The men who beheaded two Scandinavian backpackers in the mountains of Morocco said that they had had an encounter with another tourist on the same day, but he narrowly escaped the girls' fate, according to the Sun.
The gang reportedly met an elderly man from the UK in the Atlas Mountains on 17 December while on lookout for victims. The man told them that he was a Muslim, and they chose to let him go. It is unclear, however, whether he said the truth or lied to save his life, Moroccan counter-terror chief Abdelhak Khiam was quoted as saying.
As per the report, the two girls, Louisa Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were decapitated an hour after the said encounter. Their bodies were discovered by a pair of French hikers in a remote mountainous area in the Atlas Mountains an hour's walk from the nearest village. They were understood to have been training to be tour guides.
Moroccan authorities have yet to comment on the report; the British tourist's identity has yet to be revealed.
Following the gruesome murder, graphic footage was circulated online, displaying the horrific decapitation and the attackers pledging allegiance to Daesh.
Moroccan authorities have arrested a total of 15 people in connection with the tragic incident, including three main suspects, their accomplice and a Swiss national who is also suspected of recruiting would-be terrorists in Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa.
Moroccan intelligence spokesman Boubker Sabik referred to the attackers as being "lone wolves", adding that the crime was not co-ordinated with Daesh.
*Daesh (aka ISIS/Islamic State), the infamous terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries