Authorities have detained a Swiss-Spanish man over suspected links with the group responsible for beheading two Scandinavian tourists. The resident of Morocco holds "extremist and violent" views, officials said.
A dual Swiss and Spanish national has been detained in the Moroccan city of Marrakech over alleged links with the brutal murder of two Scandinavian tourists, Moroccan officials said Saturday.
Authorities also believe the man is involved in "recruiting Moroccan and sub-Saharan nationals to carry out terrorist plots" against foreign targets. Some of the plots would also target security forces with the aim of seizing their weapons, investigators said.
The suspect, whose name has not been revealed, lives in Morocco and follows an "extremist and violent" ideology, authorities said.
Taught suspects 'marksmanship'
The murder of 24-year-old Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, from Denmark, and 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland prompted outrage in Europe and an outpouring of grief across Morocco, which has largely been spared from brutal Islamist attacks. The impact was amplified by a video posted online, apparently showing Jespersen's death.
Morocco had already arrested 19 people over the deaths. The four main suspects, also arrested in Marrakech, were part of an Islamist cell inspired by the "Islamic State" (IS) group, officials have said.
However, Moroccan authorities have emphasized that the group did not have any contact with IS members. Last week, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit described the killings as an "isolated act" committed by "lone wolves."
The Swiss-Spaniard is "suspected of teaching some of those arrested (…) about communication tools involving new technology and training them in marksmanship," Morocco's central investigative body said Saturday.
A group of detainees is scheduled to make a first court appearance on Sunday.
dj/cmk (EFE, AFP)
Morocco Backpacker Murders - Hundreds Hold Vigil Across Country
AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.
Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.
AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 600 news and information items daily from over 150 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Abuja, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC.