Terror convict Ameen appeals 27-year prison sentence

Mohamed Ameen, Kariyya Villa, Maadhadu, Fuvahmulah City.

A top recruiter for the Islamic State terror group, Mohamed Ameen (Kuriyya Villa, Maadhadu, Fuvahmulah City) – who was sentenced to 27 years in prison last year – has appealed his conviction with the High Court.

Ameen was charged with membership at a terrorist organization and conspiracy to carry out an act of terrorism.

The Criminal Court found Ameen guilty of both charges and sentenced him to 27 years in prison on November 8, 2023.

Ameen filed an appeal with the High Court on February 6. However, the court has yet to make a decision on registering the case.

Ameen was found to have:

  • Recruited and sent Maldivians to fight in the civil conflict in Syria
  • Conspired to recruit Maldivians to fight for the Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) in Afghanistan after Syria conflict ended
  • Sent a Maldivian to Afghanistan to operate as the leader of ISIS-K’s Maldivian cell
  • Operated as the leader of IS in Maldives
  • Propagated a specific religious ideology

Ameen had denied all charges and maintained his innocence throughout the trial.

Ameen was also suspected of involvement in the Sultan’s Park bombing which injured a dozen tourists in 2007. He fled the country after the bombing, prompting an Interpol red notice against him.

He was found in neighboring Sri Lanka and brought to Maldives in 2012 but released by the court after two months of detainment.

US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has Ameen flagged as a senior operative of IS, making him the first Maldivian national to be named on the OFAC’s terror list.

According to the US, Ameen was actively engaged in leading IS recruitment in Maldives. He is also accused of assisting the IS branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan by providing funding, assists and technological support.

He was arrested by Maldivian authorities in 2019 - becoming the first suspect to be arrested and charged under new revisions to the Counter-Terrorism Act.