The terrorism threat to the Maldives has increased after the Easter Sunday bombings in neighbouring Sri Lanka, the Maldives National Defence Force has said.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Vice Chief of the National Defence Force Abduh Raheem Abduh Latheef refused to rule out the possibility of a terrorist attack in the Maldives.
“[The] threat to the Maldives has increased since the Sri Lankan attacks. No country, at this time, can completely rule out the possibility of a terrorist attack, including the Maldives. The Defence Force will do whatever it takes to protect our country,” he said.
Abduh Raheem said the Defence Force is strengthening its threat assessment mechanism to better tackle terrorism threats.
Speaking at the same press conference, the chief of the Defence Force, Abdulla Shamal, said the army is preparing a counter terrorism action-plan and plans to recommend amendments to the Terrorism Act 2014.
“We are doing everything in our capacity to prevent a terrorist attack in the Maldives. In the meantime, we are also [planning] how to react to such an attack,” Shimal said.
The Defence Force conducted a series of joint military exercises with the police after the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, the Counter Terrorism Centre, together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, held a three-day workshop on anti-terrorism last week.
The terrorist group ISIS claimed responsibility for the deadliest terrorist attack in the last decade in Sri Lanka, which killed over 250 Christian worshippers.