Minister Maria agrees to comply with 241 Committee report

Defence Minister Maria Didi | photo: Parliament

Malé, Maldives – Defence Minister Maria Didi on Friday, said that she agrees with and will follow all the recommendations given in the 241 Committee report of their investigation into the terror attack against Former President and Current Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed on May 6.

The inquiry report compiled by the Parliament’s Committee on National Security Services (241 Committee) was publicized yesterday after redacting confidential information regarding national security.

Speaking about the 241 Committee report in an interview to local news outlet Adhadhu, Defence Minister Maria stated that she completely agrees with the recommendations given in the 241 Committee report and that she will try to the best of her abilities to implement the recommendations.

The 241 Committee report on the May terror attack publicised last night, included a total of 45 recommendations for the relevant authorities. This includes 24 recommendations for working against extremism, 10 recommendations related to the security of Speaker Nasheed as well as 6 recommendations for the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Recommendations for working against extremism includes developing a system to share confidential information, establishing a separate law relating to national intelligence as well as separating out a budget for counter terrorism.

Furthermore, reinforcing security at Speaker Nasheed’s residence with armed forces, using an armoured car for Nasheed’s transport and organising regular refreshers for the security team were included as recommendations for Speaker Nasheed’s security.

In addition to this, the 241 Committee report said that the lack of action from Minister Maria after receiving vital intel leading to the attack is completely unacceptable. They added that being unable to raid and evacuate the area beforehand as well as not using mobile range blockers on the night of the attack are signs of failure.

However, Defence Minister Maria stands firm to her opinion, that the information MP for Hulhudhoo Constituency Ilyas Labeeb gave her prior to the attack do not count as “information”. She said that it was merely a phone call and that she what she considers as information is when a name or something to follow on is given.

The IED explosion went off around 20:20 on May 6 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 the Speaker, three more people were injured from the explosion including the Speaker’s bodyguards and bystanders.

Nasheed was taken to ADK 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 he was airlifted to Germany on May 13, 2021, for recovery and rehabilitation. Parliament had previously revealed that Speaker Nasheed’s medical expenses in Germany are being covered by Honorary Consul of Maldives in Germany, Christian Von Stetten.

To date, eight people have been arrested in relation the terror attack, with all of them indicating radicalisation. Maldives Police Service, Parliamentary 241 Committee and the MDP May 6 Committee as well as other authorities are currently investigating into the case