MP says info regarding terror attack was shared with Defense Minister

MP Ilyas Labeeb with ex-President Mohamed Nasheed. (Photo/MDP)

MP for Hulhudhoo Ilyas Labeeb has formally stated that information regarding the terrorist attack on former President Mohamed Nasheed was passed on to him, which he then brought to the attention of the Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi before the attack happened. 

Nasheed was attacked near his residence in Male' City on May 6. He was wounded in the bomb attack which saw an IED attached to a motorcycle near his home detonated as he was getting into his car. Nasheed was critically wounded in the attack which also wounded three of his bodyguards as well as two civilians.

Many have questioned the Police and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) over the lack of intelligence information regarding such an attack in a society like the Maldives. The questions have even landed on speculation of intelligence failures of the security forces due to the lack of sufficient answers from the authorities. 

Some local media yesterday reported that prior information on the attack was shared with the Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi herself, to which she has not responded. 

Raajje Mv reported quoting Minister Mariya that an MP had shared information with her regarding the attack for a price of USD three million. The Minister was quoted as saying that the information was not "credible, actionable intelligence". The Minister then asked to share the information with the police and Commissioner Mohamed Hameed. 

Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi shakes hands with ex-President Mohamed Nasheed. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

MP Ilyas denied the statement by the Minister and issued a statement saying that he immediately shared the information regarding the attack with ex-President Nasheed as soon as he received it. 

Under the instructions of Nasheed, MP Ilyas then shared the information with the Defense Minister. The statement issued in Dhivebhi read that since the Defense Ministry was tasked with the security of Nasheed, MP Ilyas shared the information with. The statement went on to refute that MP Ilyas was in no way instructed to pass the information to the Commissioner of Police or the Police Service.

Under the Anti-Terrorism Act, it is a crime if information regarding a possible attack is not shared with the police upon receiving such information. 

MP Ilyas's statement further read that he was cooperating with the investigation and that he did not believe it was irresponsible of those in positions of authority to discuss the information related to the investigation as it proceeded.

MNDF has previously said that Nasheed is among the most high-profile figures and high-risk figures that are protected jointly by the Special Protection and Defense Intelligence Service of the army. Nasheed was and is being provided the highest level of security, according to MNDF. 

The army has also reiterated concerns shared previously regarding the parking of motorcycles in the narrow road of Nasheed's residence as a possible security threat and expressed dismay and concern that the security threat was not addressed. 

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed has also stated in a prior press conference that the Police had indeed not received any intelligence regarding the attack targeting Nasheed.