The Saudi king’s official visit was cancelled over fears that terror cells set up by a Yemeni man in the Maldives could pose a threat to King Salman and his delegation, the Asian News International has reported.
Contrary to the government’s claim that the visit was postponed due to a flu outbreak, “sources in the Maldives security establishment” told ANI that serious concerns about a possible terror threat led to the cancellation.
According to ANI, the Yemeni national, Yasir Yahya, was arrested on a terror charge based on intelligence provided by Saudi agencies. He was suspected of recruiting Maldivians for militant groups and deported to Saudi Arabia.
“The advance security team comprising of Saudi military officers, who had arrived in Malé weeks before the King’s arrival in the country is said to have expressed serious doubts about the security arrangements and cover being provided by the host government, especially in the face of the imminent terror threat in the country,” ANI reported.
The police spokeswoman dismissed the ANI report as patently false.
She confirmed that a Yemeni national was arrested and handed over to the immigration department, but declined to provide any further information.
Home Minister Azleen Ahmed also told Raajje TV today that there was no connection between Yahya’s arrest and the postponement of the king’s visit, accusing foreign media outlets of trying to “muddy” the situation in the Maldives.
He insisted that the flu outbreak was the sole reason behind the decision.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent