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Suspected Islamic State Recruiter Arrested In The Maldives

Up to 160 Maldivian militants are believed to be held in Syrian detention camps after Islamic State was defeated in the country. (file photo)

Police in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives have detained a local man who the United States says is a recruiter for the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Muhammad Ameen, 35, was arrested on October 23 on suspicion of spreading an "extremist ideology," Maldivian police said the following day.

He allegedly mobilized fighters for IS in Syria and Afghanistan.

No further details were provided about the suspect although U.S. authorities last month designated him as a foreign terrorist leader of IS-Khorasan, a group that is reportedly active in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Citing local media, AFP reported that Ameen first sent fighters to Syria, but was now focused on recruiting Maldivians for combat in Afghanistan.

He is also suspected of involvement in an explosion at Sultan Park in the capital of Male in September 2007 in which a dozen tourists were hurt with minor injuries.

Up to 160 Maldivian militants are believed to be held in Syrian detention camps after IS was defeated in the country.

The country’s parliamentary speaker and former president, Muhammad Nasheed, said in June that he wants to rehabilitate the imprisoned Maldivians but not without an internationally supervised reintegration program.

The Maldives is a state of 340,000 mostly Sunni Muslims who practice a liberal form of Islam in a nation that relies heavily on luxury tourism for revenue.

Based on reporting by AFP
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