Society & Culture
Islamic State logo spray-painted on Maaugoodhoo walls
Four men came to the island and left after spray-painting several walls.
A group of men spray-painted the logo of terrorist group Islamic State on several walls on Maaugoodhoo island on Saturday.
The walls were vandalised by four men who came to the Shaviyani atoll island in a sea cucumber fishing boat, council member Mohamed Ibrahim Waheed told Sun Online. A local shop owner said they bought spray bottles from his shop.
“They came just after sunset and left at midnight after vandalising the walls,” the councillor said.
The incident is under investigation, police said.
About 200 to 250 Maldivians are estimated to have joined militant groups in Syria and Iraq. Many fighters died in battle and widowed women are seeking to return to the Maldives.
In September, the United States designated a Maldivian as a “terrorist leader” for the first time and imposed targeted sanctions against the 35-year-old man. Mohamed Ameen was arrested by Maldivian police last month and remains in custody.
Ameen was described as a recruiter for ISIS-Khorasan and a “key leader for ISIS in Syria, Afghanistan, and the Maldives [who] used to direct terrorist fighters to Syria, but now sends them to Afghanistan.”
A presidential commission also named Ameen as the leader of a Maldivian extremist group affiliated with IS.
In May 2017, a man was arrested for hoisting the black flag of IS at the artificial beach in Malé. In September 2014, some 200 people staged a march in Malé carrying the black flags of IS and calling for the enforcement of Islamic Shariah in the Maldives.