MayTerrorAttack: Audit of national intelligence mechanisms begins

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed (MC Hameed), Defence Minister Mariya Didi and Chief of Defence Force, Major General Shamal at mounting of flags at the Victory Memorial on November 3, 2019 | Photo: Mohamed Hameed

Malé, Maldives – Spokesperson of the Presidents Office, Mohamed Mabrouq Azeez has announced that Presidents Office and Attorney General’s Office led team has begun to conduct an audit into national intelligence mechanisms.

The intelligence audit comes following the May 6 terror attack against the former President and current Speaker of the Maldives Parliament Mohamed Nasheed which has left him severely injured.

The 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.

Nasheed was brought in with heavy bleeding, and both internal and external shrapnel injuries. Ball bearings were found in Nasheed’s chest, near the heart. Injuries caused by these projectiles caused life threatening damage to the chest area. Nasheed endured major injury to the fourth rib, with a blade going through a lung. A projectile also went through his intestine with another near his liver. 

Speaker Nasheed was treated at the Critical Care Unit of ADK hospital in Malé until yesterday and was airlifted to Germany yesterday for recovery and rehabilitation. Parliament had revealed yesterday that Speaker Nasheed’s medical expenses in Germany is being covered by Honorary Consul of Maldives in Germany, Christian Von Stetten.

In the press conference held by Ministry of Defence and MNDF on May 7, 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 last night. 

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.

This also comes while Parliament member of Hulhudhoo constituency, Ilyas Labeeb told that he had informed Defence Minister Mariya Didi of a possible assassination attack on Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed. 

In a statement released by MP Ilyas following Minister Mariya’s interview to a local media stating that no credible information was received, MP Ilyas told that he had first informed Speaker Nasheed of the information he had received from a civilian and as per the Speakers instructions that he called and informed Minister Mariya as Defence Ministry and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) was responsible for the security of state heads. 

While Minister Mariya had told that she had informed MP Ilyas to report the case to Maldives Police Service or inform the Commissioner of Police, Mohamed Hameed, MP Ilyas had denied it stating the Minister Mariya had made no such request. 

As the responsibility of providing safety and security to President Nasheed [Speaker of Parliament] was legally mandated to Defence Ministry, upon informing them, they did not instruct me to inform Maldives Police Service nor the Commissioner of Police of this attack

Hulhudhoo constituency parliamentarian, MP Ilyas Labeeb

Although he did not mention any names, aiming his comments towards Defence Minister Mariya Didi, MP Ilyas also told that he was giving his full cooperation to the investigation and that while the investigation of the case was ongoing that it was unprofessional of people in high positions to give such information to media’s for people to debate on. 

According to local media “Raajje MV” which quoted Minister Mariya, a MP Ilyas Labeeb who is also on the National Security Services committee (commonly known as 241 committee), had called Defence Minister Mariya and informed that he had received information from a citizen that there was a plot to carry out an attack on Speaker Nasheed for a price of USD 3 million.

Defence Minister Mariya had told that Speaker Nasheed’s security was being followed up by Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). Minister Mariya had told local media that Speaker Nasheed’s security was increased to the highest level two months ago even before the parliamentarian had given the information. 

While Defence Minister denied that the call was in relation to the assassination attack on Speaker Nasheed on May 6, 2021, she told that no “credible and actionable intelligence” was received about the actual attack. 

It was also revealed that Minister Mariya, Chief of Defence, Major General Shamal and head of intelligence had met with Speaker Mohamed Nasheed to brief him on previous threats and had given advisories over it.

While Minister Mariya had said that Speaker Nasheed’s security was at the highest, Major General Abdulla Shamaal had told earlier 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.