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Afrasheem's murder plotted by terrorist organization

Mariyam Malsa
17 November 2019, MVT 11:48
Former MP and religious scholar Dr Afrasheem Ali who was discovered stabbed to death in the stairwell of his home in the early hours of October 1, 2012. PHOTO: PARLIAMENT
Mariyam Malsa
17 November 2019, MVT 11:48

Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances revealed that the murder of former MP Dr Afrasheem Ali was ordered by a terrorist organization rooted in Maldives.

The investigative report compiled by the commission stated that while Mohamed Mazeedh and Saamith Mohamed headed the organization, Azlif Rauf was in charge of orchestrating the murder itself.

Mazeedh and Saamith were also implicated in the abduction of journalist Ahmed Rilwan who went missing in 2014.

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed commenced Sunday's parliamentary session by presenting a summary of the commission's report on Afrasheem's murder. The Speaker stated that the report was conveyed to him by the President's Office.

Hussain Humam was convicted for the murder of Afrasheem on October 1, 2012, with the Supreme Court maintaining the ruling. However, the commission theorizes that Ali Shan, an initial suspect, may have participated in the murder as well. The report also noted that an 18-year-old and other individuals were known to be involved in the crime.

Despite mounting evidence, the commission stated that conducting further investigations would be difficult as the individuals have fled Maldives, apparently to join ongoing conflicts taking place on foreign soil.

On the day following the religious scholar's murder, nine individuals departed from Velana International Airport (VIA), transiting in Qatar before continuing to Sudan and Syria. The report noted that the two individuals suspected of attacking Afrasheem at a mosque, Jadullah Ibrahim and Mohamed Nishan, were among those who fled.

The remaining individuals are Abdulla Basheer, Ahmed Yusry Mohamed Shareef, Mohamed Shafeeq, Mohamed Thasneem, Aisha Nahula Abdul Latheef, Mohamed Usham and Mirzaal Mohamed.

Per the report, the aforementioned individuals were trained by a terrorist organization run by Mazeedh and Saamith and had carried out activities in the capital city of Male'.

According to the commission, a sum between MVR 4 million and MVR 6 million was spent on contracting Afrasheem’s murder.

Furthermore, the investigative report stated that there were widespread efforts to spread hatred against Afrasheem including Jamiyyath Salaf. ‘Habeys TV’, a Youtube channel created in 2011 described Afrasheem as a dangerous individual that ‘sowed the seeds of blasphemy’.

Terrorist operations in Maldives

Within the report, the Commission on Investigation of Murders detailed the manner in which most terrorist organizations operate in Maldives, confirming a history of extremist activities in the country.

Al Qaeda affiliates in Maldives reportedly run in isolated cells named after letters of the alphabet. A leader is appointed to recruit members for each cell and manage its activities. Insurgent missions tasked to cells are managed by only a few members of the team or the leader.

The report further disclosed that cells were divided into three sections, one of which managed incoming requests while the other oversees finance. The remaining tasks are handed over to the third section.

The commission stated that the leadership of Al Qaeda affiliates in Maldives split after Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi announced his caliphate during the month of Ramadan in 2014. The US government recently reported that they had killed the IS leader.

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