The women were found dead Monday with stab wounds on their neck near the village of Imlil, a starting point for treks to Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak.
The arrests, which investigators said unfolded Friday across the country, bring the total number of suspects in the case of their slayings to 13. Four other men were arrested earlier.
Sabik said the arrests of the nine “spared Morocco a terrorist plot,” as they were found with a variety of items including electronic devices, knives, bomb-making materials and unauthorized rifles. He did not elaborate about the plot itself.
The suspects were between the ages of 25 and 33 and were headed to the area where the women were beheaded with the intent to commit a crime, Sabik said.
He said that while the suspects were seen in a video before the bodies were found pledging their allegiance to the Islamic State terror network, the suspects were “lone wolves.”
“The crime was not coordinated with Islamic State,” Sabik said. “Lone wolves do not need permission from their leader.”
Sabik added that authorities were continuing to investigate footage that allegedly showed one of the women being beheaded. He said, “The video has no background and the clothes of the victim are not identical to those in reality.” Norwegian place last week said the video likely was authentic.
Morocco is generally considered safe for tourists but has been routing out Islamic extremists for years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.