A Maldives man who went to Syria to fight in the war had a record of extremism, the National Counter-Terrorism Centre said late Tuesday, although it did not confirm or deny reports that he had been beheaded.
VFP said Ahmed Zubair was executed two weeks ago by the Tahrir-al Sham group in Idlib.
The NCTC, in a statement seen by the Maldives Independent, said Zubair had a record of extremism and attempting to propagate Islamist ideology. But it did not comment on reports of his death.
“This person is on the list of people who have travelled to Syria from the Maldives to take part in the civil war there. He travelled with his two children and wife,” it said.
The NCTC was trying to find out what happened to Zubair.
Zubair belonged to the Islamic State group, VFP said. Newspaper Mihaaru reported that other Maldivians fighting in Syria were also involved in his execution.
The Maldives Independent contacted the NCTC to ask if there were attempts to locate or repatriate Zubair’s wife and children, but there was no response.
A US-based security and risk management consultancy has said around 200 to 250 Maldivians are known to be fighting in Syria and Iraq, making the island nation the highest foreign fighter contributor based on per capita.
Earlier this year Defence Minister Adam Shareef said the number of Maldivians travelling to Syria to fight with jihadist groups was rising.
He put the total number of Maldivians who had gone to Syria at 61, whereas he had previously insisted the number was 49.