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Detention extended for ‘bomb plot’ suspects

Local media reported last month that the police had averted a bomb attack in the capital by arresting four people during midnight in Malé on April 24.



The criminal court has extended the remand detention of two suspects arrested in late April on suspicion of planning bomb attacks, reports online paper VFP.

The police spokesman declined to disclose any information about the case, but according to VFP the suspects were remanded to police custody for 10 and seven days.

Citing unnamed sources, local media reported last month that the police had averted a bomb attack in the capital by arresting four people during midnight raids in Malé on April 24.

“Well done and Thanks to Police Services for stopping the bomb attack in the capital,” Fisheries Minister Dr Mohamed Shainee tweeted at the time. 

According to the pro-government outlet Avas, three of the suspects were working on homemade explosive devices when police raided an office building.

The police also reportedly found TNT from the Namoonaage house in the Machangoalhi ward of Malé and seized pressure cookers, wires, and phones during the raid.

The four suspects were also affiliated with terrorist organisations involved in recruiting Maldivians to fight in Syria, according to reports.

Citing police intelligence sources, Avas reported that the group were planning to set off bombs in public areas in the capital, including the government office complex Velaanaage and the local market.

According to newspaper Mihaaru, the police also raided a third building, the Walnut house in the Maafanu ward, the residence of a man who had fled the Maldives after the Sultan park bombing in 2007.

In June last year, four young men were handed lengthy prison sentences over plans to set off a bomb near the statehouse Muleeage in November 2015. After a secret terrorism trial, Mohamed Mamdooh was jailed for 20 years whilst Mohamed Ubaid Ibrahim, Zihan Ahmed and Thal’ath Mohamed were handed 17-year jail terms.

The bomb plot, which the government alleged was a second attempt to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen, was among the reasons offered to justify a short-lived state of emergency in November 2015.

The improvised device explosive, made out of stick dynamite and wrapped in a t-shirt, was discovered inside a vehicle parked near Muleeaage. Yameen, who lived in his private residence, only used Muleeaage for official meetings.

The news of the bomb threat was met with scepticism from many members of the public.

Media reports of the alleged bomb plot in late April also drew similar scepticism with many calling it an attempt to divert attention from the brutal murder of liberal blogger Yameen Rasheed in the early hours of April 23.

Photo from VFP.