On the night of May 06, 2021, the sitting Speaker of the Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed was targeted in a terrorist attack. Due to this terrorist attack fear has been looming among the public.

However, the questions lingering on the mind of the public are “why is it that the intel has been saying they did not have any information on how the attack was planned, funded, and carried out and who is behind it?”. Some people are also suspicious and question whether the investigators will put the blame on “religious extremism” and sweep the case under the rug. This attack was not a “child's play”, the attack was planned and carried out with accuracy. So, could this attack have been preplanned? and who could be behind it?

Suspects arrested in connection to the attack

  • Adhuham Ahmed Rasheed/ V.Thinadhoo, Hiya,25 years
  • Mujaz Ahmed/ M.A. Feyruge, 21 years
  • Thahumeen Ahmed/G.A. Kondey, Folheyma, 32 years
  • Ahmed Fathih/ L.Gan, dhunfini ufa, 23years
All four suspects of the May 6th Attack/ Photo: Police

Arrested Police Intel

On May 19, 2021, police reported that amongst the arrested suspects, Ahmed Fathih was a former intel officer and it has only been six months since he resigned. The question is what could have led Fathih to be compelled towards extremist thoughts and beliefs and when did it happen? If this attack had been planned in the last six months, the whole planning must have happened during the pandemic. The question here is, how possible is it to get the necessary training and gain the trust of extremist leaders who they call the "Ameer" in just six months? Experts on the issue say it is not possible to obtain trust in just a few months but rather needs years of training.

Ahmed Fathihu was arrested last night/ Photo: Police

Experts say that these plans must have carried out by the most trusted of the Ameer. The experts on this subject say that the trust of an Ameer is not an easy thing to achieve. A person has to do a lot of work and make a lot of sacrifices to attain the trust of the Ameer. Considering these statements by the experts, could Fathih have confirmed such ideologies while he was working at the police? If so, was his behavior and actions not indicative to raise suspicions of the police? What is the involvement of the police on the matter?

Why police is targeted?

Case reports of Rilwan, a journalist who was abducted and murdered in August 2014 showed that the police intel had a role in foul play. The Presidential Commission “Investigating Enforced Disappearances and Murders” had revealed that two officers had been part of the abduction and murder of Rilwan. The report also said that the investigation of the two officers was obstructed by the police. On September 05, 2019, Attorney General (AG) Ibrahim Rifath requested the police to acquire an arrest warrant for the two officers. However, the police said they lacked sufficient evidence for an arrest warrant, denying them the legal basis to take the officers into custody. On September 06, 2019, the Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed decided to suspend the two officers from duty.

Missing reporter Ahmed Rilwan

However, on October 02, 2019, the two officers were relieved of their duties. Could these two officers also have a connection with Fathih, who was arrested on suspicion of the recent terror attack on former president Nasheed? Could these two cases be related? Considering the common factor in both cases is that it is related to extremist ideologies, is there any connection between such ideologies and the police intel? Although it has been seven years since the case of reporter Rilwan, authorities have still not been able to implement in-depth investigations and serve justice for the victim and his family. As commissioner after commissioner kept being appointed, the current commissioner, Mohamed Hameed was also once accused of passing confidential information to a source during his tenure as, Chief Superintendent and was relieved of his duties in 2012, a decision which was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018 on basis of false accusations after which he was reinstated back to his post.

If not extremism, then what?

So many questions with no definite answers. The number of incidents that had happened due to the power struggles among the heads of the country making it quite hard to believe that this may only be an extremist's attack. The reports show that many a time those working in the defense force and police have had their hands dirty in the power struggles of the heads of state. We cannot ignore the fact that the defense has played a part in many of these incidents.

Security officials were reported to be involved in the case of November 3rd as well as the case of reporter Rilwan. In the Rilwan case, the MNDF official was involved in attaining a passport on the orders of then-Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.

Due to the recent attack on Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, Defence Minister Maria Ahmed Didi has been criticized heavily resulting in a public outcry for her resignation. Nasheed's daughter Mira Laila Nasheed also had tweeted saying that this was a 90% ‘inside job’ and that defense minister Maria Ahmed Didi and Home Minister Imran Abdullah should be held accountable, calling for their resignations.

As the investigation unfolds new information the amount of criticism towards Mariya did not lessen. The criticism and outcry for her resignation increased with Hulhumeedhoo constituency’s MP Ilyas Labeeb’s claim that he had shared vital information concerning a possible attack with the defense minister. Further questions were raised with claims from the MP of Maafannu medhu constituency that the information was shared with the respective sources, sparking heavy criticism from the public, with many questionings Maria Didi’s responsibilities and stance towards the attack on Nasheed, as the head of the Defence Ministry.

Changing the cause of investigation

Among the information that had come to light regarding the case, one thing that stood out was the firearm that was left in the restroom of ADK hospital while Nasheed was undergoing treatment. The authorities said that an officer had accidentally left his weapon behind in the restroom. However, the MNDF said that the officer has been suspended from his duties and the case is being investigated further.

Nasheed getting treatment in ADK

This, however, raises further questions. It is questionable how a well-trained security officer could accidentally leave a firearm, especially following such an incident. How can this be the end of this act of negligence by the officer? It is questionable that a well-trained security officer could leave his weapon behind that also on a night an assassination attack had happened. Another question is what caused Nasheed’s driver to panic to the extent that he could not drive Nasheed's car?

Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed has urged all not to jeopardize the investigation or calls its integrity into question. In a series of tweets, CP Hameed said that the Police were investigating the terrorist attack against the speaker in a highly organized manner. However, The Speaker himself had tweeted via his shadow Twitter account “Alex Ahmed” that “if keep blaming citizens nothing positive will come out.”

Who funded the attack?

“Who funded the attack?” is the question that is being asked by Speaker Nasheed continuously. However, Nasheed says it is not advisable to ask MMA or NCTC to ask them to find those who funded the attack? Nasheed himself had tweeted via his shadow Twitter account that he had received information that the National Counter Terrorism Center was not pursuing leads about those who funded the assassination. Journalists have continuously asked the Police who are behind the funding of this heinous act. However, the answer to the question has been left hanging. Not only regarding the attack on Nasheed but other cases, many questions have been left unanswered. various committees have been formed on the pretext of investigating unsolved cases although nothing fruitful has come out of it.

Now the question which remains is can the authorities apprehend the “mastermind” behind this heinous, or will this case also be swept under the rug by undue influence? Or are we going to let this case slide like the many others until another attack takes place?