3 ISIS Terrorists Sentenced to Death for Beheading 2 Young Tourists

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
July 19, 2019 Updated: July 19, 2019

Three terrorists belonging to the ISIS extremist group were sentenced to death by firing squad on July 18 for decapitating two European women who were on holiday in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains last year.

Abdessamad Ejjoud and Youness Ouziyad killed Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, while Rachid Afatti filmed the killing to later post online, reported Reuters.

The Scandinavian women were killed in their tents near the Moroccan village of Imlil, a popular hiking destination in December last year. According to the Associated Press, their dead bodies were found by a tourist who then reported it to the police.

Men, accused in the killing of Danish and Norwegian hikers in the Atlas mountains near Marrakech last December, are seen inside a car after leaving the courtroom in Sale, near Rabat, Morocco, July 18, 2019. (Youssef Boudlal/Reuters)

According to the Daily Mail, footage of the killing was circulated through the online Islamist community. In the video, the killers were heard calling the two women “enemies of God.”

Another video shared online showed the same four men pledging their loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in front of the ISIS flag.

Reuters reported that the anti-terrorism court in Sale, near Morocco’s capital Rabat, had inspected this video in the earlier sessions.

suspects in Morocco tourist killings
Moroccan police have published photographs of three of the suspects, The Sun reported, but have yet to release their names.(SERVICE-PUBLIC.MA)

On Thursday. when the judge asked the four men for their final statements before the verdict, the men said, “May God forgive us,” Reuters reported.

“There is no God but Allah,” said one of them.

The death sentences are the first in Morocco since 1993.

The lawyer of the terrorist said she would appeal the verdict in the higher court.

Morocco Tourist killings 11
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (L) and Maren Ueland were both found murdered in a remote area of Morocco on Dec. 17, 2018. (Facebook)

Both Jespersen and Ueland had lived in southern Norway where they attended university.

Helle Jespersen, one of the women’s mother, said she urged her daughter not to go to Morocco.

“We advised her to go down because it’s such a chaotic place, and you’ve heard of people who have been killed down there,” she was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.

The Crime Scene

After the dead bodies were discovered, the Moroccan Broadcaster 2M released photos and videos of forensic investigators and others working around the women’s brightly colored tent that they had set up on a rocky hillside.

The broadcaster said the tent held food and belongings for three people, including an ID card.

In this photo provided by Moroccan news channel 2M and taken on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, a security team is seen at the area where the bodies of two Scandinavian women tourists were found dead, near Imlil in the High Atlas mountains, Morocco. The lone suspect arrested in the killing of two female Scandinavian tourists is connected to a terrorist group, and three other suspects are on the run, Moroccan prosecutors said Wednesday. (2M via AP)

Moroccan media outlets reported that investigators had also found video surveillance footage of the three suspects putting up their own tent near the victims’ tent and leaving the area after the slaying.

The remote mountainous region where the women were found dead is 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) from the village of Imlil—often the starting point for treks to North Africa’s highest peak Mount Toubkal.

Associated Press and Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya