Many partook in marking in Imlil

Imlil Ueland markingBoth Imlil's inhabitants and a number of tourists attended a marking in memory of Maren Ueland and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen who were killed in the Atlas Mountains on Saturday, Photo: / NTB scanpix

Residents and tourists partook in marking in Imlil

Both Imlil’s inhabitants and a number of tourists attended a marking in memory of the two women who were killed in the Atlas Mountains in Morroco on Saturday.


The killings have aroused both grief and disgust in the small village, and on Saturday morning several hundred people met with flowers and candles. Everyone wanted to condemn the killings and show their solidarity with the families of the two victims, according to the Moroccan television channel 2M.

Representatives from the civil society, as well as from the region’s tourism sector, participated in the marking.

On Friday night, a torchlight parade was arranged in Bryne, Maren Ueland’s hometown, where the 28-years-old’s closest family and friends participated. On the same day, a marking was also held in the  City of Marrakech, which is about sixty kilometres north of Imlil.

Maren Ueland and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen were also reminded during the Friday prayer in Marrakech.

On Saturday, several markings were planned in Marrakech. A memorial service was planned in the International Protestant Church in the city. At the same time, after what NTB experiences, a large number of drivers and others who are working with transporting and facilitating for tourists were to drive in a convoy to Imlil.

There were also support markings outside Norway’s and Denmark’s embassies in Rabat on Saturday to show the murder victims the last honour.

Norwegian-Moroccans held a marking for the victims

On Saturday afternoon, a number of Norwegian-Moroccans gathered at Oslo Cathedral to commemorate Maren Ueland and her Danish girlfriend, who was killed in Morocco.

Salas Sikabi has a father who is from Marrakech in Morocco. According to NRK, he was clearly upset by the killings, and he brought with him a picture of the two women.

– I haven’t slept in three days, says Sikabi.

Nadia Abdellaoui, originally from Morocco, believes the country is safe.

– Morocco is a very safe country and I do not hope this will have any impact on the country. But this is just sad no matter where it has happened, she says to NRK.

Kripos is still trying to prevent the spread of the video

The Crime Unit (Kripos) still gets tips in the investigation of the Morocco murders in Norway, and work intensively to prevent the spread of the video associated with the atrocity.

– We have worked and are still working to limit the spread of the video. The collaboration with Facebook is very good, and we realize that getting the video completely removed and preventing the spread totally is not possible. We have nevertheless done what we can to limit further spreading, Communication Adviser in Kripos, Axel Due tells NTB.

There still remains some work on technical analysis and reviews of the video. Due emphasises that there is still nothing that suggests that the video is fake.

– We still encourage the public not to spread the video. We have also contacted individuals that we have found to spread it in groups and to persons who obviously do not wish that to happen, Due Due says.

Split into groups

According to several media, both pictures and videos are shared with relatives of Danish Louisa Vesterager Jespersen. Due do not want to confirm whether the material is shared with Maren Ueland’s relatives as well.

– When it comes to the family and the relatives, we do not want to confirm anything specific about that, but it can also be groups that are intended for children and youngsters, Due informs.

With regard to the second video, which shows four men swearing allegiance to ISIL in front of a flag, Kripos has gotten confirmation by the authorities in Morocco that the four who were first arrested in the case, are the same as those in the recording.

The video is allegedly recorded last week before the killings. Neither Norway nor Denmark appears to be mentioned in the recording, nor anything specific about what actions the men were to perform. On Friday afternoon, Danish police also reported that they are working on the assumption that both videos are genuine.

Autopsied in Norway

In recent days, Kripos has received a number of tips from people with information about the case. Many have reported that they have watched the video linked to the murder, but also people with information about the two friends’ journey has reported to the police. Kripos still conducts questioning, but still wants information – especially about the journey itself and the stay in Morroco of the Norwegian and the Danish woman.

The two murdered women were flown from Casablanca to Copenhagen on Friday afternoon. Kripos will not confirm when the casket with Maren Ueland is sent to Norway. However, it is clear that the autopsy will be conducted in Norway.

– The home transportation does not have anything to do with the police and Kripos. Norwegian police will be present during the autopsy, but where and when it will happen, I do not possess information about, Due continues.

He says that there is a desire from Maren Ueland’s family that home transportation does not receive much attention.

– We are, of course, in dialogue with the family and follow up with information about what we do at all times against the support lawyer and relatives contact in the Southwest police district, he says.

Hasn’t asked for assistance

Kripos has not received any inquiry from Moroccan police to provide assistance as of now.

– But we share what we have with the Danish police. Here we have good channels and good, established cooperation. for Morocco’s part, we will consider an aid request and legal request if it should come from them, according to Due.

Terrorism Expert believes Morocco killings show that ISIL is weakened

The killings in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco are probably not ordered by ISIL and show how weakened the extremist group is, says Terrorism Expert, Thomas Hegghammer.

– Everything about this case seems improvised and opportunistic. I don’t think this is ordered from ISIL centrally. This looks more like an initiative from ISIL sympathisers in Morocco. It may look like they have seized an opportunity that came along. I doubt this is planned for long. But it is in line with ISIL strategy: They encourage local actions on their own initiative,  Hegghammer tells NRK.

He is affiliated with the Norwegian Defense Research Institute (FF) and has for several years researched the extremist group ISIL. He believes attention and the shock effect are probably the intent of the perpetrators.

– It shows that ISIL gets things done, it shows that the fight is not over, and it sends a signal that ”you are not alone,” Hegghammer explains.

– This is the ultimate cowardice – attacking sleeping women. It may indicate that the capacity of these networks is impaired, the researcher believes.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today