Maldives Fears Foreign Terror Cells as Religious Tensions Rise

October 22, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: AFP


The Maldives has begun a crackdown on Islamic militant groups in an effort to prevent international terror networks from setting up cells here, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom told AFP.

The president said a small minority of the Indian Ocean archipelago's 330,000 Sunni Muslims had begun preaching an extremist form of Islam that could affect the peaceful image of the popular tourist destination.

A bomb attack targeting foreign tourists here last month followed by violent clashes with police and security forces had alerted the country to the "very serious threat of extremism," he said in an interview at his seafront office at the weekend.