Police detain Maldivian jihadis caught in Sri Lanka

Police have confirmed that three Maldivians have been arrested in Sri Lanka after being discovered attempting to travel to fight in the Syrian civil war.

Two men, aged 25 and 23-years-old, and a woman aged 18-years-old, have been returned to the Maldives after being detained by Sri Lankan police on November 4.

The three – all from the same, unnamed, island – travelled to Sri Lanka on one-way tickets and were arrested as a result of a tip off from Maldivian police. They told Sri Lankan authorities that they were travelling to Turkey for medical purposes.

Today’s news is the latest in a series of reports of Maldivians journeying to ISIS-held territories for the purpose of Jihad. Reports of Maldivians being killed while fighting in Syria first emerged in March this year, with the latest reports involving married couples and even a family of four all heading to the Islamic state.

A UN report obtained by the UK’s Guardian newspaper last week, noted that foreign jihadists were now travelling to Syria and Iraq on “an unprecedented scale”.

15,000 people were reported to have travelled to the region from more than 80 countries. Although the report did not name the countries, the Guardian mentioned the Maldives as one of the “unlikely” places from which ISIS supporters have emerged.

The UK government last month said it was aware of ISIS supporters in the Maldives. The leaked UN report noted that more than 500 British citizens had travelled to the region since 2011.

A protest march took place in the Maldives capital, Malé, in September, with around 200 participants bearing the ISIS flag and calling for the implementation of Islamic Shariah in the Maldives.

The surge in support for the ISIS –  the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – has led nations around the world to seek measures to prevent their citizens being recruited to the organisation which is accused of mass atrocities and war crimes by the UN.

Maldivian police told Minivan News today that they were unable to say if, and on what charges, the individuals were to be prosecuted. The President’s Office explained that, while the issue should not be seen as purely Maldivian problem, all Maldivian citizens are bound by the country’s laws, regardless of where they are.

Police today appealed to the public to report any incidences of people going to jihad, assuring that reports will be made confidential and informers protected.

Today’s police statement reported that the woman arrested on Tuesday had married one of her fellow detainees out of court in March this year, when she was aged just 17-years-old.

The Family Court announced in April that it will not register marriages performed by individuals without the court’s involvement, noting that this contravened the Family Act.

Religious extremists in the Maldives have both endorsed and performed such marriages, claiming that even private, out-of-court marriages should be treated as legal as long as the minimum Shariah requirements for marriage are met.

Government ministers have advised Maldivians against travelling abroad for jihad, with Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed saying that those seeking to take part in the conflict must not be punished, but offered rehabilitation and guidance.

Although President Abdulla Yameen has yet to speak publicly on the issue, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon has condemned ISIS for violating the principles of Islam.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party has meanwhile criticised the authorities’ response to the issue, with former President Mohamed Nasheed suggesting that President Yameen could do more to counter the growing threat of extremism.

“President Yameen feels he can deal with the Islamist threat later but first he wants to consolidate power,” Nasheed told the UK’s Independent newspaper in September.

“He has the Islamists with him and he can’t do away with them. He would deny that but I don’t see the government taking any measures against the Isis flag being displayed on the street and all the indoctrination going on.”


34 thoughts on “Police detain Maldivian jihadis caught in Sri Lanka”

  1. The Islamic extremist / Jihadi problems are serious around the world. In Maldives it is especially bad because of its supposedly 100 percent Muslim population. Most of them are undeucated and easily influenced by anyone with a long beard and unclean appearance wearing Arab dress and speaking fiery Arab rehetoric, a language most Maldivians can read and write but not understand its meaning.

    This arrest and return of a few possible recruits is just a drop in the ocean, thanks very much to the efforts of the media to underline the problem and to pressure the Government to appear to do soemthing about it.

    It's difficult to see how effective any anti-jihadi strategy will be in the Maldives when known sympathisers are in positions of influence in the Government, including in the Police and armed forces, Immigration Department, Customs and other areas of the Civil Service. In fact, no one has a clear idea of exactly how many Maldivians are out fighting in the Middle East, Africa and in other conflict areas. What is clear is that a significant number of these recruits have served at some time in the Maldives armed forces, often receiving training from elite forces from India, UK and the USA.

