Last Updated: Friday, 26 August 2016, 16:36 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Maldives

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 May 2013
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Maldives, 30 May 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/51a86e7e18.html [accessed 28 August 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Overview: Maldives is a strategically located series of atolls in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Since 2010, there has been growing concern about the activities of a small number of local extremists who support violence and their involvement with transnational terrorist groups. There has been particular concern that young Maldivians may be at risk of becoming radicalized and that some are joining violent extremist groups, including those with ties to Laskhar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and al-Qa'ida (AQ).

Recent arrests in Pakistan of Maldivian citizens connected to terrorist groups have heightened the concern over radicalization. The Government of Maldives has been an enthusiastic partner with the United States to strengthen its law enforcement capacity and to conduct community outreach to counter violent extremism.

While Pakistan has been a traditional destination for education, young Maldivians have increasingly sought Islamic education in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Sudan due to perceived physical security risks associated with traveling in Pakistan. Some have expressed concern that students studying in the Gulf countries are bringing home radical ideology.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There were no successful prosecutions of individuals promoting violent extremism and terrorism in 2012, as existing laws severely limited the ability of law enforcement agencies to prosecute such cases.

Maldives became a new partner nation in the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program in 2011, and 2012 programming efforts focused on building capacity in counterterrorism leadership and management, critical target protection, and regional cooperation. The police participated in five ATA courses in 2012.

On December 17, the Maldivian Parliament approved Maldives' accession to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. At year's end, the Attorney General was reviewing the convention, after which the President will ratify it.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Maldives is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a Financial Action Task Force-style regional body, and has submitted annual status reports. The UN 1267/1989 and 1988 consolidated lists for individuals and entities associated with the Taliban and AQ were sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for forwarding to the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), which then instructed banks and creditors to take action and report back within a specified time period.

According to the Government of Maldives, capacity building of relevant supervisory and regulatory authorities (MMA and the Capital Market Development Authority), as well as other law enforcement authorities (Anti-Corruption Commission, Department of Immigration and Emigration, Maldives Customs Service, and Maldives Police Service), and the judiciary is needed in order to properly counter money laundering and terrorist financing. For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.

Regional and International Cooperation: The Maldivian government cooperated closely with Indian security forces, and the Indian military offered regular support in the form of assets and training to Maldivian security forces. The Maldivian government also cooperated closely with the Sri Lankan government.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: The Government of Maldives recognizes that counter-radicalization efforts form a critical component to long-term success against violent extremism and has pursued initiatives in this area. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs implemented a program designed to mobilize religious and social leaders to work against all forms of violence in society, including the religious extremism that can lead to violence. The Ministry conducted over 15 seminars and workshops for religious leaders, educators, and local government officials. Several of these workshops included participants from across the country.

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