Monday, November 22, 2004

Terrorism Goes to Sea

Gal Luft and Anne Korin wrote an article for the Nov/Dec issue of Foreign Affairs Magazine entitled "Terrorism Goes to Sea." They say that terrorists probing for weak links in our security will find them in the pirate-infested waters that much of the worlds oil and gas is shipped through. Some excerpts:

Intelligence agencies estimate that Al Qaeda and its affiliates now own dozens of phantom ships - hijacked vessels that have been repainted and renamed and operate under false documentation.... Security experts have long warned that terrorists might try to ram a ship loaded with explosive cargo, perhaps even a weapon of mass destruction, into a major port or terminal...

Ominously, there have been cases of terrorist pirates hijacking tankers in order to practice steering them through straits and crowded sea-lanes - the maritime equivalent of the Sept. 11 hijackers' training in Florida flight schools. These apparent kamikazes-in-training have questioned crews on how to operate ships but have shown little interest in how to dock them.

Terrorism Goes to Sea [ForeignAffairs.org]

related:
Pirates Stalking the Malacca Strait
Nigerian Pirates: Most Deadly
Piracy on the High Seas
Weekly Piracy Report [iccwbo.org]

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