Suspects in Thimarafushi terror plot jailed pending outcome of trial

(Clockwise from top L) Ahsan Ahmed, Ali Muneez, Mohamed Asir, Ali Arham Mohamed, Abdulla Shareef, Shamah Shareef, Abdulla imad and Ibrahim Looth. (Photo/Maldives Police Service)

Criminal Court has ordered for the eight suspects charged for plotting to blow up the laboratory at a school in Th. Thimarafushi as students sit for their O’ Level exam to be jailed pending the outcome of their trial.

The eight suspects charged in the case are:

  • Abdulla Shareef, 34, Fehividhuvaruge, Th. Thimarafushi
  • Ahsan Mohamed, 32, Asrafee Villa, Th. Thimarafushi
  • Ali Arham Mohamed, 18, Fehivilla, R. Kandholhudhoo
  • Abdulla Imad, 29, Beach House, R. Maduvvari
  • Ibrahim Looth, 21, Rosemead, N. Kudafari
  • Shamah Shareef, 20, Saima, Th. Thimarafushi
  • Ali Muneez, 28, Canaryge, Th. Thimarafushi
  • Mohamed Asir, 34, Asurumaage, Th. Thimarafushi

The eight suspects were arrested in a counter-terror operation run by the police in November 2020. The Prosecutor General’s Office filed terror charges against the suspects with the Criminal Court on February 8.

During a hearing at the Criminal Court to review their detainment this Thursday, the Prosecutor General’s Office filed a motion asking for the suspects to be jailed pending the outcome of their trial, citing that they pose a danger to the safety of the community.

The court granted the motion, ordered for all eight suspects to jail pending the outcome of the trial.

The eight suspects are accused of supporting and encouraging terrorism, supporting terrorist organizations and justifying their actions in the name of religion, and conspiring to carry out acts of terrorism in Maldives at the instructions of Islamic State.

They are accused of preparing an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on board ‘Nasah-3’ – a fishing boat operated by extremists in Thimarafushi – and conspiring to detonate the IED and threaten national security. The police have stated they planned to detonate the IED in the laboratory of the Th. Atoll Education Center in Thimarafushi while students are sitting for their O’ Level exams.

They are also accused of travelling to uninhabited islands under the pretense of going on picnics from where they underwent training and learned combat tactics, running classes to propagate extremism in some of the private residences in Thimarafushi, targeting young children to propagate extremist beliefs, refusing to pray behind government-appointed imams and forming separate prayer congregations, and providing financial assistance to people linked with extremists.