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The troubled past of the Swiss-Spanish suspect linked to the Imlil killings

Before he was arrested in Morocco for having alleged links to the terrorist cell suspected of killing the two Scandinavian tourists, the Swiss-Spanish national had a troubled-past. According to his mother and friends, he consumed drugs, burned cars and had psychiatric problems.

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The Swiss-Spanish national arrested for his alleged links with the Imlil killings./Ph. DR

The Swiss-Spanish national, arrested in Morocco in connection with the Imlil killings, had a troubled past. Speaking to his mother and Geneva-based friends, Spanish newspaper El Mundo shed light on the man’s adolescence and alleged radicalization.

Born in Geneva, Kevin Zoller Guervos known now as Abdellah was a hard-to-deal with kid growing up. The 25-year-old man went through a rough period after his father died when he turned 15.

His mother, who currently lives in Madrid, told the Spanish daily that her son «had a difficult adolescence». «He smoked weed, burned cars and committed robberies», said the desperate mother who denied alleged accusations, stating her son is related to the murders of the two Scandinavian tourists.

A hooligan, trouble maker and a possessed man

Kevin’s mother has even stated that her son was a trouble maker in a way that was very different from terrorism. According to El Mundo Kevin was a hooligan and a huge fan of Servette FC, a Swiss football club based in Geneva.

Because of his attitude, Kevin was admitted to a youth center where he was introduced to Quran. Since then, he converted to Islam and started attending a Saudi-funded mosque in Geneva.

When he was 17, Kevin believed that he had demons in his head. One of his old friends told the same source that the Geneva-born man had psychiatric problems and confirmed to him once that these demons «used to tell him what to do».

Kevin was convinced that «Quran helped him manage and control the demons in his head». Due to his psychiatric problems, the young man used to receive «Swiss disability benefits» when he turned 18. He kept receiving these benefits even when he decided to move to Morocco.

Looking for a wife in Morocco

According to one of his friends, Kevin left for Morocco to look for a wife. «He told me he was going to Morocco to marry what he called a ‘clean woman’ (virgin)», the same friend recalled.

Two years later, Kevin married a Moroccan woman and they both gave birth to a son. According to his mother, Kevin and his wife were in Geneva when the Imlil murders took place.

The mother says her son never had Muslim friends growing up and even when he moved to Morocco he had plans and wanted to live a normal life. «He told me he had plans and saved money to buy a house in Morocco», said the mother.

However, Swiss authorities stated that the Swiss-Spanish man had a criminal record and that he had links with a radicalized Moroccan-Swiss national.

According to the director of Morocco's Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), Abdelhak Khiame, the Swiss man planned to join Syria but finally opted for a Muslim country. Reportedly, he hesitated between Algeria and Tunisia but finally chose Morocco, said Khiame.

The man is not directly involved in the murdering of the two Scandinavian tourists, said Khiame, but knew the men who allegedly orchestrated the Imlil terror attack. «Together, they watched ISIS propaganda films», and he was in direct contact with ISIS members in Syria through Telegram messaging.

The Swiss national was planning to plot terrorist acts in Morocco, targeting security services and tourists. He has even trained some of the cell’s members to use weapons and recruited sub-Saharan nationals, the same source added.

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