World Cup terror suspect released

2011-03-27 13:50

Colombo - Maldives police said on Sunday they had released a man suspected of plotting an attack on the cricket World Cup taking place in South Asia.

Maldivian national Iqbal Mohamed, 42, was arrested on March 10 as he arrived at Male International airport from Pakistan following a tip-off from the international police body Interpol.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Interpol chief Ronald Noble announced the arrest last week, with Malik saying a "serious attempt" at an attack had been foiled.

"He (Mohamed) is no longer in our custody. He was released over the weekend on a court order," police spokesperson Ahmed Shiyam told AFP by telephone from the capital Male.

Shiyam declined to give the reason, but local media reported that a court had refused to extend Mohamed's detention and ordered his release late Friday.

Mohamed fled to Pakistan in 2007 after allegedly being involved in a bomb attack in Male. Maldivian police then sought France-based Interpol's help and issued a red notice for his arrest.

At the time of his arrest, Interpol said their officers based in Sri Lanka's international airport had detected him while scanning passenger lists for terror suspects during the ongoing cricket World Cup.

Police in the three World Cup host countries of Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh have thrown blanket security for the tournament, which ends in Mumbai on April 2.

Read more on:    interpol  |  maldives  |  east africa  |  security
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