Addu City, Maldives – The 7 men arrested today belong to ISIS according to local media and social media.
While police has not revealed any information on the operation, locals confirm that those arrested today are alleged extremists who spread radical extremist ideologies in Addu City. According to sources, one of the arrestees is a leader of the group operating from the city.
Presidential Commission on Deaths and Enforced Disappearances has previously said that there are terror cells in Maldives belonging to terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra front. The commission has also said that these cells have active leaders and financiers backing them.
After the May 6 terror attack, the police said that there would be a crack down on terrorists and terrorism supporters, including those posting such content on social media and supporting terrorism on media comment sections as well.
An IED explosion went off around 20:20 on 6 May leaving Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed critically injured while he was getting in to his car near his house, G. Kenereege, Malé City. In addition to him, 3 more people were also been reported to be injured from the explosion including the Speaker’s bodyguards and bystanders.
The trial of a terrorist on OFAC list is also in progress in the Maldives. OFAC states that Mohamed Ameen is a recruiter who has dispatched Maldivians to Syria and Afghanistan. He is actively engaged in leading ISIS recruitment through close lieutenants, under the guise of Islamic classes in Malé and other locations in the Maldives. He recruits fighters from the Maldivian Criminal Gangs. He directs terrorist fighters to Syria and more recently Afghanistan.
In February 9, eight were charged with various counts of terrorism, including planning to commit an act of terrorism, carrying documents suggesting support for a terrorist group, being a member of a terrorist group, attempting to go to war under the terrorism laws of the country, hindering the way of justice, carrying nude images, learning skills to carryout an act of terrorism and supporting acts of terrorism.
They were arrested after Police carried out an operation, following tips of possible terrorist activities in the area including building an IED, specifically on the vessel named “Nasaah-3”.
Police revealed that Abdullah Shareef, who was among the eight arrested has been identified as a leader of ISIS in the Khorasan province, and charged accordingly, as have others.