Morocco charges 15 with terrorism over ISIS-style beheading of 2 Scandinavian backpackers


  • Officials in Morocco charged 15 people with terror offences on Sunday over the deaths of backpackers Louisa Jespersen and Maren Ueland.
  • Jespersen, from Denmark, and Ueland, from Norway, were found beheaded on December 17.
  • Video was circulated online showing one of the beheadings. Authorities say the men involved pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Moroccan prosecutors charged 15 people with terrorism offences on Sunday over the beheading of two Scandinavian backpackers who were found dead on a hiking trip.

A statement from the public prosecutor in Rabat, the Moroccan capital, announced a slew of charges against the large group of people arrested, according to Al Jazeera and the Associated Press.

morocco hiking tent death isis

They were captured by police investigating the deaths of Louisa Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway.

The women were found decapitated in their tent on December 17, some 6 miles outside of the village of Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains, a popular hiking area.

Read more: Expert says it’s hard to protect the popular tourist area of Morocco where 2 Scandinavian women were recently killed — and it’s become easier for ISIS to operate there

Jespersen and Ueland, who studied together at the University of South-Eastern Norway, were on a month-long vacation to the region.

Shortly after their deaths, a video circulated online of one of the women being beheaded, in a style reminiscent of the propaganda videos published by ISIS.

Atlas Mountains

Danish intelligence confirmed the veracity of the video, which INSIDER has also reviewed.

Authorities have said they found another video in which several suspects, including the men believed to have carried out the killings, explicitly pledged allegiance to ISIS.

In the course of investigating the killings, Sabik said security services stumbled upon a bomb-making operation, potentially foiling a large-scale terror attack on the country.

More charges could follow, the prosecutors said.

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