Chief of Defence Force warns of increasing risk of terrorist attacks, youth enrolling in terror training camps

Chief of Defence Force Major General Ahmed Shiyam has warned of a rising risk of terrorist attack in the Maldives, during a joint local and US military inauguration to establish a level of alerts for terrorism in the country.

Shiyam cautioned against assuming the country was completely safe from terrorist attacks simply based on the fact that no major terrorist activities have been uncovered in the country to date, warning there was an increased risk of terrorist attacks stemming from “religious extremism and political turmoil.”

He added that while messages encouraging such activities are circulating via social media, these focused mainly against a certain group of people, or to encourage youth to partake in activities of ‘jihad’.

“Some [Maldivian] youth have already joined up with terrorist organisations. They are now travelling to various war zones and locations and enrolling in a number of terrorist training camps. Although some of these youth have managed to travel back to this country, the whereabouts of others remain unknown. This is a warning sign of how terrorism is spreading across our country,” Major General Shiyam stated.

He stated that it is immensely important for the security forces to be well-trained in counter-terrorism measures and to ensure the forces remain ready to respond should such an incident occur.

Speaking of the necessity to identify the challenges faced in counter-terrorism operations, Major General Shiyam emphasised the importance of reviewing and revising the country’s counter-terrorism policies.

Shiyam stated that terrorism is a danger that presents itself in many different forms, including but not limited to incidents which arise through political or social activities.

“Regardless of how these dangers come forth to us, ultimately the result is the same: that is the destruction of our nation’s social fabric,” Major General Shiyam said.

Increased pressure in 2012 to conform to stricter form of Islam: US

The US State Department’s 2012 Report on International Religious Freedom notes that, especially following the February 7 controversial transfer of power, there has been an increased pressure in the Maldives to conform to a “stricter interpretation of Islamic practices.”

The report highlighted that there have been increased reports of religious freedom abuses. Concerns were also raised over government restriction of religious freedom.

“There was an increasing use of religion in political rhetoric, which led to derogatory statements about Christianity and Judaism, and harassment of citizens calling for a more tolerant interpretation of Islam. Anti-Semitic rhetoric among conservative parties continued,” the report said.

The report also referred to statements made by President Waheed, who came to office following last year’s transfer of power.

“During the year, President Waheed warned the nation that foreign parties were attempting to influence the country’s ideology and promote secularism; he urged citizens to resist these impulses,” the report read.

The report further pointed out incidences of societal harassment and abuse targeted towards citizens, especially women, who do not conform to strict, narrow guidelines seen to acceptable in Islam.

No religious freedom, SOFA agreement: Islamic Minister

Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Shaheem Ali Saeed has meanwhile said that the Maldives will not grant religious freedom following the release of the US State Department’s report, and further declared that he will not allow the government to sign the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States.

“Religious freedom cannot be granted in the Maldives, Insha Allah [God willing]. The Constitution of the Maldives itself restricts such a thing from being permitted, nor do our citizens want such a thing. It is the responsibility of our citizens to safeguard our military interests and Insha Allah they will uphold that,” Shaheem is quoted as saying in local media.

Furthermore, “There is no way that the SOFA agreement can be signed, allowing foreign forces to stay on our land. Nor can we allow them to make the Maldives a destination in which to refuel their ships,” Shaheem said.

“The reason is, the US might attempt to use the Maldives as a centre when they are attacking another Muslim state. There is no way we will let that happen,” he said, asserting that he “will not compromise on the matter at all”.

A leaked draft of a proposed SOFA with between the Maldives and the US “incorporates the principal provisions and necessary authorisations for the temporary presence and activities of United States forces in the Republic of Maldives and, in the specific situations indicated herein, the presence and activities of United States contractors in the Republic of Maldives.”

Under the proposed 10 year agreement outlined in the draft, the Maldives would “furnish, without charge” to the United States unspecified “Agreed Facilities and Areas”, and “such other facilities and areas in the territory and territorial seas of the Republic of Maldives as may be provided by the Republic of Maldives in the future.”

“The Republic of the Maldives authorises United States forces to exercise all rights and authorities with Agreed Facilities and Areas that are necessary for their use, operation, defense or control, including the right to undertake new construction works and make alterations and improvements,” the document states.