    Devout Muslims who bother to study Islam will understand that the jihadi message coming from Iraq and Syria has nothing to do with Islam. Unfortunately, their voice is drowned by the deafening silence of supposed expert religious moderates who fear or refuse to speak out against the atrocities committed in the name of religion.

    It is easy to mistake sympathy for the genuine plight of the Palestinian people with support for violence in Irag and Syria, and there is not doubt that violence against the Palestinians by Israel adds greatly to the support for violent jihad. As a supporter of the vast number of Israelis who oppose what is being done to the Palestinians in their name, I would add that extremism in not only a problem for Islam, but is alive, well and thriving in Judaism as well.

    President Yameen has little option but to close an eye to the actions of the extremists because he depends upon their support, just as the currewnt Israeli government depends on its own radicals for its survival. However, it should be noted that this problem in the Maldives was in fact exacerbated and made into a dangerous issue by former President Nasheed, who courted the same extremists in his bid to gain power, and was then shunned by them because of his eccentric and frankly lunatic policies thereafter.

    While the Jihadi problem was not as serious an international issue during most of his tenure, President Gayoom was able to skilfully exploit Jihadi Islamist sympathies in order to gain their support while denying them even the slightest opportunity to gain any meaningful power. In this, he was successful because of his credentials as a person knowledgeable in Islam and because of his ability to pursue a path of moderation while preaching a seemingly more religiously extreme image.

    This feat is unlikely to be emulated today, either by him or his less skilled brother, the current President. The international political landscape has changed since then, and the failure of the US to rein in Israeli setllement building or their constant abuses of Palestinians has resulted in a significant hardening of attitudes of even Muslim moderates. This, along with the so-called "War on Terror" by the USA, continues to fuel Jihadi propaganda and ensures a growing supply of justifiably gullible recruits for the growing Jihadi war machine.

    It is unlikely that military force, in the absence of a reduction in violence against the Palestinians, will have much impact in reducing this flood. In fact, the Jihadis are most probably depending on it as much as Usama bin Laden depended on George W Bush to supply him with his footsoldiers not very long ago.

  2. Any jihadis attempting to transit through India should be locked up and not returned to Maldives. I feel so sorry for the poor Syrians and Iraqis. Imagine being overrun by a bunch of short, fat, lowIQ Maldivians turning up uninvited for war!!
    Do not travel to India for any purpose or to any other civilised secular country. Keep your toxic beliefs to yourselves.

  3. Who can we believe? ISIS say they are following exactly what is in Islam, while many Islamic scholars say what ISIS is doing is not Islam. Both parties show evidences to their claims.

  4. miss india,beautifully said.low iq part i like alot,but not the fat short ones.whatever your comments rock.Our freind Hero will be so furious

  5. Anyone who wants to go for Jihad should apply and get approval from Jihad Corporaion, I guess

  6. Humans emerged from Africa 200,000 years ago and have become the most successful species arguably in the whole universe.

    Yet our eventual extinction is closely tied to religion which was purportedly invented to protect us!

  7. I tend to disagree with the @Habeebi commentator.

    The current rise in extremist is a constructed one, ISIS or IS or whatever is a Mossad CIA backed movement has been identified, unfortunately the intelligent Quotient of majority of Muslims being from third world malnourished countries is majorly shifted to the left of the bell curve.

    Largely the movement in support of Palestine is a non violent civil movement. ISIS just diverts the efforts of free Palestine movement. Who do you think benefits from that.

  8. @MissIndia. Maldivian are not afraid of threats from an Indiot like you.

    But these ISIS supporter are being funded by Nasheed for his personal gain .

    Truth of the matter is that Nasheed can play any dirty game but will never be able to become the President of this country but may be the Republic of Kenenreege.

    As for visiting India, one of the filthiest place in the south east asia is India.

  9. @Logal Sumaari kaleyge

    By that logic Justin Beiber is a conspiracy created to divert attention way from Miley Cyrus. Anything can be said to be a CIA conspiracy to divert attention away from something else, but that doesn't make it true. What about the Honk Kong protests? Is that also some sort of diversion? I think your comment is meant to divert attention away from other comments, so obviously you must be CIA.

  10. @Logal Sumaari Kaleyge

    US fought the caliphate since 2005 and don't even allow fighters to leave and join it. Mossad and CIA fear Islamic State because they know it can unite Islam and freed Palestina.

