According to local media site Mihaaru, Ali Manik, who was recently captured in a counterterrorism operation undertaken by security personnel in the aftermath of the May bomb incident, was freed by the current government while serving a sentence for extremism.
Ali Manik was detained for extremism in 2007 following a standoff between security forces in AA. Himandhoo, and he was convicted to ten years in prison.
Ali Manik was said to have attempted two prison escapes following his imprisonment. This includes his escape to G.Dh. Thinadhoo in 2009, as well as another attempt to flee while being transported back to the prison. Furthermore, in 2010, he fled to Thilafushi for about a year before being apprehended again.
According to the report, which cites a letter given to the relevant authorities by Legal Counsel to the President Ahmed Abdulla Afeef, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih released Ali Manik under special pardon on May 5, 2019, after reducing his sentence to three days. He still had more than 8 months left on his sentence when he was released.
Ali Manik allegedly trained and recruited several inmates to extremism during his time in prison, and he was also accused of participating in terrorist actions after his release.
Ali Manik was charged with:
2004 – Illegal marriage
2006 – Creating religious schisms among the public
2008 – Himandhoo terror incident
2009 – Noncompliance with orders
2010 – Noncompliance with orders
Since the May IED attack on Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives Police Service and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) have been conducting a huge anti-extremism operation. So far, police have arrested three people in the Greater Male’ Area, all of whom are suspected of being radicals.