Foiled terror plot: Court orders release of one suspect

Security services maintain security in the streets of Male' City on May 13, 2021. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

The High Court has ordered the release of one of over a dozen suspects arrested in a joint counter-terror operation by the security forces in November, overturning an order to have the suspect remanded in jail pending the outcome of trial.

The terror operation saw the arrest of 14 suspects – all local males. 10 of the suspects were arrested from Addu, two were arrested from Male’ City, and two more from K. Guraidhoo.

According to the police, all 14 suspects are originally from Addu, and nine of them have prior arrest records.

One of the suspects arrested from Addu, who the Maradhoo-Feydhoo Court had remanded in jail pending the outcome of trial, appealed his detention with the High Court.

The court ordered his release Sunday, citing the lack of any other evidence against him, except for an intelligence report.

The court said that according to the Counter-Terrorism Act, detention of a suspect based on an intelligence report requires meeting the requirements set down on the Act, and existence of corroborative evidence.

The court found his detention to therefore be wrongful due to failure to meet the requirements.

The counter-terror operation was launched in response to intel regarding a plot by Islamic State (IS)-sympathizers in Addu to carry out a terror attack.

According to police, the suspects had been planning a mass casualty terror attack using explosives.

Police later confirmed finding high explosive chemicals from one of the properties linked to the suspects.