President Mohamed Nasheed has refuted claims reported earlier this year in the Indian media that Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is present in the Maldives.
The isolation and strategic location of the Maldives make it a tempting target for groups such as Lashkar, which India has identified as responsible for the attacks in Mumbai on 26 November 2008, in which gunmen entered the city by sea and killed at least 173 people and wounded 308.
India’s Sify News reported Nasheed as stating that while the LeT had no presence in Maldives, there were “serious” issues concerning the emergence of some radical groups with members trained in Pakistan.
Nasheed ruled out the possibility of any terror group using Maldives route to attack India, saying the country had sound border control systems.
A spokesman for the Indian High Commission previously told Minivan News that defence agreements between India and the Maldives were “a continuous arrangement” and not specific to a particular incident or group.
He acknowledged that there was “support for fundamentalist groups” in the Maldives but would not speculate on who those groups were or defence arrangements between the two countries.