The Ministry of Defence and National Security has been alerted by the Office of President Mohamed Nasheed to possible dangers to the life of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential candidate.
“According to sources, two Al-Qaeda agents have been employed for an attack on President Nasheed and are currently in Male’. The Office has requested the Ministry of Defense and National Security’s Intelligence to launch an investigation into the matter and to share findings with this office,” read a press statement from the former president’s office.
Following the request for an investigation, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) issued a press release yesterday (October 25) stating that it was making inquiries and working with the Maldives Police Service (MPS) to investigate the matter.
“And President Mohamed Nasheed’s security has been strengthened better than before,” the MNDF said.
The press release added that providing security for high-level officials of the state was the responsibility of the MNDF and was therefore treated as “a high priority.”
Article 128 of the constitution entitles former presidents to “the highest honour, dignity, protection, financial privileges and other privileges entitled to a person who has served in the highest office of the land.”
Head of Security for the former president, Ameen Faisal, told Minivan News that they had been made aware of the threat on Thursday (October 24).
“We have been hearing of this threat many times…Last night we heard about it and thought we can’t make it a joke, we have to take it seriously now,” the former defence minister and national security advisor said.
Former Head of Police Intelligence Chief Superintendent ‘MC’ Mohamed Hameed told the parliament’s Executive Oversight Committee in January this year that the police had received information about two separate assassination plots against former President Nasheed.
Speaking in the same committee in January, former military intelligence head Brigadier General Ahmed Nilam claimed to have received information about an assassination attempt planned to have been carried out during an MNDF live-fire event.
Former Minister of Human Rights under the current administration, Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed, last year also alleged assassination plans against Nasheed by local politicians.
Nasheed reacted to Dhiyana’s claims by acknowledging them as credible, commenting that he had received information from government intelligence sources of plots to assassinate him.
“I did get information from the Ministry of Defence that the intelligence got reports of planned assassination attempts. I had knowledge of this before,” said Nasheed.