Interpol denies media reports of Maldivians’ involvement in World Cup terror plot

Interpol has criticised media reports in the Maldives following claims that it was hunting two Maldivian nationals over alleged plans to attack the 2011 Cricket World Cup event, adding that it had no such information.

In a statement released today, Interpol said a report in local newspaper Haveeru inaccurately cited it as stating that it was searching for two Maldivians suspected of involvement in a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) terror plot.

Interpol also reiterated claims made earlier today by the Maldives’ National Security Advisor denying any knowledge of Maldivian involvement in any reported terrorist plots targeting the Cricket World Cup.

“An article entitled ‘Interpol on the hunt for two Maldivians involved in planning Cricket World Cup attack’ and published in the newspaper Haveeru on 26 March 2011 in the Maldives contains serious inaccuracies which require a correction by the newspaper and an express denial from Interpol,” the organisation stated.

“The article states that ‘Two Maldivian nationals, who are believed to be connected to a Pakistani terrorist group, are now wanted by the International Criminal Police Organisation – INTERPOL – for conspiring to  attack international cricketers during the ongoing  2011 Cricket World Cup.’  In fact, there are currently no Maldivians wanted for arrest by Interpol for conspiring to attack any of the 2011 Cricket World Cup events.”

Interpol claimed that a reported confirmation from ” officials” cited in the article, alleging the involvement of “four Pakistanis, two Maldivians and an Afghan” in an alleged terror plot had not been made as the organisation had not received any such information.

Interpol’s statement followed similar claims by Ameen Faisal, the Maldives’ National Security Advisor, who denied that the country’s security forces had been involved in any investigations concerning Maldivian involvement in alleged terror attacks targeting the ICC tournament.

Faisal today issued a statement claiming that Iqbal Mohamed, a suspect taken into custody earlier this month and identified in press reports as being involved in alleged plans to strike the tournament, had been arrested solely in connection to an earlier attack that occurred in Male’ in 2007.  After being taken into police custody on March 10, Iqbal was released by the Criminal Court this week after police reportedly did not supply required information to detain him further.

The statement from Faisal was released to media just twenty four hours after Maldivian police told Minivan News that they had not been supplied with any information relating to an Interpol hunt for two Maldivians accused of being part of a wider terrorist group targeting the high profile cricket tournament being held in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

Attempting to clarify the arrest of a terrorist suspect made at Male’ International Airport earlier this month, Faisal stated that he had no knowledge of any involvement of Iqbal in plans to attack the Cricket World Cup as alleged by international media, including the Times of India.

“Iqbal Mohamed is a Maldivian citizen who had an Interpol Red Notice issued against him in connection to an improvised explosive device which was detonated in Sultan Park, Male’ on Saturday, 29 September 2007,” said Faisal in a statement.

“Iqbal Mohamed was travelling back to the Maldives from Pakistan, via Colombo, when the Interpol’s Major Events’ Support Team, who was in operation due to the ICC Cricket World Cup, identified him and informed the Maldivian authorities in coordination with the security agencies of our friendly neighbouring countries.”

Faisal added that the Maldives had been grateful for the assistance provided by Interpol and regional police services.

Iqbal’s arrest was related to questioning over a homemade bomb attack in Male’ in 2007, where a device built from components such as a gas cylinder, a washing machine motor and a mobile phone exploded injuring 12 tourists – several seriously.

Although police sources have previously claimed that the suspect was believed to have been in Pakistan at the time of the bombing, Iqbal had still been wanted by authorities as part of their ongoing investigations into the 2007 attack over an alleged role in the plan.


13 thoughts on “Interpol denies media reports of Maldivians’ involvement in World Cup terror plot”

  1. shame on haveeru for publishing such misleading article which would bring down or tourism based economy. I call the government to take legal actions against haveeru or the news reporter who wrote the article for speaking against Maldives and for insulting the good name of the country.

  2. Soon Interpol will be looking for Gayoom and his thugs for International crimes such as busting UN embargo on Myanmar

  3. yes maldivians are all imbeciles or terrorist, and incapanle of self governing, bring in the british to do the job

  4. The British leadership are politically correct weaklings.

    Do you know why Gayoom and his gang survives to this day?. Because there was no 'no-fly zone', 'air strikes' and 'fund freezing'.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't he knighted?.

  5. This is embarrassing for haveeru and times of India. I agree with @muneer regarding legal action.

  6. @aharen, the Brits are already in. Do u know how many 'advisors' we have at raees office? there's also a white 'Maldivian diplomat' working in geneva that is paid USD12000per month. some 'advisors' even state ministers rank.


  8. Haveeru makes big noise with little instruments and let public absorb unverified news. The so called media is making our democracy a social failure. Get some education on how to become a good reporter.

  9. News papers in Sri Lanka and India always report false stories abt Maldives, the reason is they want destroy our tourism industry.

  10. Shame on Haveeru. Not relaible source ever..only a puppet news paper

  11. yeah right. everyone else want to destroy us and take away our faith. because we are so important. the most important 3lakh people in the universe. bah. get some perspective guys! they have better things to do. they have oil to steal. have corporates to run. have bigger nations to invade. we are insignificant! the universe does NOT revolve around us.

  12. When I refer back to such articles published in news papers in the past few months, i can strongly beleive that there is a hidden agenda behind these writings.

    In my personal opinion, the aim of these writings is to scare away teh tourists visiting Maldives and to divert them towards other destinations.

    India and Sri Lanka are aware of the success of Maldives tourism and they know that if they manage to scare away the tourists flying in to Maldives, they would atleast be able to attract tourists to small coral islands under them such as the islands at Northern Sri Lanka and South India.

    I am also surprised to find out that Maldives government is taking these very easily. They do not bring it up with teh concerned organizations and let the damage be done through such irresponsible writings. May be the government is unaware of the damages caused??


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