The US would be authorised to “control entry” to areas provided for its “exclusive use”, and would be permitted to operate its own telecommunications system and use the radio spectrum “free of cost to the United States”.

The US would also be granted access to and use of “aerial ports, sea ports and agreed facilities for transit, support and related activities; bunkering of ships, refueling of aircraft, maintenance of vessels, aircraft, vehicles and equipment, accommodation of personnel, communications, ship visits, training, exercises, humanitarian activities.”

Former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, now Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake, told the Press Trust of India that the agreement referred to joint military exercises and not a future base-building endeavor.

“We do not have any plans to have a military presence in Maldives,” Blake said, echoing an earlier statement from the US Embassy in Colombo.

“As I said, we have exercise programs very frequently and we anticipate that those would continue. But we do not anticipate any permanent military presence. Absolutely no bases of any kind,” Blake said.

“I want to reassure everybody that this SOFA does not imply some new uptake in military co-operation or certainly does not apply any new military presence. It would just be to support our ongoing activities,” he said.


19 thoughts on “Chief of Defence Force warns of increasing risk of terrorist attacks, youth enrolling in terror training camps”

  1. What the Chief of Defence calls "terrorism" is known as holy jihad by the mullahs and brainwashed Dhivehistanis. Dhivehistanis have been going for holy jihad since the Afghan war of the 80s and this is common knowledge - although conveniently ignored and never acknowledged by the chief mullahs and past politicians for fear of bad publicity.

    Now that the Amreekan Crusaders are planning to have a base on pure Dhivehistani soil, it is the time to finally acknowledge this "terrorist" threat. Of course the mullahs and their ilk are running around like headless chicken after hearing about this. To appease them, the head mullah has finally condemned the SOFA: not because he thinks it would dissolve the agreement, but just so that the hardcore terrorists are on his side come election day. We all know this head mullah, like his Saudi counterparts, is a slave of power and money.

  2. Wonder how Sheikh Shaheem is going to stop the Americans from doing whatever they want to do here.

  3. Terrorism from within and without. That's a known unknown.

    Why don't you first concentrate on the known failures. Get the damned judiciary whipped into shape. Get the parliament do their job instead of bickering about each other.

  4. Why are you not reporting any news about the Humaan Dr. Afraasheem Murder Case.

  5. The chief of defense force and America! Fighting Terrorism!Sounds familiar!?

    Now i am actually scared!??I hope the US stay away from drone bombing us! We are just poor people trying to make a living and yes! our religion is Islam!

  6. @homosexual

    You try hard, keep rewinding and rewinding and rewinding>>>(fall asleep)

  7. Can't believe a word that awful Robert Blake has to say.

    He is an octopus sucking on the face of South Asia.

  8. When Raees Nasheed said the same thing it was a let down for Maldives and hinderence to tourism but when someone else says the same thing its acceptable. This is called double standards.

  9. How does it feel to be bullied, Shimy? Enjoy a taste of your own medicine, imperialist. We shall expropriate American technology from their bases and kick you parasites out. Just like how we kicked out a fake mullah from Maafushi.

  10. America should spray vaccine against anti god gene in Dhvehitani genome then we can see how Islamic these morons will be once the gene is removed, god will simply vanish in to the thin air.

  11. The Islamic minister seyku Shaheem talks about upholding the constitution when it is against Islam. You cannot force someone to be a Muslim he has to follow it with his own heart and it does not effect those who believe, as our faith is not that fragile.

  12. America is not requesting to have full fledge army base in Maldives and then to conquer this country.

    It is much better to have american presence than having Indian base here.

    Nasheed was trying to sell the country to India and we have proof of what he was trying to do when he was in power.

    Today people, do not go just invade , but they use different tactics to conquer the world.

    One way to use economic tactics and India had use this tactics, knowing that Nasheed is an idiot who have no clue of what India was trying to achieve.

    Nasheed wanted to sign SAPTA agreement which gives authority for Indian to do any business in Maldives without any restriction and Maldivian does not have any rights to do business in India.

    Also the agreement further goes and tell that Maldivian Government should not allow any other foreign country to do business in Maldives without the consent of India?

