Home Minister Imran Abdulla said on Monday that the four suspects arrested in connection to the terror attack targeting Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed, along with a number of officers involved in the investigation in the case, are positive for COVID-19, resulting in the investigation progressing at a slower pace than hoped for.
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, 54, 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 to remove ball bearings and other shrapnel, some of which perforated his internal organs.
Police are treating the case as a targeted terror attack to assassinate Nasheed, and have made four arrests in connection to the case: Ahmed Adhuham Rasheed, 26, Hiyaa, GDh. Thinadhoo; Mujaz Ahmed, 21, Ma. Feyruge, K. Male’; Thahmeen Ahmed, 32, Folheyma, GA. Kondey; and Ahmed Fathih, 23, Dhunfiniufaa, L. Gan. Adhuham is believed to be the man who detonated the IED.
Imran, who attended the Parliament for a ministerial questioning session on Monday morning, was asked by Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem whether he is satisfied with the speed of the investigation.
Imran responded that some 450 police officers are involved in the investigation, and noted that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih himself has taken a special interest in the case, forming a committee and appointing a special envoy to monitor the investigation.
Imran said that he is satisfied with the progress of the investigation, but that he is unable to affirm the investigation is progressing at the most appropriate speed.
“Due to the pandemic, all four men arrested have tested positive. And a large number of officers is the team have tested positive. Due to this, it isn’t being carried out to the level we want,” he said.
Imran said that officers have been working tirelessly, investing a large amount of time and hard work in the investigation.
“I am satisfied with how the work is being done. But there’s reasons this is being conducted at the speed we want,” he said.
INVESTIGATION DESIGNED TO IDENTIFY FUNDERS
Responding to more questions regarding the investigation into the May 6 terror attack, Imran said the investigation is organized to identify the people who planned the attack, implemented the attack, and funded the attack – if the attack was found to have been funded.
“The investigation, the line of inquiries is based on investigating and finding out how the whole attack was planned, and the aspects behind its implementation. This is the direction [of the investigation] and progress is being made in that front,” he said.
He declined to go into details citing that it may hinder an ongoing investigation.
His comments come at a time many when have taken to social media to express discontentment over lack of progress in identifying the people who funded the attack. Nasheed’s “fake” Twitter account recently tweeted that authorities weren’t making effort to find the people who funded the attack.