knives. Police boarded the bus and seized four knives. The ticket inspector noted: “We picked up three people. They bought their tickets. When the bus left the station, a policeman asked me to close the door of the bus, because we normally leave it open for other people to jump on.”
He added, “Then he told me to stop the bus in front of the Ryad Mogador hotel. Then the police got on the bus and they went to check the guys and they found four big knives. Passengers on the bus were very afraid because the police surrounded the bus and the area around it.’
Another man whose identity card was found at the murder scene was also arrested.
The Danish intelligence service released a statement about the ongoing investigation, noting: “The video and preliminary investigation according to the Moroccan authorities indicate that the killings may be related to the terrorist organization Islamic State. This is a case of an unusually bestial killing of two totally innocent young women.”
Denmark’s prime minister called the killings “politically motivated and thus an act of terror,” explaining that “there are still dark forces that want to fight our values” and “we must not give in.”
A French couple who found the women’s bodies described the horrific scene, noting: ‘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. Both of them lay outside the tent. The tent was open. 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.”
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.