Who tried to kill Mohammad Nasheed? | Maldives News

Male, Maldives – Evening Explosion The capital of the Maldivian island, Maleju, was felt throughout the ancient beaches of the Indian Ocean archipelago and a densely populated city labyrinths without the fame of turquoise waters. The target was one of the country’s most prominent politicians: Mohammad Nasheed, its first democratically elected president and current speaker of parliament.

The outbreak comes amid the alarming rise in the COVID-19 case on Thursday and the rape of residents for a new curfew at 9pm on Thursday evening when the Muslim community was devoted to prayer. Is thought.

Soon, photos of the crowd, including worshipers on their way home from the mosque, showed the wreckage of the blue motorbike. Blood stains the ground. The motorbike was parked at the corner of the road in a very narrow alley for vehicles towards Nasheed’s family home. The 53-year-old was about to get into his car on the main road when a device attached to him turned off remotely.

Nasheed was rushed to hospital and Has undergone multiple surgeries According to doctors, he has fatal wounds on his chest, head and abdomen. He Back to consciousness On Saturday morning, three bodyguards and two bachelors, whose legs were hit by the plane, were also treated for injuries.

Police officers visited the area after the blast outside Nasheed’s family home [Maldives Police Service/Handout via Reuters]

In most peaceful countries where assassination attempts are rare but not unprecedented, “Deliberate acts of terrorCombined with mourning, the expression of universal condemnation and sorrow is near

However, the attack did not come as a surprise to many.

“This is clearly a well-planned attempt to assassinate Nasheed,” said Ahmed Shahid, a UN special envoy for freedom of religion or belief who served as foreign minister in the former president’s cabinet. Describing Nasid as the most beloved and hated person in the Maldives, Shahid said, “The attack is not surprising given the amount of violence and inhumane incitement against him.”

Police made the announcement on Saturday afternoon Arrest Suspect two. There was no additional information and the motive was still unclear, but speculation centered on two groups: religious “extremists” and political opponents who have been accused of being involved in a historic embezzlement scandal that threatened to be exposed.

Inheritance of immunity

A former political prisoner, Nasid was elected President of the Maldives in the first multi-party election in 2008, ending 30 years of authoritarian rule. But in the face of police and military coup, he was forced to resign for only three years. The politician is loved by fiercely loyal supporters as an inevitable champion of democracy and a free rest, but has been slammed by a conservative opponent with a secret agenda for secularism in the Maldives, a country whose citizenship involves being a Sunni Muslim.

Outside and out of power, Nasheed clashed with religious leaders, who regularly denounced his so-called anti-Islamic agenda. In the aftermath of Thursday’s attack, supporters dug up incidents of insults by religious scholars and shared them on social media.

“Although they have not claimed responsibility for the attack, some social media accounts have expressed sympathy for the violent extremist groups that Nasheed deserves to be killed,” said Azim Zaheer, a research fellow at the Muslim State University of Western Australia.

“Nassid is probably the most vocal figure against the country’s extremist groups,” Zahir said, referring to the country’s first statesman highlighting the flow of hundreds of Maldives to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Fighters – 250 Maldivian passengers are estimated to have made the journey.

In September 2012, the United States, for the first time, nominated Ahmed Amin, a Maldivian man, as “the main leader of ISIS in Syria, Afghanistan and the Maldives”, saying he was actively involved in recruiting for ISIS in the Maldives. From different criminal gangs.

Commenting on the timing of the blast, which targeted Nasheed, Zaheer noted that the first “terrorist” attack in the Maldives – which injured several tourists – took place during the 2007 Ramadan 2007. He said ISIL had encouraged sympathizers to continue their latest offensive in the Maldives during the days of Ramadan – the latest April issue of Sawat Al-Hind magazine, published by ISIL’s regional chapter for the so-called Islamic State in South Asia or the Indian province.

“ISIL actors in the Maldives are certainly capable of carrying out such attacks,” Zaheer said, referring to past incidents in which some were trained to make explosive devices, including in a plot to bomb a school laboratory. Years

In fact, at a press briefing on Friday afternoon, Police Commissioner Mohammad Hameed acknowledged the presence of suspected “extremists” on how to carry out an attack similar to the one targeted by Nasid.

