Remand of terror suspect arrested from Hulhumale’ extended by 9 days

Security services maintain security in the streets of Male' City on May 13, 2021. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

Criminal Court has granted a nine-day extension to the remand of a suspect arrested from suburban Hulhumale’ in a police crackdown on violent extremism back in May.

Mohamed Zoomaal Zareer, 29, was arrested by police on May 25.

He is suspected of engaging in terrorist activities. Criminal Court initially ordered him to be remanded in custody for 15 days.

When presented before the Criminal Court for his remand hearing on July 10, the court granted police a nine-day extension to his remand period, citing sufficient evidence to establish a basis for the suspicions against him, and threat to the community.

While the police have not disclosed the specific case in connection to which Zoomaal was arrested, he is one of multiple suspects arrested by police in a crackdown on violent extremism across Maldives in the wake of the IED attack outside the residence of Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed on May 6.

Police suspect Zoomaal of conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack which could threaten national security.

Police presented an intel report as evidence against Zoomaal at his previous remand hearing. They also seized electronic devices in his possession, and said they were extracting data from the devices.

Police also suspect Zoomaal of supporting a terrorist organization, involvement in recruiting and sending locals overseas for ‘jihad’, holding separate congregational prayers, holding classes to propagate violent extremist ideologies and engaging in efforts to destroy religious unity.

Zoomaal denies the allegations against him.