MayTerrorAttack: Suspects deny any involvement

Mujaaz (L), Adhuham (C) and Thahumeen (R) who have have been arrested arrested over the terror attack against Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed on May 6, 2021 | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – The three suspects arrested over the terror attack against Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed have denied all charges stating that they don’t have any involvement in the blast.

The three suspects who have been arrested so far are;

  • Adhuham Ahmed Rasheed, 25 years old, V. Thinadhoo
  • Mujaaz Ahmed, 21, Ma. Feyruge, Malé
  • Thahumeen Ahmed, 32, Folheymaage, GA.Kondey

Speaking at the remand hearing today, both Adhuham and Mujaaz had told that they had no involvement in the blast and there was no further comments on the matter.

Thahumeen also denied the charges and also told the court that the motorcycle used in the blast did not belong to him, although the documents submitted by police to the court state otherwise.

According to Police, the owner of the motorcycle which was used in the blast belongs to Thahumeen Ahmed and the number plate of it had been changed. In addition to this, they had also tried to scratch the engine number of the vehicle according to police.

While the three suspects have been remanded for 15 days by criminal court, terrorism charges have been brought upon all three. On the remand verdict, Judge Adam Mohamed had stated that there was enough evidence against all three for hearing the case.

Speaking at a press conference held today, Commissioner of Police Hameed said religious extremism have been observed from the backgrounds of the remanded suspects and that Adhuham, one of the suspects have also tried to change his appearance by getting a haircut and trimming beard. It was also revealed that all three have criminal records.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Riyaz also noted that Mujaaz, who was one of the arrested earlier today, was brought into custody after a search was conducted of his residence.

He added that police suspect him of some involvement in the matter but the extent of involvement is hard to say looking at the current investigations. Both of the individuals arrested yesterday have a criminal record according to Riyaz, who did not reveal the said crimes.

The explosion which went off around 20:20 on Thursday night left Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed injured while he was getting in to his car near his house, G. Kenereege, Malé City. In addition to him, 3 more people have also been reported to be injured from the explosion.

The bomb contained bearing balls which in order to increase the impact of the explosion. Doctors retracted 11 such projectiles from Speaker Nasheed’s body.

While Maldives Police has come under public scrutiny after stating that they had not gotten any prior intelligence reports on the matter, CP Hameed told that there was major room for improvement within the state to share information and the an ‘autopsy’ in to why police had not received intelligence regarding such an attack would be carried out. 

CP Hameed also revealed that a total of five people were injured in the attack, including Nasheed, three bodyguards and a British tourist. Hameed said that 450 officers were involved in the investigations and urged eyewitnesses to share information via a police hotline.

During a press conference held on May 8, 2021, Chief of Defence Force, Major General Abdulla Shamaal told that the IED was an improvised one which was controlled remotely and set off as Speaker Nasheed was about to get in to his car on May 6, 2021. 

He also added that the IED was several times stronger than the one which was set off at Sultan Park in 2007 and also revealed that last nights one had ball bearings inside as shrapnel to increase the damage caused. 

Major General Abdulla Shamaal also added that MNDF had requested relevant authorities to remove the motorcycles being part at Neelofaru Road where Speaker Nasheed’s home is located amid security assessments done by MNDF. 

He also told that MNDF leadership believed that there was a hand of any MNDF personnel involved in the attack and that no such information was received so far as well. Chief Shamaal also commended the response of the Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel who were giving protection to Speaker Nasheed following the blast last night.

Chief Shamaal told that intelligence information is being received constantly and is dynamic and that they continuously act on intelligence inputs in making decisions. He further added that the procedures, training and education of the armed forces have been revised and capacity development has been increased drastically in order to accommodate such changing conditions in which they had to work. 

Speaking in an address to the nation following the incident on May 6, 2021, President Solih told that the perpetrators would face the full force of the law and that the government would take every necessary measure to ensure the safety and security of the people.