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Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Maritime Terrorism in Southeast Asia: Potential Scenarios" : an analysis from The Jamestown Foundation

Found here, Maritime Terrorism in Southeast Asia: Potential Scenarios, a very good analysis of the risks in the Strait of Malacca (and other straits or narrows, when you think about it) by Catherine Zara Raymond:
In Southeast Asia, home to one of the world's most strategic sea lanes—the Straits of Malacca, and the world's second largest port, Singapore—the vulnerability of the maritime sector is of great concern. As a result, over the last few years various scenarios of how terrorists might carry out an attack in the maritime domain have been put forward by the media and academics alike. Many of these potential scenarios are extremely unlikely due to their complicated nature and their sheer impracticability. Nevertheless, a great number of these scenarios have remained unchallenged due to a lack of knowledge of the geography of the region, local shipping patterns and the nature of the commercial shipping industry in general. This has led to a misunderstanding of the threat posed by maritime terrorism.
Ms. Raymond sets out various scenarios ranging from "sinking a ship in the Strait" (she agrees with my previous anaylsis that the Strait of Malacca would most likely not be closed by such a sinking) to mining the Strait (hey, aren't mines always the most underrated risk in nearly any scenario? Ms. Raymond points out the show stopping effect of mining...)to a sea-launched SAM attack on commercial aircraft...

Read the whole thing.

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