Denmark Suspects Murders of Scandinavian Tourists Are Linked to ISIS

Rabat – Although ISIS has not claimed credit for the murder of two tourists from Norway and Denmark in Morocco, Danish officials said that the motive for the murders may have been terrorism, inspired by ISIS.

The bodies of 24-year-old Louisa Vesterager Jespersen from Denmark and 28-year-old Maren Ueland from Norway were recovered on Monday, December 17, in an isolated, mountainous area.

On Thursday, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said in a press conference, “Much now indicates that the killings could be politically motivated and thus a terrorist act.”

‘We must never give in’

Rasmussen added, “There are still dark forces out there who will try to fight our values with violence, threaten our society, and the way we live our lives.”

Expressing frustration, the prime minister said, “It makes me angry but also more firm that we never must give in or give way.”

Rasmussen also commented on a video that has gone viral on social media showing Moroccan men slicing the throat of a foreign woman.

The video records two voices. One of the men in the video was crying: “This is a revenge for our brothers in Hajin,” referring to a small town in eastern Syria that was ISIS’ last holdout.

“There is a video going around on social media, but its authenticity is still not verified,” Rasmussen said.

Locals have said that the video is not related to the murder, but the public prosecutor at Rabat’s Court of Appeal said that Moroccan security services are still checking its authenticity.

ISIS has been shifting its strategy from explosive bombings to stabbing and vehicle-ramming attacks. The strategy is defined as “ISIS’ lone-wolf.” ISIS started using the strategy as its territory in Iraq and Syria shrank.

In recent years, ISIS has been carrying several attacks, using knives and vehicles to run over people deliberately.

A statement from a public prosecutor at Rabat’s Court of Appeals confirmed that the first suspect, arrested Tuesday, belongs to a “radicalized” group.

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Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) announced the arrest of three more suspects on Thursday morning.

Danish journalist Stine Delfs told Morocco World News that Danish security services are now investigating the murder as an act of terror.

She added that police informed the victims’ relatives of the new development.

Norwegian Ambassador to Morocco Merethe Nergaard arrived in Marrakech yesterday to follow the case closely. In an interview with VG, the ambassador described the crime as “dramatic.”

“It is a very tragic case,” she said.

An experienced Norwegian policeman working in Norway’s embassy in Rabat traveled to Marrakech to investigate the case. The diplomat, however, denied that there are Norwegian investigators contributing to the investigation.

“This is an investigation carried out by the Moroccan authorities,” she said.

She added that the mission of the Norwegian embassy is to provide consular assistance to the relatives of the victims.

Morocco World News attempted to reach both embassies for further details, but their hotlines were unreachable.

The murders came as a shock because Morocco is considered a safe travel destination for local and international tourists, according to the recent 2019 Travel Risk Map.



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