Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jihadist Threats to "Tankers"

Jihadi target?
Shiptalk and a number of other maritime security sites have noted a reported threat by unspecified jihadist groups to attack "martime targets" or "oil tankers" somewhere along the tanker paths from the "Arabian Peninsula" to the "Horn of Africa." See, e.g. "Targeting Tankers, Targeting Tankers, Tanker Threat. The link to the source of this report is not present on any of those sites,but I believe it to be SITEIntel, a subscription based jihadist monitoring company. My belief is based, entirely, on a Google search that led me to this summary from a subscription based site:
6 days ago – A jihadist called for attacks on oil tankers, particularly those in waters around the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, and gave ...
While I am fascinated by the report, I don't have enough couch change to pump for the fees required to look into it.

Damaged tanker Limburg
What I do know is that such threats have been around for some time and that various al Qaeda or other groups have attacked ships in the past: USS Cole on October 12, 2000; the tanker Limburg on October 6, 2002; the tanker M-Star on 27 July 2010; and the thwarted attack on a cruise ship off Turkey in 2005. Then there are the Philippine ferry attacks and the handiwork of the now silent (but not dead yet) Sri Lankan LTTE terrorists.

USS Cole damage
Such threats have long been blogged about on this site, including this 2007 post, "Al Qaeda's Maritime Threat" an essay by Akiva Lorenz of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism, this 2008 post Al Qaeda Calling for Chokepoint Terrorism.

There have also been a number of news reports raising this issue over the years.

In short, there is a threat.

There has long been a threat.

Maritime security remains important.

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