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“Mastermind” of May 6 terror attack arrested

Lamya Abdulla
25 July 2021, MVT 09:55
Mohamed Thasleem: he was involved in operating the cell that worked to assassinate Nasheed -- Photo: Police
Lamya Abdulla
25 July 2021, MVT 09:55

The suspected mastermind of May 6 terror attack on Former President and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed was arrested on Saturday.

Police revealed major developments in a press conference held Saturday. The attack carried out using an IED attached to a motorcycle outside Nasheed's residence.

In this press conference, Police Commissioner Mohamed Hameed said Mohamed Thasleem was arrested in Addu on the accusation of organising and aiding the terror attack. He is originally from Haa Alif atoll Hoarafushi.

"We can say from the information we have gathered so far that Mohamed Thasleem, Ali Haisham and Ishaag were involved in the attack at a high level," - Police Commissioner Mohamed Hameed

Hameed said Thasleem was preciously arrested on April 24, 2017, for attempting to build a bomb in the office of a private company he then worked. While his case was sent for prosecution, he was released on October 4, 2018. This case was withdrawn after the appeal went on for after two years.

He also said the perpetuators of this attack started the initial work on assassinating Nasheed as early as 2019. Practical work started around 2020.

Police talking to the media in the press conference about the attack on Nasheed -- Photo:Police

Maldivian authorities had previously explained that terrorist activity in Maldives was carried out in an organised manner, usually working in groups within themselves referred to as "cells". Thasleem was in charge and operating the cell that had attempted to assassinate Nasheed. Hameed also said they believed Nasheed was an apostate and therefore considered that he deserved to die.

Commissioner Hameed also said the May 6 attack was the third time an attempt was made on Nasheed's life.

So far four cases have been sent to the Prosecutor General's Office; Adhuham Ahmed Rasheed from Vaavu Thinadhoo, Mujaz Ahmed from Male', Thahumeen Ahmed from Gaafu Alifu Kondey, and Ahmed Fathih from Laamu Gan.

Hameed additionally stated that the perpetuators were ready to carryout suicide attack to assassinate Nasheed.

The police is still investigating an additional five people regarding the attack on Nasheed. They are Ali Haisham from Noonu Manadhoo, Ishaaq from Male', Fahumee Ali from Gaafu Alif Vilingili, Mohamed Naazim from Alif Alif Maalhos, Abdulla Ali Manik from Haa Alif Molhadhoo and Thasleem.

"We can say from the information we have gathered so far that Mohamed Thasleem, Ali Haisham and Ishaaq were involved in the attack at a high level," Hameed said.

Haisham's case has been sent to duty prosecution now. Haisham was one of the people leading the people that attached the IED on the motorcycle.

"[Abdulla Ali Manik] aided in Adhuham, who attacked Nasheed, flee the scene and destroy evidence," Hameed said.