Gruesome footage and hundreds of uncensored images of the two backpackers, Louisa Jespersen from Denmark and Maren Ueland from Norway, who were found dead in Morocco, have reportedly been sent to one of the victims’ mothers. The horrific photos feature severed and partially severed heads of one of the girls.
It is unclear if the photos were taken by the murderers or investigators, but they were sent to one of the victims’ mothers shortly after the video of the decapitation emerged online.
Both Moroccan and Danish authorities emphasised that the crimes were politically motivated and should be investigated as acts of terror, in which one girl was beheaded, while the other sustained serious neck wounds.
Danish intelligence services have authenticated the graphic video:
"The PET (intelligence service) confirms that a video circulating on the internet shows the murder of one of the two women killed in Morocco”, they said in a statement on Thursday.
New York Times correspondent Rukmini Callimachi said that it had been confirmed that the video was sent to friends of the victims:
6. But here is a concerning development: A European official close to the investigation confirmed that the beheading video was sent by private messenger to friends of the killed Danish woman by unknown senders who appeared to have Moroccan profiles. Police is investigating.— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) 20 December 2018
Daesh has not claimed responsibility for the killing, but four men who had pledged allegiance to the terrorist group last week are now in custody for the murder of Jespersen and Ueland.
2. ISIS has not as yet claimed the attack & the pledge video screengrabbed here was not distributed on ISIS' channels on Telegram, suggesting the men had no online connection to the terrorist group. But Denmark is calling the killings terrorism & 1 of the 4 has ties to extremists pic.twitter.com/KlXiKrmMAn— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) 20 December 2018
In total, four suspects have been arrested on suspicion of having killed the backpackers, whose bodies were discovered on Monday.
“Based on the information the police have about the suspects, they cannot rule out the fact that they belong to a radical Islamic environment”, Boubker Sabik, spokesman for the Moroccan National Council was cited by AFP as saying.