Radicals going for foreign wars has stopped: Defense Minister

Maldivian Defense Minister, Mariya Didi | Photo: MDP

Malé, Maldives – Maldives Defense Minister, Mariya Didi has said that extremist radicals going to fight in foreign wars has stopped since this government came to power.

Speaking at the Maldivian Democratic Party’s congress being held in Male City, Minister Mariya told that since President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office that no one from the Maldives has gone to take part in a foreign war in the conflict zones of the Middle East.

She further added that President Solih has worked to make people in the island nation aware of what extremism is and the magnitude of the issue and accused the former government of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom to have completely ignored the issue and give no attention to prevent extremism.

“With President Solih’s ”Zero Tolerance” policy we have carried out 4,884 awareness programs on extremism and radicalization. The result of these efforts is that no Maldivian has gone to the war zones declared by this government within these three years”

Maldives Defense Minister, Mariya Didi

Minister also told that the former government had made extremism as something which was inexistent in the Maldives and that no efforts were taken to prevent people going to the conflict zones.

In December 2019, the Commissioner of Police, Mohamed Hameed, disclosed that there could be up to 1,400 Islamist extremists in the Maldives who adhere to ISIS ideology. Moreover, he revealed that 423 citizens had attempted to travel to warzones in Iraq and Syria and 173 had succeeded.

According to the Commissioner, further underlying conditions such as poverty, unemployment and crime, may also have contributed to the vulnerability of Maldivian youth, exploited by the narratives of recruiters.