Rabat – Moroccan Ambassador to Norway Lamia Radi told Norway’s NRK television channel that the four main suspects involved in murdering Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and Maren Ueland near Imlil were radicalized “so quickly.” The rapidity prevented Moroccan intelligence services from arresting the suspects before the attack.
Radi said that the suspects were radicalized in less than a week, and the killings seemed “improvised.”
The Moroccan diplomat added that Morocco’s security services are “currently investigating whether some of the 15 people arrested in the case have fought for Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.”
Quoted by television station TV2 Nyheder, the Norwegian Defense Research Institute’s Thomas Hegghammer said that the suspects were not asked by ISIS to commit the crime. He also believes that the double murder of the tourists seemed “improvised and opportunistic.”
Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) arrested 23 suspects in connection to the double murder.
Morocco’s law enforcement found the bodies of the two Scandinavian tourists on December 17, 2018.
All suspects have appeared before the court. Convicted terrorists in Morocco typically receive sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years in prison.