Crime Politics Terrorism

No threat of terror attack on tourists, says minister

There is no threat of a terror attack on tourists visiting the Maldives, the tourism minister has said, after the United States cautioned its citizens over travelling to the popular holiday destination.

Moosa Zameer told Mihaaru the Maldives regarded the safety of tourists with the utmost importance, adding there was no information to indicate a potential terrorist attack.

“We will continue to take all possible measures to ensure the security and safety of tourists following this advisory. So far we do not have any reports of a threat to the Maldives. There is no danger to tourists,” Zameer said.

In a travel advisory issued Wednesday, the US State Department said “terrorist groups may conduct attacks with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, market/shopping malls and local government facilities”. It added that “attacks may occur on remote islands which could lengthen the response time”.

In November, two people were charged with planning to carry out a bomb attack in the capital, Malé. The two suspects are alleged to be affiliated with the Islamic State group, according to reports.

The opposition claims as many as 200 Maldivians are fighting in extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. However, the government claims the opposition is inflating the figure to lobby international support for its cause, offering various lower estimates and decrying damage to the economy due to “exaggerated” claims.

In September, the Maldives also downplayed the UK’s caution of a “very likely terror attack”.

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