Prosecutor General’s Office has filed terror charges with the Criminal Court against two additional suspects arrested in connection to the IED attack on Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed.
A homemade remote-controlled IED was strapped to motorcycle parked nearby Nasheed’s residence, and was detonated at 08:27 pm on May 6, just as Nasheed, 54, exited his residence and went to get in his car. Nasheed was thrown to the ground and sustained multiple shrapnel wounds, while three members of his security detail and two bystanders sustained minor wounds.
Prosecutor General’s Office spokesperson, Public Prosecutor Ahmed Shafeeu states the office filed charges against two additional suspects on Tuesday.
The suspects are:
Both Ali Manik and Thasleem were charged with supporting a terrorist organization under Article 16-1 (b) of the Counter-Terrorism Act with reference to Article 16-1 (a) (1).
Thasleem was arrested from Addu City on July 24. He is believed by police to have played a key role in planning the attack, and in convincing the others involved that Nasheed needed to be killed.
Thasleem had been previously investigated and pressed with charges for an attempt to prepare an IED.
He was one of the suspects arrested from Machangolhi district of Male’ City back in 2017 for active involvement in an attempt to prepare an IED inside the office of private company Attic International Pvt. Ltd.
He was arrested on April 24, 2017, but released on October 28, 2018, after the case was investigated and charges against him were filed with the court.
Though his release was appealed, it remained stymied in court for over two years. The appeal was later withdrawn following his re-arrest for involvement in the May 6 attack.
ABDULLA ALI MANIK
Ali Manik was arrested from Male’ City on May 18. Police believed him to be a top recruiter of Maldivians for militant activities overseas in the name of ‘jihad’, and suspect him of holding separate communal prayers and holding classes to propagate extremist ideologies.
Ali Manik was involved with a group of separatists who propagated extremist religious ideologies in HA. Himandhoo, and faced off with the security forces armed with wooden bats, sharpened metal rods and machetes in 2007.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2008, for his involvement in the violence in Himandhoo. He escaped from prison twice during that time.
His first prison escape was in 2009. He was later found living in GDh. Thinadhoo, and during his transfer to Male’ City, made another escape attempt by jumping overboard, off the coast of V. Fulidhoo.
His second prison escape was in 2010. He was found a year later living in K. Thilafushi. Police reported at the time that he had been heavily disguised.
He walked free after completing his prison term.
The charges against Ali Manik and Thasleem increases the number of suspects charged in connection to the IED attack to nine.
The other seven suspects charged in the case are:
One of the suspects – Adhuham - who the police believe to be the person who detonated the IED – pled guilty to terror charges under a plea deal with the prosecution in September.
Police have stated that they found no evidence to suggest the attack had been financially motivated, and that the suspects involved in the attack believe Nasheed to be an apostate who openly mocks the religion of Islam and Prophet Mohamed, and that killing him to be justified.
They said the terror cell involved in the attack made prior attempts to assassinate Nasheed by strapping the same motorcycle used in the May 6 attack with an IED and parking it outside the residence of his spouse, Laila Ahmed.
Police also said that while they found evidence suggesting the suspects to be ISIS sympathizers, but found no evidence directly linking them to the international terror organization.