Moroccan jailed for beheading European hikers kills himself
A Moroccan convicted of belonging to an Islamic State group-affiliated ring and sentenced to death for the beheadings of two Scandinavian tourists has killed himself in prison, officials in Morocco said.
The facility where he was held in the eastern city of Oujda said in a statement that staff found his body early Tuesday.
The prisoner was among convicted ring members jailed in 2019 over the gruesome killings of two young Scandinavian women, Louisa Vesterager Jespersen from Denmark and Maren Ueland from Norway. They were killed in December 2018 while on a backpacking trip in the Atlas Mountains, near the city of Marrakech.
1) Danish & Norwegian hikers Louisa Vesterager Jespersen & Maren Ueland beheaded by #ISIS-pledged attackers in Atlas Mountains #Morocco, bodies found Monday. Vid allegedly of the gruesome execution circulating on social media along w vid of alleged executioners pledging to ISIS pic.twitter.com/8xRzErqGa9— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) December 20, 2018
The killings were recorded on video and posted online. They sent shockwaves through Morocco and raised concerns about the growing threat of Islamist extremism in North Africa and beyond.
A Moroccan court convicted three men of terrorism and sentenced them to death, and a fourth suspect who fled the scene was given life in prison. The court also handed jail terms to 19 people convicted as accomplices.