The three individuals arrested during the special counter-terrorism operation that took place in Maduvvari, Raa Atoll were remanded on Thursday for a period of 10 days.
In the joint operation launched by Maldives Police Services and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Wednesday morning, authorities raided six houses and one boat, arresting three men on the count of promoting radicalization and extremist ideology in the island community.
Although Police did not reveal the details of the court that issued the remand, the suspects will be detained at a facility determined by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The three individuals arrested were identified as Hussein Siyad, 34, Hassan Raazy, 29, and a 30-year-old male from Manadhoo, Noonu Atoll.
Speaking about the special operation, the Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Basheer, confirmed the widespread prevalence of radicalization and extremism in the island. He highlighted that radicalized individuals in the community consider Maldives a “land of sin”, and added that they believe those that do not subscribe to their extremist views to be "infidels whose life and property could be rightfully seized".
Basheer further revealed that individuals with extremist views illegally 'wed' underage girls out of court, believing that sexual relations (with them) are permissible.
Groups of radicalized individuals on the island were, for several years now, praying in a separate congregation. Such groups have reportedly invited people from other islands and run training programs to recruit individuals to terrorist organizations. Some of these radicalized individuals purportedly left the country to fight in the Syrian conflict, while some were apprehended at the airport attempting to travel to the warzone.
The security services, on Monday, revealed details about the extent of religious extremism in Maldives for the first time. A total of 173 individuals have traveled to Syria for jihad, while 432 have reportedly attempted to travel to Syria to join the insurgency. Authorities also raised alarm over the high incidence of radicalization in the past 12 years, estimating there were 1,400 radicalized individuals subscribing to violent extremist ideology.