Maritime Suicide Attack Plan Thwarted

Algerian authorities have arrested three alleged la-Qaeda terrorists who were reportedly planning on using a vessel loaded with explosive to attack American or European shipping in the Mediterranean.

This follows the pattern of an earlier attack on the Japanese tanker M. Star on July 28, 2010 and the attacks on the French tanker Limburg in 2002 and the Destroyer USS Cole in 2000.

 

Piracy Update, Feb. 20, 2010

It looks like al Shabaab, the Somali branch of al Qaeda, is trying to get a share of the piracy profits. The post also referenced  an interesting discussion of how al Shabaab is financed here.

Lloyds of London may be establishing a fleet of patrol boats to provide escorts through the Gulf of Aden for ships insured under their policies.

Royal Navy frigate HMS Cornwall not only broke up a pirate attack in progress, she took down the Yemeni-flagged dhow being used as a mother-ship, capturing 17 pirates and freeing 5 crewman who had been held hostage for 92 days.

Four Americans aboard the yacht S/V Quest were seized by pirates 240 nautical miles off the coast of Oman.

Group with Links to Al Qaeda Claims M.Star Was Suicide Attack

CNN is reporting that the attack on the Very Large Crude Carrier M. Star, discussed earlier, is now being claimed by a group with links to al Qaeda. Reportedly web sites have a picture of the man who reportedly carried out the attack.

Quoting from the CNN report:

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The group said the attack was intended to “strike an economic blow to the infidels.”

CNN was not immediately able to authenticate the claim.

The group, said to be inspired by al Qaeda, is believed to be behind several attacks in the Middle East, including the October 2004 attack on a hotel and nearby camp sites in Egypt that killed more than three dozen people.

The statement from the Abdullah Azzam Brigades said the attack on the tanker was the “conquest of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman” — a reference to the imprisoned blind cleric who inspired the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York.

“In a blessed episode of our Jihad in the name of God and in order to weaken the global infidel network, a battalion from our Jihadi brethrens managed to carry out an operation in order to strike an economic blow to the infidels,” the statement said.

“After midnight on last Wednesday, the hero, the martyrdom seeker Ayoub Tayshan, blew himself up in the Japanese tanker M. Star in the Strait of Hormuz between the United Arab Emirates and Oman causing damages, that were reported all over the international media outlets. This heroic operation will have a major effect on the global economy and the oil prices.”

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I’m tempted to yawn, but if they keep practicing, they may get better at this. Still it’s hard to keep experienced crews.