Middle EastOperationsPiracy

Was Teekay LNG carrier attack a failed suicide bomb plot?

Was the attack on a Teekay LNG carrier off Yemen last week an attempted suicide attack? Initial reports of an RPG attack on the Galicia Spirit were incorrect and now Teekay, along with contracted security partners, are saying the skiff that approached the gas carrier and fired small arms at it was also containing a “substantial amount of explosives”. Security experts are now warning ships transiting the Bab al-Mandab waterway at the entrance of the Red Sea to be on heightened alert.

“While the intentions of the attackers and the use of the explosives is unknown, the investigation findings indicate that the explosives would have been sufficient to have caused significant damage to the vessel,” Teekay said in a statement yesterday.

Sixteen years ago, a suicide bombing incident orchestrated by al Qaeda in Yemen’s Aden port killed 17 seafarers on the USS Cole warship. In 2002, another al Qaeda attack blasted the hull of the French VLCC Limburg in the Gulf of Aden.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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