    What a joke was this?

    But for sure Nasheed will implement this if he ever be able to come back to power ?

    Nasheed is power and money hungry man like many of the politician.

  13. These guys really do think we are idiots living in the stone age.

    All going to plan. First the US report on Wahhabi extremism in the Maldives and now this.

    Next step true to form a public tantrum by the Adhalath Party and walk away from the Glorious Vote for Waheed Coalition.

    As we would say Aiynulaa addho

    So predictable.

  14. And by the way, we do not have weapons of mass destruction but we do have a bunch of low level egg heads who hide behind a page under fake names but then again calls us morons!??seriously i am confused!???i think the American govt will save you all just like the way they saved Irag and Afghanistan! Wooo hooo! America and it's Honour bound to defend freedom!GITMO anyone???!!

  15. @ Kuribee
    You dim witted people.....350,000 dim wits no less.....have a rather grandiose idea of your own 'strategic' importance. India has no more intention to 'conquer' Maldives than it does your sunni brothers Pakistan. The fact that both of you are backward, politically unstable and bankrupt economies is your safeguard.
    As for restrictions on Maldivians doing business in India.....what business exactly are we depriving you off?
    You cannot survive without teachers, doctors and skilled professionals from India and apart from being skilled drug addicts what 'skills and hidden talents' exactly do you have?
    I wait with baited breath........

  16. Miss India,

    I am not against America or India but i am against the cruelty the Americans and Indians subject on Muslims!If they are subjecting torture on a bunch of people in the name of terrorism like in Gitmo and Kashmir then they are none better than the terrorists hiding behind the western backed forces!?

    But then again you talk about how civilized your people are and how the other half is full of cow****

    This is a never ending story, is it??

  17. @ Shimy
    You seem to be as retarded as your fellow countryman Kuribee. Does anyone have a functioning brain in Maldives? .....or did your mothers drop you on your heads when you were still babies?
    You talk about Indians torturing muslims in Kashmir!! I've heard this crap for the first time today. Kashmir is and always will be a part of India.
    Let me tell you that we are proud to be a democratic and secular nation.....politically stable unlike the Maldives.....with the second largest muslim population in the world. We have had many eminent muslims in top government post including at least two presidents.....I wonder when there will be a non muslim president in Maldives or Pakistan or Saudi Arabia or Yemen or Afghanistan.......year 2424 perhaps?
    Despite 86% of Indians being cow worshipping 'kuffars', Eid is a national holiday in India.....I wonder when Christmas and Diwali will be national holidays in 100% muslim Maldives?
    Hindu majority India provides Haj Subsidies for its muslim minorities.....something no other muslim country does.
    Mosques in India have unretricted entry for all unlike in Pakistan where heavy security is deployed to stop sunni muslims attacking other muslims.
    The Maldives has a discriminatory 100% muslim policy which drives christian and buddhist Maldivians to take refuge in India and Sri Lanka.....why?
    So before you start lecturing Indians on our political system show a bit more tolerance for other muslims.....I mean the Shias, Ahmaddiyas and Sufis.
    You primitive islanders.....still flogging women in the twentyfirst century and not allowing freedom of worship.....are in no position to criticise Indians......OK?
    You and Kuribee should meet up for tea and have so much in common.

  18. @MissIndia, Respect! Delhi is a hell hole. But I'm not judging. So don't you either. I live here & know your country well.

  19. Dear Maldivians,your present president(sorry i dont know his name) is a known backstabber who backstabbed his president,then he fooled our diplomat and got recognition for his regime ,then he kicked out an india company who build your airport and tried to play the china game by sending some official to china.China ignored him and refused to play your game then your shameless president came to india and tried to meet our govt which was your future is very bleak. no india and no china to bail you out and by 2050 when your country is swallowed by the ocean ,will your muslims friends help you out dont compare Maldives and India.any small village in india will be much larger than your country............for your own good it is better to be on good terms with us because WE HAVE SOME TERRITORIAL CLAIMS ON MANY MALDIVES ISLANDS AND WE MAY TAKE IT OUT WHEN IT PLEASES US..........we need just one battle ship to make you all slaves for years to come


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