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Maldivian imprisoned for 21 years in Afganistan: Police

Shahudha Mohamed
03 December 2019, MVT 18:38
Afghan security personnel stand guard in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. Afghan authorities recently sentenced a Maldivian, linked to IS, to 21 years in prison on terrorism charges. / AFP PHOTO / SHAH MARAI
Shahudha Mohamed
03 December 2019, MVT 18:38

Maldives Police Service revealed on Tuesday that a Maldivian was found guilty of terrorism charges and sentenced to 21 years of imprisonment in Afghanistan.

According to a statement released by Police, Ali Shafiu was sentenced to jail after he was arrested in Afghanistan's Nangahar province in November 2018 with his wife and children.

Interpol found a video tied with Islamic State (IS) on Shafiu, who travelled from Sri Lanka to Pakistan and crossed the border into Afghanistan to join a faction of IS operating in Afghanistan by the name of Khorasan Province, Police said.

Upon receiving this information, Police conducted a joint operation with Afghan authorities and shared information about the individuals who recruited and aided Shafiu.

The statement by Police confirmed that Shafiu was sentenced after Afghan authorities investigated the case and held a trial.

Moreover, the statement declared that Shafiu is a religious extremist who was formerly caught in 2015 while he was attempting to depart to Syria. Police disclosed that he was also arrested as a suspect in the case of uncovered weapons in Hibalhidhoo, Baa Atoll, but later released in 2016 due to insufficient evidence.

Although the Police statement cites insufficient evidence as the reason for Shafiu's release, the state never pressed any charges against him.

Former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb and former Colonel Ahmed Fayaz were charged with possession of prohibited weapons in the Hibalhidhoo case.

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