Authorities believe that video and photos sent to one of the mothers of the two Scandinavian beheading victims are legitimate.
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway were found dead Monday in Morocco in the High Atlas Mountains, where they were hiking, Fox News reported.
The two women were last seen in Marrakesh with three men before setting out for their hiking trip.
A video showing the brutal killing of a Norwegian tourist in Morocco is most likely authentic, authorities say. The suspects also filmed themselves pledging allegiance to Islamic State. https://t.co/haCr9Xki92
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 22, 2018
ISIS triumphed on social media about the murders, which they unofficially claimed responsibility for.
It is suspected that the killers stole the victims’ cell phones and located their contacts, then sent footage of the actual beheadings to one of the victim’s mothers, Irene Ueland, on her Facebook page.
Irene Ueland received numerous gruesome photos of the “beheaded Jespersen and Maren’s sliced throat,” according to the Daily Mail.
Family and friends of the victims plead with people not to watch or share the videos and photos, but they have been removed by Facebook.
Social media posts from Moroccan residents expressed sorrow about the killings and want those involved to be put to death.
One of the videos shows one of the killers chanting, “it’s Allah’s will.”
“This is for Syria, here are the heads of your Gods. This is in revenge for our brothers in Hajin,” one of the killers said.
Other clips show the killers pledging alliance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Moroccan officials say the murders are an act of terrorism. Authorities have apprehended at least 13 individuals for the murders, and all of them possessed materials to make explosives.
Rukmini Callimachi, a New York Times correspondent, 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 [are] 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
Norway’s National Crime Investigation Service said, “When it comes to the assessment of the video that purportedly shows the killings, there is still a certain amount of technical analysis and assessment to be done. We still believe, however, that we have grounds to say that so far, there is nothing concrete to show that this video is not real.”
The video was created and sent in the same manner that ISIS has typically sent of beheadings in the past and was taken from a mobile phone.
The remains of the two young women were flown to Denmark last week.