  11. @Kashim: Naah. They'd just enslave/rape the Palestinians too.

    We know what your kind did in Iraq, after all... 😛

  12. @falhu

    It does not divert attention away from the problem in the US ISIS is touted as a major threat to western civilization, and the Jewish lobby touts Israel as a bastion of western civil that is under siege.

    Well it aint no conspiracy when Israel was sheltering and collaborating with ISIS members in it's captured Golan Heights. This was corroborated by a Austrian UN officer stationed there with the UN peace keeping force. These stories would not make it into CNN or BBC.

    Ofcourse don't expect ISIS to be managed play by play, the goal is to attract certain kind of people into the mix, this is were is snow balls


    I don't think the Majority of Musilms agree with how the Islamic state is operating. Killing left and right, rather than trying to consolidate and bring the Muslims and the population of Iraq Syria together they have created more division. They violate the basic rules of war laid down in Islamic in displaying far more barbarity, You could say they are straight out of the Jahilliya, if you know Islamic history you would know who the Khawarij in their early days.

  13. @Kashim

    It is never going to unite anything,but rather it is going to kill more innecent humans.Just because the americans kill,there is a justification to kill from our side as well.A caliphate is crazy philospahy which will never wiork.it never worked before and it will never work

  14. Please, dont come to sri lanka try do do something we will make halal meat of you

  15. @ali
    you are not Muslim then. Caliphate is a command for all Muslim.

    You are a fool to belief this propoganda against the islamic state. This Austrian is a CIA and Austria is US ally.

  16. Police seem to know very much about people who are going on these Jihad Tours! They are also clever to tip off!
    However they are unable to pin who is behind these Jihad Tours!

  17. Miss-India-Agrawal-the-thug should stay away from even being on this site. Leave the peaceful people of Maldives to mind their own business. Maldivians do not want another Rajiv Gandhi again to ready troops in Agra to exercise mopping up operations in the Maldives after directing bunch of terrorists to the Maldives who were taken care of by Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.

  18. @kashim

    You come with proof when you accuse people of such things.You people are living in a fantasy world.IS is not about Muslims or anything,they are just a bunch of blood thirsty thugs who are out there to kill as much humans as possible.An Irqi who is married to be a former prostitute happens to be the Kali fa whom you are following.That bloody maniac loves nothing but killing more shias,of curse apart from wearing gold Rolex watch.We know that there are people like you deceiving the gullible populace of this country promising a short cut to heaven.but im very sure you will not go,but you will encourage others to take that short cut.

  19. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2014/11/pakistani-blasphemer-killed-policeman-201411622226994806.html

  20. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/10/kurdish-voice-from-kobane-battl-201410910315549674.html

    so called kalifate

  21. Type like kashim are not welcomed in any secularcountry ,better make sure you don't board a plane to any secular country

  22. @kashit
    If caliphate is a command for all muslims,then why are there only a handful of people following it? Its none of your business if ali is a muslim or not. You cant make a difference by killing anyone that defies your thinking and it will only enrage the non muslims and make it nearly impossible to live as a muslim in this world.

  23. @ Colombomafia
    We non Muslims in Sri Lanka and India should ensure these islamist morons from Maldives do not transit through our countries or spread their toxic beliefs amongst our youth.
    Let us follow the example of ISIS and Boko Haram and forcibly convert all Maldivian jihadis to Buddhism and Hinduism. In India I propose we also assign them the lowest caste, Dalit.
    Why are we so tolerant of these backward people who have no respect for any other faith?

  24. MIssIndia - Agrawal-the thug. You will still beg for a job in the Maldives - pay pack is fatter,living standard is higher, looked after better. Leave the most beautiful country and people alone.

  25. @kasim
    then abu jundhalees facebook page is the best source of news isnt it.You mean to say that In pakistan they dont kill people aint it.Aljazeera is fabricating stories

  26. @miss india ur biG fat allways Calling maldivians fat while half of the population suffers obasity.

  27. @Kashim - ISIS victims are almost all Muslims. It enslaves them. We've all seen videos of the slave markets.

    Furthermore, ISIS carefully avoids confrontation with Israel, even though its energy pipelines run straight through ISIS-held territory. Name one thing ISIS has done in support of Palestinians.


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