Monday, October 12, 2009
No danger from Al Qaeda to Maldives – Dr. Shaheed
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ahmed Shaheed has said that Maldives will not face any dangers from terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda owing to Maldives’ announcement to strengthen diplomatic ties with Israel Dr. Shaheed said this responding to a question asked by Miadhu Daily.
Highlighting the points noted in the letter sent by Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) to President Mohamed Nasheed, Dr Shaheed said that it was a “crazy” thought that Al Qaeda would attack Maldives because of its ties with Israel.
“How many people have we invited to Maldives, who were hot terror targets? Kadirmagar was a guest of the government. How many times did he visit Maldives? Kumaaratunga came to Maldives three times. Yaasir Arafat also came to Maldives. We never saw any bomb blasts when they came here. Where would we run back then if such a terror attack happened? American ambassador always visits Maldives. That’s a high target but nothing has happened so far. So we don’t face any such threats just because we have decided to openly conduct diplomatic relations with Israel.” said Dr.Shaheed
Rejecting the false conclusions derived by DQP that we may face attacks due to relations with Israel, Foreign Minister said that from the actions of Al Qaeda, it is clear that they do not attack countries which establish relations with Israel.
Dr Shaheed further said, “We have to first understand just where Al Qaeda is operating. Afghanistan is their base and their presence is wide spread in Pakistan. Then, we hear from news that there are Al Qaeda cells in Irag and that they may travel to Comoros islands. Al Qaeda exists in Indonesia, they may go to Malaysia, Singapore, India and they are making their nest in Bangladesh. There maybe Al Qaeda presence in Sri Lanka and Maldives. But have you heard of any attacks to Israel from these people?”
Further explaining why there won’t be any dangers from terrorists to Maldives, Dr.Shaheed said, “When Al Qaeda attacked Indonesia who did they target? Their first target was Americans and the second target was just Muslims. Among Muslims they target people who do not accept their ideologies. So we can say that Al Qaeda is not attacking Jews or Israel or countries which establish relations with Israel but to Muslims who do not heed to their fundamentalists ideas.”
In the letter sent by DQP to President Nasheed concerning Maldives – Israel ties, Dr. Shaheed’s name also cropped up.
“Speaking truthfully, I have to say that when I was the Foreign Minister in Maumoon’s government, we had much closer ties with Israel than now.”
He further noted that the number of Israeli’s and Jews coming to Maldives has not decreased before or even now and that a number of Jews has even invested in Maldives.
Field visits were carried out to the various units of Forensic Department and different tools used in forensic work were also shown. The units visited were forensic Laboratory, Finger Print and Document and Digital Evidence unit.