Maldives initiates intel audit over May 6 blast

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (Photo/President's Office)

Maldives has initiated an audit into national intelligence mechanisms following the terror attack on May 6 which left Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed severely wounded.

A homemade remote-controlled IED was strapped to motorcycle parked nearby Nasheed’s residence, and was detonated at 08:27 pm on May 6, just as Nasheed, 53, exited his residence and went to get in his car. Nasheed was thrown to the ground and sustained multiple shrapnel wounds, while three members of his security detail and two bystanders sustained minor wounds.

He was rushed to ADK Hospital, where he underwent multiple lifesaving surgeries.

The police are treating the case as a targeted terror attack to assassinate Nasheed.

The attack on Nasheed, who is provided the highest level of security due to the continuous threats against him, has raised questions as to whether the attack took place due to an intelligence failure – from both the police and military.

President’s spokesperson Mabrook Azeez announced on Saturday evening that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has directed a committee led by President’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office to conduct an audit on national intelligence mechanisms in relation to the attack.

“The committee has begun their proceedings and will provide their findings to the President,” he said.

Amid the controversy surrounding lack of intelligence prior to the attack, it was revealed that an assessment by the Special Protection Group had flagged the vehicles parked on the narrow street where Nasheed’s residence is located as a security risk, and had requested to have the street turned into a no-parking zone.  

While both the police and military have stated they received no prior intelligence on the attack, Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb said in a statement on Friday that he received information from a private citizen regarding a USD 3 million contract to assassinate Nasheed prior to the attack, and shared the information with Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi. 

The allegation by Ilyas has led to calls for Mariya’s resignation over her failure to act on the information.

Nasheed underwent 16 hours of surgeries to remove ball bearings and other shrapnel, some of which pierced through his internal organs.

He was airlifted to Germany on Thursday to continuing his rehabilitation and recovery at a military hospital.  

The police have made three arrests in connection to the case: Ahmed Adhuham Rasheed, 26, Hiyaa, GDh. Thinadhoo; Mujaz Ahmed, 21, Ma. Feyruge, K. Male’; and Thahmeen Ahmed, 32, Folheyma, GA. Kondey. Adhuham is believed to be the man who detonated the IED.