French tourist killed in Morocco: a suspect arrested, the anti-terrorist police in charge of the investigation

From the hypothesis of theft to a terrorist act? This is what the investigators will have to determine. The Moroccan prosecutor’s office has entrusted the investigation into the murder of a French tourist near Agadir, in southern Morocco, to the anti-terrorist police, suspecting “a terrorist motive for the crime”, a woman told AFP on Monday evening. source close to the investigation.

The Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) “was in charge of the investigation in this case under the supervision of the king’s prosecutor at the Rabat Court of Appeal due to suspicions of a terrorist motive for the crime”, said said the source on condition of anonymity.

A 79-year-old French national was killed on Saturday at a Tiznit market with a knife. She lived in a campsite near this small town. A 31-year-old suspect was arrested the same day in Agadir, just a few kilometers from the crime scene.

He is also suspected of having committed “an attempted murder” of a Belgian in Agadir, Moroccan police revealed on Saturday. The Belgian national was stabbed and hospitalized in this tourist town. His days are not in danger.

French authorities call for vigilance

Following the murder of the septuagenarian, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs “recommended to be vigilant in all public places and when traveling in Morocco”, in a travel advice posted on the website of the French Embassy in Morocco.

In addition, the police clarified that the suspect, now under an anti-terrorism investigation, had previously been admitted to a psychiatric hospital “from September 25 to October 25, 2021”. The kingdom has been spared in recent years from violence linked to jihadist groups.

However, Morocco was the scene at the end of 2018 of an attack on two Scandinavian tourists, beheaded in the name of the Islamic State in the mountains of the High Atlas (South). After a well-attended trial, the defendants were sentenced to the death penalty, which has not been applied in Morocco since 1993.

Since 2002, the Moroccan police have dismantled more than 2,000 terrorist cells and arrested more than 3,500 people in cases related to “terrorism”, according to data communicated in 2021 by the BCIJ.

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