Some of those involved in the detonation of an improvised explosive device inside Sultan Park on Saturday in which 12 tourists were injured have confessed during the investigation, Police said today.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Shaheed Hussain Adam Building today, the Assistant Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz said that two of the suspects had fled to another country after the attack but had been brought back to Maldives and were being interrogated. He did not specify which country they had fled to but added that another suspect who had tried to leave the country yesterday had been detained at the airport and was now being interrogated also.
Out of the 12 suspects arrested so far 2 are foreigners, Riyaz said and added that they now had clear understanding of who were involved and how much they were involved. Riyaz said that the perpetrators were now revealing how the attack had gone down.
Riyaz did not reveal which country the two foreigners were from or how many of the suspects had confessed so far.
“Because there are still other suspects we need to bring in for questioning,” he said. He added that they had arrested the foreigners because they had enough evidence to suspect their involvement and were now investigating how much they were involved in the attack.
One of those who were arrested in connection to the Saturday’s attack included a boy under 18 years of age, Riyaz said. He said that there were still others who needed to be interrogated and that the number of people who were involved in the attack would be revealed once the investigation was wrapped up.
Riyaz confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had also agreed to help with the investigation and added that two FBI officials from New Delhi, India, had arrived in Maldives and were now part of the investigative team. He refused to share the evidence they had collected so far, citing complications in the investigation if the information was made public. He also acknowledged the role that the public had played in providing invaluable help during the investigation.
He further said that they were also looking into the possibility that there were any religious or political motives behind the attack.
“The reason for the attack is now clear,” he said. “However, I am not at liberty to make the reasons public at this stage of the investigation.” He also did not specify if those who had been arrested belonged to any group or what kind of work they did.
Riyaz also said that so far there was no indication or reason to suspect that the perpetrators had planned another attack similar to the Saturday one. Riyaz also said that it was not clear yet if it was foreigners or locals who were at behind the attack