Claims by WAM, the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates, that the Japanese tanker M Star had been attacked by a suicide bombers are being treated with both caution and scepticism. The attackers may have hit the wrong tanker.
M. Star suffered an explosion while passing through international waters near the Strait of Hormuz at midnight on Wednesday 28 July 2010, injuring one seafarer.
Says the WAM report: “A responsible source at the UAE Coast Guard said that investigations and an examination carried out by specialised teams had confirmed that the tanker had been the subject of a terrorist attack.
”The source said: ”After the tanker had anchored 12 nautical miles off the Port of Fujairah, 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……..Probably the tanker had encountered a terrorist attack from a boat loaded with explosives".
Allegedly, traces of home-made explosives were found on the hull and it is assumed that it was carried aboard a small boat.
US military officials, however, couldn’t confirm the UAE’s findings, and want to see more evidence. It’s own investigation, so far, has produced no evidence of explosives.
Earlier an organisation claiming links to Al Quaida, Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attack and released a photograph of what it claims is the bomber whose is pointing at a laptop with a picture of a tanker on the screen.
The photograph is actually the Sirius Star, hijacked off Somalia last year.
Bob's current work, Maritime Accident Casebook, draws episodes from investigations around the world to explore in a informal, entertaining and accessible way how and why such incidents happen and how they might be avoided. Each casefile consists of an audio podcast, accompanied by a transcript with illustrations and links to further information. Except where otherwise indicated, opinions and recommendations are those of the author.
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