ISIS supporters have sent horrific images and a beheading video directly to one of the victim’s grieving mothers.
Hundreds of images of the atrocity were sent to Irene Ueland, whose 28-year-old daughter Maren Ueland and 24-year-old travel companion Louisa Jespersen were murdered in Morocco, The Sun reported.
French hikers walking at the foot of Mount Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains on Monday, Dec. 17, stumbled upon the women’s bodies.
Disturbing images of the severed and partially severed heads of one of the murdered backpackers were reportedly also placed on the Facebook page of the heartbroken mother, according to the report.
‘Don’t Give the Monsters the Satisfaction’
Friends of the distraught woman have urged people not to watch the grisly footage.
Vanessa Bailey wrote on Twitter, “Please don’t watch the #Morocco video. You know what’s going to be on it, you know what you’ll see. Someone’s precious daughters in their final moments, horrifically robbed of their lives. Don’t give the monsters the satisfaction. You can give these beautiful girls their dignity.”
Please don't watch the #Morocco video. You know what's going to be on it, you know what you'll see. Someone's precious daughters in their final moments, horrifically robbed of their lives. Don't give the monsters the satisfaction. You can give these beautiful girls their dignity
— Vanessa Bailey (@vbaileyactor) December 20, 2018
The shocking images were also posted on social media sites in Morocco.
Denmark’s PET intelligence agency stated it was investigating the video, in which a person is reportedly heard saying, “This is in revenge for our brothers in Hajin,” referring to Hajin, an ISIS stronghold in Syria that was seized by American-backed forces this week.
Danish and Norwegian authorities have both confirmed that the video showing the beheading was genuine.
It was reported that the killers sent the video directly to the victims’ friends.
New York Times correspondent Rukmini Callimachi tweeted, “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.”
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) December 20, 2018
Police have arrested all four suspects.
Moroccan authorities said earlier that one of the suspects was detained in tourist hub Marrakech on Dec. 18. They said he was a member of a militant group without naming the organization, reported Reuters.
The Moroccan Bureau for Judicial Investigations announced the arrests of the other three suspects, saying a terrorist motive is likely in the slayings.
Danish investigators called the killing “unusually bestial.”
“The video and preliminary investigation according to the Moroccan authorities indicate that the killings may be related to the terrorist organization [ISIS],” the Danish intelligence service said in a statement to the news agency. “This is a case of an unusually bestial killing of two totally innocent young women,” it added.
Men in the video allegedly are heard shouting, “It’s Allah’s will” and some allegedly said, “This is for Syria,” reported the Daily Mail. Other video footage shows the suspects allegedly pledging their allegiance to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
They are apparently seen sitting in front of a black and white flag, while one of the men holds a knife and says they condemn “destruction caused by the warplanes of the Crusader alliance,” referring to Western powers.
Police in Morocco also published a photograph that, according to The Sun, shows items in the men’s possession at the time of their arrest.
The items, which the suspects allegedly tried to hide under their seats, included several large knives and a slingshot.
A national security official has identified three of the suspects to the Associated Press as Abdessamad Ejjoud, born in 1993, Younes Ouziad, born in 1991, and Rashid Aftati, born in 1986.
‘Brainwashing Our Brothers and Children’
The brother of suspect Younes Ouziad described him as “illiterate” and an “enthusiastic hunter” who “refused to get a job.”
“My brother was just a young guy like all the others. Then he grew a beard and became religious,” he told the Mail Online.
He said his brother seemed “normal” in the days before slayings, saying, “Only God knows who influenced him. The police have to control those cells. They have to control them throughout the country because they are brainwashing our brothers and children.”
Denmark’s prime minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said on Dec. 20 that the slayings can be considered “politically motivated and thus an act of terror.”
He added that, “There are still dark forces that want to fight our values” and, “we must not give in.”
Morocco is generally considered safe for tourists but has battled with Islamic extremism for years. More than a thousand Moroccans are believed to have joined the Islamic State group.
An anti-terrorism rally is being planned for Dec. 22 in Rabat.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.