It comes after the arrest of a man in Marrakech who prosecutors described as a member of a militant group – with links to the so-called Islamic State.
Morocco’s state television reported on Wednesday that authorities consider the slayings of the young women from Denmark and Norway to be a terrorist act.
And authorities confirmed a video exists of the moment at least one of the women was killed that supports the theory the incident is terrorism-related.
The bodies of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were found on Monday in an isolated area near Imlil, on the way to Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak and a popular hiking destination.
The killing can be considered “politically motivated and thus an act of terror,” Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said on Thursday. He said “there are still dark forces that want to fight our values” and “we must not give in”.
Denmark’s domestic security agency said in a statement that a preliminary investigation “indicates, according to Moroccan authorities, that the killings may be related to the terrorist organisation the Islamic State group”.
The development came after authorities in Denmark and Norway warned their citizens from hiking alone without local guides in Morocco.
Danish police said on Wednesday that it had sent an officer to Morocco to assist in the investigation.