October 8, 2002
TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY:Craft 'rammed' Yemen oil tanker (BBC, 6 October, 2002)
The owners of a French oil tanker on fire off the coast of Yemen say they believe it was rammed by a smaller boat, before exploding into flames.
A junior officer saw a craft approaching the Limburg. He was of the opinion that we touched that craft and then there was an explosion
Tanker company MD Peter Raes A junior officer on board the Limburg reported seeing a small craft "fast approaching" the tanker in the port of Ash Shihr, at Mukallah, 570 kilometres (353 miles) east of Aden, and believes the two vessels touched before an explosion occurred.
It takes a string of "ifs", but if this was done by al Qaeda and if the al Jazeera broadcast yesterday was a genuine message from al Qaeda, with its threat to "target your economic lifeline", then it would appear that they are in fact now targeting the oil supply and striking in Arab countries. One would think this could be a fruitful strategy for them since it's a target rich environment where their operatives will blend in better than here. Of course, the tanker fire could just be an accident and the broadcast a hoax.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 8, 2002 7:54 AM