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Moroccan among 19 arrested for murder of Scandinavian tourists

The extent of the jihadi threat was tragically underlined by the beheading this month of Norwegian Maren Ueland and Dane Louisa Jespersen who were hiking in the High Atlas Mountains.

This picture taken on 21 December 2018 shows a combo photo murdered Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (L) and Nowegian Maren Ueland placed on top of flowers and between the flags of Morocco and Norway as Moroccans pay tribute to the Scandinavian victims. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - A Moroccan resident with Spanish and Swiss nationality is among 19 people arrested in connection with the beheading of two Scandinavian tourists in the kingdom earlier this month.

Authorities say the man, who has not been named, was recruiting and urging young extremists to attack tourists.

Moroccan security forces have broken up no fewer than 20 terror cells in the past year.

The extent of the jihadi threat was tragically underlined by the beheading this month of Norwegian Maren Ueland and Dane Louisa Jespersen who were hiking in the High Atlas Mountains.

The four men being held for the killing pledged allegiance to so-called Islamic State.

Moroccan authorities insist, however, they were lone wolves.