CDNN :: Islamic terrorism in the Maldives
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by PHILIP SHERWELL and BEN LEAPMAN
MALE, Maldives (1 Oct 2007) -- There were concerns that bombers had deliberately targeted foreign tourists – as Islamic terrorists did on the holiday island of Bali in 2002.
Islamic terrorists struck in the Maldives, a Muslim nation renowned for luxury tourism but plagued by a repressive, authoritarian political regime and festering Jihadist extremism nurtured by Osama Bin Laden's training camps and 854 years of religious intolerance of all non-Islamic faiths.
Despite its reputation as an Indian Ocean paradise, the former British protectorate is no stranger to unrest, riots and attempted coups. But this is the first time that it has been bombed.
"The Maldives has become an increasingly radicalised society in recent years and there was a sense of foreboding that something like this could happen," said a British media consultant who advises the government of the autocratic president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
"This has been threatening to rear its head. Islamic groups have complained that tourists have imported Western values and undermined traditional Islamic culture"...