Man held is also ‘suspected of involvement in recruiting Moroccan nationals to carry out terror plots’
A Swiss national has been arrested in connection with the killing of two Scandinavian women in Morocco, according to Moroccan authorities.
The man arrested was 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”, the Central Bureau for Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) said. It added that he also held Spanish nationality and had residency in Morocco.
The bodies of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway were found on 17 December near the village of Imlil in the Atlas mountains.
Nineteen other men have been arrested in connection with the case, including four main suspects who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State in a video made three days before the tourists’ remains were found.
Police and domestic intelligence spokesman Boubker Sabik this week described the four men as “lone wolves”, and said “the crime was not co-ordinated with Islamic State”.
Morocco has been largely insulated from militant attacks in comparison with other countries in North Africa. In April 2011, 17 people were killed in the bombing of a restaurant in Marrakech. In 2017 and 2018, Morocco said it had dismantled 20 militant cells planning attacks in the country.