A TERROR group affiliated to al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for a the explosion that hit a Japanese oil tanker off the coast of Oman a week ago.before.
Abdullah Azzam Brigades is reported to have posted a statement and a photograph on a website used by militants.
“Last Wednesday, after midnight, the martyrdom-seeking hero Ayyub al Taishan blew himself up in the Japanese tanker M.Star in the Strait of Hormuz between the UAE and Oman,” Reuters reported the statement as saying.
The same terror group is thought to be behind attacks at Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt in 2005 and the launching of two rockets against a US warship near Aqaba, Jordan the same year, the news agency reported.
UPDATE: Why do I doubt the AQ story? Well, for one thing, the hull of the tanker is deformed inward, not out as it would be if Ayyub al Taishan had decided to detonate himself as AQ describes, unless, you know, he pushed the self-destruct button after jumping over the side of the ship . . .
UPDATE (6 Aug 10): BBC reports traces of homemade explosives found on hull - indications of a suicide boat, if true:
Hmmm. This ratchets up the threat levels."An examination carried out by specialised teams had confirmed that the tanker had been the subject of a terrorist attack," the news agency said, quoting an unidentified coastguard source.Map of Strait of Hormuz showing location of M Star at time of attack
"UAE explosives experts who collected and examined samples found a dent on the starboard side above the water line and remains of home-made explosives on the hull," it said.
"Probably the tanker had encountered a terrorist attack from a boat loaded with explosives," the source was quoted as saying.