Maldives Police Service, on Friday, confirmed that two additional men aged 28 and 34 were arrested from Thimarafushi, Thaa Atoll, over the terrorist attack foiled by authorities earlier in November.
In addition to the suspects arrested on Friday, police confirmed six other arrests, including an individual from capital Male’, three from a vessel at sea and another from Thimarafushi.
All of the six suspects are Maldivian males between the ages of 18 and 34.
According to the police, the terrorist attack, organised by a group of religious extremists, was foiled based on reports by police intelligence.
Authorities launched a special operation in capital Male’, the waters surrounding Male’ and Thimarafushi in Thaa Atoll regarding the attempted attack, although police have yet to reveal further details on the operations.
Denying media reports that the extremist group was targeting a ‘Children’s Evening’ held in Thimarafushi, the police on Thursday maintained that further details will be revealed as their special operation progresses.
The issue of growing religious extremism in Maldives raised alarm in 2019, prompting authorities to clamp down on attempts to spread extremist ideologies in the island nation.
In December 2019, Commissioner of Police (CP) Mohamed Hameed declared that many insurgents who fought in the Syrian and Afghan conflicts returned to Maldives and continued to spread extremist ideologies in the country.
At the time, authorities revealed statistics pertaining to the issue, disclosing that 59 insurgents were in Syria, out of which most were children.
The statistics also noted that 432 individuals from across Maldives took interest in taking part in the Syrian conflict and attempted to travel to the warzone, and approximately 1,400 individuals are following the ideologies of Islamic State and will not hesitate to kill for their cause.