Moroccan authorities have arrested a dual Swiss-Spanish national in Marrakesh in connection with the killing of two women, Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, on suspicion that he was a local terrorist recruiter.
According to the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations, the man, whose name has not been released to the public yet, is alleged to have been teaching some of the suspects "about communication tools involving new technology and training them in marksmanship".
Twenty people have been arrested so far as part of the ongoing investigation into the murder of the hikers, whose bodies were found in the Atlas Mountains on 17 December. Police revealed that the perpetrators repeatedly stabbed the young women before eventually slitting their throats and beheading one of them.
Following the tragic incident, graphic footage displaying the horrific decapitation and the attackers pledging allegiance to Daesh* emerged online.
Moroccan intelligence spokesman Boubker Sabik referred to the attackers as being “lone wolf, hastily organised terrorist cell”, adding that the crime “was not co-ordinated with Islamic State [Daesh]”.
*Daesh, also known as ISIS/IS/Islamic State, is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.