"DTG 111036Z MAR 05 - SPECIAL WARNING NUMBER 122. EAST AFRICA.
AS OF EARLY 2005, THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT HAS RECEIVED
UNCONFIRMED INFORMATION THAT TERRORISTS MAY ATTEMPT TO MOUNT A
MARITIME ATTACK USING SPEEDBOATS AGAINST A WESTERN SHIP POSSIBLY IN
EAST AFRICA. THIS INFORMATION IS UNCONFIRMED AND THE UNITED STATES
IS NOT AWARE OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE PLANNING, TIMING, OR
INTENDED TARGETS OF THE MARITIME ATTACK."
The State Department message was coordinated with other U.S.
maritime and intelligence agencies. Although no further details
are available that suggests an attack is imminent, the warning is
NOT based on recent reports of action against yachts in the Gulf
of Aden, and should not be confused with continued threats to the
safety of small craft in those waters
also this on the Malacca situation:
2. STRAIT OF MALACCA, KIDNAP AND RANSOM INCIDENTS:
Between 28 Feb and 14 Mar, there have been three serious incidents involving crew kidnapping for ransom in the Strait of Malacca.
Heavily armed pirates boarded ships and seized the master and one or two senior crew and took them ashore. Pirates have not stolen any property and their sole aim has been to kidnap the crew. Local media indicates Malaysian authorities believe these three incidents to be the work of the same pirates. Indonesia tends toward blanket condemnation of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) for most incidents in the northern Strait, and a GAM spokesman felt it necessary to deny involvement in the latest incident on 16 Mar.
ONI NOTE: Malaysia and Indonesia continue efforts to improve
safety in the Strait of Malacca. Malaysia recently announced they
will start 24 hour radar surveillance of the Strait (see 14 Mar
WWTTS) as well as considering adopting Britain's maritime counter-terrorism and pre-emptive intelligence tactics to help check threats to maritime security (12 Mar WWTTS). Japan has agreed to provide Indonesia a high speed patrol boat to help crack down on pirate activity. Indonesia and Malaysia continue to cooperate by
launching joint operations to locate pirates and kidnapped crew,
despite recent tension between the two countries over an ongoing
territorial dispute in the oil rich waters of the Sulawesi Sea,
just east of Borneo. The last incident, an attack on the Japanese
tug (IDATEN) is somewhat unusual in that it is the first in which
the kidnapped crew have not been local mariners. Regardless of
whether the case represents GAM involvement, the fact that
Japanese mariners have been kidnapped has instantly given this
hijacking far more prominence than any of the previous ones and
will increase pressure on Malaysia and Indonesia to accept outside assistance, with the perceived risks to their sovereignty.
See my posts on this possibility addressed by the warning message above here and here
Udpdate2: The Horn of Africa