The suspected leader of a jihadist cell accused of butchering two Scandinavian backpackers in Morocco confessed to beheading one of the women.
Abdessamad Ejjoud, 25, told a Moroccan court Thursday that he carried out the murder to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State, the BBC reported.
“I beheaded one of them … I regret it,” Ejjoud said before accusing his co-defendant Younes Ouaziyad of killing the other hiker.
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were beheaded Dec. 17 in a tent near Mount Toubkal, one of Morocco’s highest peaks.
The women — who were roommates at Norway’s Bo University — had traveled to the High Atlas mountains on a Christmas camping trip, according to BBC.
Disturbing footage of the hikers’ slayings reportedly was shared widely on social media by ISIS supporters.
Authorities said the group was inspired by ISIS but had no contact with the extremist group.
“We loved IS and we prayed to God for it,” Ejjoud told the court.
Ejjoud and two dozen other defendants are on trial for terrorism-related charges.
The three main suspects — including Ejjoud — are accused of having a direct hand in the hikers’ murders and could face the death penalty.
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