After preliminary investigations into the murders of the Scandinavian tourists in Morocco, one official has said they were an “unusual crime.”
Rabat – The spokesperson of Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), Boubker Sabik, has commented on the heinous crime committed against two tourists near Mount Toubkal.
In a television broadcast, Sabik described the murders of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and Maren Ueland as unusual because of the manner of the killings.
He added that only one suspect of the first four people arrested has a history of extremism. He was arrested in 2013 for his alleged role in recruiting youth for an extremist organization.
Sabik said that the suspects, who did not have formal jobs, all “have a low level of education.”
Moroccan analysts have called on the government to reform the education system for the “marginalized” people in Moroccan society.
Although the four suspects appeared pledging allegiance to ISIS Sabik said that the suspects acted alone without coordination with ISIS.
Sabik emphasized that when the bodies of Louisa and Maren were found on December 17, Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) identified the first suspect through “security information” and data collected at the crime scene within 24 hours.
He added that Morocco’s security services were quick to arrest the first suspects to avoid any potential risks for citizens.
Morocco arrested the first suspect on Tuesday, December 18. The public prosecutor at Rabat’s Court of Appeals said that the suspect was a member of a “radicalized” group.
The police arrested three more suspects on December 20.
Video still under investigation
Sabik also commented on the video which allegedly shows the murder of one of the tourists. The video was posted online two days after the bodies of the two tourists were found 10 kilometers from Imlil, a village in the Atlas Mountains.
While Norwegian police said that they had no evidence that the video was not real, Sabik said that Moroccan authorities are still analyzing it.
He said that the footage was submitted to a laboratory for analysis.
He said that the video’s “authentication is not an easy thing” to determine. Technicians are still reviewing the video under the supervision of the prosecutor.
He emphasized that authorities will reveal the outcome of the investigation on the video.
Moroccan fighters with links to ISIS have challenged Morocco’s security branches. The official said that 1,692 Moroccans fought with ISIS. Morocco arrested 242 fighters on their return to Morocco.
Returnees typically receive sentences ranging from 10 to 15 years in prison.
In the last three years, Morocco’s BCIJ has dismantled a number of terror cells and helped several countries to arrest suspects with ties to terrorism.
Morocco’s strategy makes the North African country safer than many powerful countries, including the US and France.
Morocco ranked 132nd out of 163 in the 2018 terrorism index, which showed the North African country was among the nations least affected by terrorism. Morocco gained nine places compared to the 2017 report when it ranked 123rd.