MLM: "Islamic State’s Maldivian Mole Mohamad Ameen"
In a significant turn of events, on October 23 Maldivian security agencies arrested Mohamad Ameen, an Islamist militant recruiter associated with Islamic State (IS). His arrest came around a month after the Presidential Commission on Deaths and Disappearances named him as the leader of an IS-linked group operating in the Maldives. Ameen’s arrest came as a surprise for many in the region, as successive governments in the Maldives had earlier failed to act against a homegrown Islamist-criminal gang nexus and radicalized Maldivians traveling abroad for jihad in Syria and Afghanistan.
A week after his name emerged in the Commission’s September 2019 report, the U.S. Department of Treasury added Ameen’s name to its terrorist list and imposed sanctions on him. The listing noted that he had “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, IS-Khorasan (IS- K).” (U.S. Treasury OFAC, September 10).
Recently, a number of Maldivian fighters and their families surrendered to the Afghan government in the country’s eastern Nangarhar province. This news has reinforced the fact that a robust IS network was in operation in Maldives and that Ameen was at the center of the IS operations in the country (The Sun, November 20). More information about Ameen’s support system and his work for IS in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan is expected to emerge as investigations into IS’s influence in the country continues. It is imperative that the security agencies unravel Ameen’s deep-rooted recruitment network in the troubled island nation.
For Complete Article (Subscription), Read, "ARRESTED: Islamic State’s Maldivian Mole Mohamad Ameen, " Militant Leadership Monitor, (Jamestown Foundation), VOL. XI (11), NOVEMBER 2019.