JUST IN: Alleged IS operative charged in Maldives

Malé, Maldives – It has been confirmed that Hoodh Mohamed Zahir, an alleged IS operative arrested in a special operation carried out in collaboration with Maldives Police, the FBI, and relevant authorities of two EU countries, has been charged.

The Prosecutor General’s Office stated that the charges raised against Hoodh Mohamed Zahir (K. Malé, V. Dhelvathha) for allegedly declaring support of the Islamic State Organisation on various social media platforms with multiple accounts, publishing and disseminating photos and videos of the organisation on the internet, and warning of organising and executing an act of terrorism, was submitted to Criminal Court on 18th April, 2022.

As such, a total of five charges have been raised against him.

One of the charges raised against him is for encouraging an act of terrorism via the internet, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Further details revealed that the charge was raised against him for encouraging acts of terrorism, harm to others, murder, vandalism and attacks, as well as for sharing documents, photos and videos in various languages, pertaining to the propaganda and inhumane acts and attacks carried out by the Islamic State (ISIS) across the world, via various accounts on multiple social media platforms on his phone. If convicted, he will face a jail term of 10 to 15 years for this charge alone.

He will face an additional 10 to 15 year jail sentence if convicted of the second charge raised against him, which is dissemination a terrorist organisation’s documents via the internet. The charge was raised against him for disseminating documents and fatwas as well as magazines issued by the Islamic State, encouraging acts of terrorism.

A third charge against Hoodh is for being a member of a terrorist organisation, particularly, for working as an operative in the Islamic State’s media. This charge also carries 10 to 15 years in prison.

The other two charges are for supporting the Islamic State, which carries a jail term of three to five years, and for being in possession of an illustrations or photo suggesting that he supports a terrorist organisation, which carries a jail sentence of one to three years in prison.

Prosecutor General’s Office revealed that information pertaining to Hoodh was shared with Maldives by foreign intelligence agencies, and that support was also provided by these agencies in the arrest of Hoodh.