Friday, August 6, 2010

Japanese Tanker Attacked

It's almost official - the tanker was hit by a dinghy filled with explosives, according to the UAE. Some American analysts aren't convinced yet. An Al-Qa'eda group - the Abdullah Azzam Brigades - has claimed responsibility. This is bad news. This is the first time a tanker has been attacked in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Apparently it happened when the tanker entered the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait of Hormuz is the little area between the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman (next to the Indian Ocean). One side is Iran, the other side is UAE/Oman.

Why is this so bad? Because Iran was not involved in the attack. And the US State Dept considers Oman the safest country in the Middle East. So is this a UAE-based group? Or part of a Saudi group, which is nearby? Al-Qa'eda has a big presence in Yemen now, and attacks there are not unexpected. Apparently the Abdullah Azzam Brigades has claimed responsibility for other attacks over the last few years too. So are they the new kid on the terrorist block?

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