Ameen sentenced to 27 years in prison for terrorism

Mohamed Ameen, Fuvahmulah City.

Mohamed Ameen (Kuriyya Villa, Maadhadu, Fuvahmulah City) – who the police believe to be a top recruiter for the Islamic State terror group in Maldives – has been sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Ameen was charged with membership at a terrorist organization and conspiracy to carry out an act of terrorism.

During a Criminal Court hearing on Wednesday, Judge Ali Adam decided there was enough evidence to find him guilty on both charges.

Ameen was found to have:

  • Recruited and sent Maldivians to fight in the civil conflict in Syria
  • Conspired to recruit Maldivians to fight for the Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) in Afghanistan after Syria conflict ended
  • Sent a Maldivian to Afghanistan to operate as the leader of ISIS-K’s Maldivian cell
  • Operated as the leader of IS in Maldives
  • Propagated a specific religious ideology

Ameen had denied all charges and maintained his innocense throughout the trial.

The court sentenced Ameen to 27 years in prison on the two charges. However, four years he has spent in jail in the case was considered as time served, meaning he has 23 years left in his sentence.

Ameen was also suspected of involvement in the Sultan’s Park bombing which injured a dozen tourists in 2007. He fled the country after the bombing, prompting an Interpol red notice against him.

He was located in neighboring Sri Lanka and brought to Maldives in 2012 but released by the court after two months of detainment.

US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has Ameen flagged as a senior operative of IS, making him the first Maldivian national to be named on the OFAC’s terror list.

According to the US, Ameen was actively engaged in leading IS recruitment in Maldives. He is also accused of assisting the IS branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan by providing funding, assists and technological support.

He was arrested by Maldivian authorities in 2019 - becoming the first suspect to be arrested and charged under new revisions to the Counter-Terrorism Act.