“Some are in prison and others are released – in some cases not being convicted in court or being active as free citizens because there is not enough evidence against them.”

Hamid insisted that police had not received any indication of an impending attack on Nasheed, and that when reporters were grilled for possible intelligence failure, he said any fault must be determined through future investigations.

Ahmed Rilwan, a journalist who went missing in 2014, was killed by a local al-Qaeda operative, according to an investigation committee in 2019. [Courtesy of Sharif Ali]

To many, the assassination attempt on Nasheed has also blown away the legacy of impunity for unsolved murders linked to ISIL and al-Qaeda affiliates, such as the targeted killings of liberal blogger Yamin Rashid, abducted journalist Ahmed Rilwan and the opposite religious scholar Afrashim.

“There are some elements that may be there for political or other ideological reasons that are willing to prevent killings among us,” said Dhyana Saeed, former Attorney General of the Maldives.

“However, the response from all current and former administrations has not been satisfactory. Despite all our arrangements – the police force, the defense forces, the anti-terrorism cell, the presidential commission – no government has yet been able to tackle the roots and masterminds behind the cells of the masterminds and financiers and train these destroyers of peace. Or, if they have, they must not have been brought to justice, ”he added.

“Until we are able to provide full and complete justice, the feeling of impunity continues and it seems to me that this sense of impunity and indomitableness has somewhat induced Nasheed’s life.”

He said the “simple conclusion” was that the attack on the former president was “religiously motivated”, but that other motives – such as the prosecution of politicians who embezzled at least $ m million from Nasser’s tourism fund – should not be ruled out. Until the investigation reveals all the facts “.

‘A wake-up call’

Just hours before the attack, Nasheed announced on Twitter that he had received a list of all the people who had benefited from the embezzlement during the period between the state-owned tourism agency, the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC). 2014 and 2015. The scandal led to the defeat of former President Abdullah Yameen in the 2018 elections to Ibrahim Mohammad Solihar, a close associate and childhood friend of Nasheed.

Within days of taking office, the new president formed a commission to investigate the MMPRC corruption, and authorities have revealed that more than two and a half hundred people, including the current legislator and senior government officials, have benefited from the stolen funds. However, within three years of Solih’s tenure, only Yamin has been convicted on charges related to the MMPRC scandal.

Nasid peaks at supporters after returning to the Maldives after more than two years in exile [File: Mohamed Sharuhaan/AP Photo]

In recent months, ruling parties loyal to Nasheed have become increasingly sensitive to Salih, with delays in prosecuting those accused of benefiting from stolen funds as well as delays in accountability for attacks and deaths linked to ISIL and al-Qaeda in the Maldives.

Nasheed himself has publicly expressed his frustration with the corruption scandal as well as the presidential commissions set up to investigate the murders of Yamin, Rilwan and Afrashim. He was blocking a “deep state” justice of officials embedded in state agencies sympathetic to the “traditional” ideology, a warning he issued last year, a claim that was disputed by the police chief.

After Thursday’s attack, Solih, with the help of the Australian Federal Police, once again promised “speed and investigation”.

However, Azra Nasim Nasid, an analyst and author of the Divehi Site blog, has expressed serious doubts about bringing anyone to justice in the case.

“If the case against the other Salafi jihadists who invaded the Maldives continues, there will be obstacles to every move,” he said.

“Investigations will be stopped, or there will be no evidence to support the case, or the defense attorney may be at risk of headaches. The outcome of this case will continue as in other cases: the jihadists will be released.” Or they are allowed to leave the country safely for a ‘more Muslim’ society than the Maldives. Justice cannot be achieved through the rule of law because ‘true justice’ is believed to have been achieved by killing infidels, ”he said.

Shahid, a UN rights expert, said the people of the Maldives “do not have much faith in the government’s ability to crack down on gangs and violent extremists.”

“But in a small community like the Maldives, everyone knows what others are doing and it should be easy to solve given the desire to do so. And I think it’s a wake-up call for the government that will be taken seriously, “he added.

“This incident could be a reflection in the Maldives; To motivate the government towards violence, extremism, corruption and impunity and to achieve a step-change in upholding the rule of law. ”

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