Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Al Qaeda oil war?

Some may have missed this.
The Japanese oil tanker damaged in a bomb attack July 28 in the Strait of Hormuz has left a port in the United Arab Emirates after repairs, state-run Emirates News Agency reported, citing an unidentified Coast Guard source.

The M. Star, which had docked about 14 miles (22 kilometers) offshore in the anchorage area at the Port of Fujairah, was the target of a terrorist attack, the news agency, known as WAM, said today.
No question it was an attack. Check out the damage.


The damage report in full, you can download here. This about tells you what you need to know.
Looking at the external damage caused to the vessel post attack (see photographs above) it appears that this occurred mainly above the waterline, although the exact displacement of the ship at the time of the attack is not known. There is a blackening of the immediate damage area which is consistent with a chemical explosion. If there had been a collision, either with a submarine or other vessel, then scraping and gouging should be evident, including paint having been removed to reveal bare steel. Wave damage, either rogue or caused by an earthquake (tsunami), would tend to be manifested as a wall of water or several waves impacting the vessel, which would cause more severe and widespread damage over the ship’s structure.
...
The Al Qaeda leadership has previously called for attacks on oil-related targets as a sure way of affecting US and other Western economies. There have also been frequent threat statements, although these have been primarily related to the GOA. Al Qaeda, who seems the likely mentor and supporter of this attack, is the group with an established pedigree to carry out an attack of this nature, and whose doctrine would advocate any attempt to affect global economies and infrastructure through violent means.
Sal's take: excellent mission planning, poor weaponeering.

They are a learning institution, al Qaeda.

18 comments:

LT B said...

The libtards won't give a $h!t until one gets hit AND spills a lot of oil, thus creating an environmental issue.  Then, the hue and cry wil be deafening.

Aubrey said...

Well, it will be a deafening attempt to charge the company operating the tanker with environmental crimes. "Not only did they spill oil, but by causing "hybrid warriors" to attack them, they are responsible for the release of toxic pollutants resulting from the explosives used. They obviously must be nationalized!"

Byron said...

You know, if I was looking for a way to push the Gulf States, including the home of Wahabbist terror, Saudi Arabia, I'd be hard pressed to think of a better way to get them off the seat about coming down hard on Al Queda than sinking one or three of their tankers.

glab said...

Not to pick an argument but how do you figure that since almost none of the tankers actually belong to the arabs?  And wasn't that strategy followed by both sides during the Tanker War with absolutely no response?

If that was an explosion that dished in the hull plates like that over such an area then it's pretty obvious the crew of assassins failed to have the courage to blow it on contact and pulled the trigger a good 30 feet away.  Limburger pictures and mine strikes show what happens when high explosive actually detonates against the hull without an air gap. Our host could probably find a rich variety of WWII photos showing similar damage from close-in near miss bomb strikes.

sid said...

Can't see it so much in the pic above, but the bursting blast effects radiating away from the point of detonation left a "sunray" pattern on the plating above where the frames are stove in to the main deck.

No doubt someone was aiming for the engine room.

Byron said...

It's not so much who owns the ship, as it is which nation the charter is written on. Even if the Arab (read Sunni) nations don't own the ships or have the charter, then its going to make the end user very nervous about shipping from the PG.

Big ass explosion. That shell plate is easily 5/8 to 3/4 plate, with lots of internal stiffening.  Given that there couldn't have been much in the way of tamping, there must have been a lot of explosives.

ewok40k said...

Ahem, one question - what is our preparation to respond and protect from similar attacks on much grander scale WHEN Iran gets bombed (not IF, because if US doesnt, Israel certainly will)?

Curtis said...

Byron,

The ship is insured.

The cargo is insured.

Dropping megatons of oil into the sea doesn't really cause all that much harm.

Anybody game to refute the previous comment, just cite chapter and verse about the Gulf or the Gulf or where Exxon Valdez or any other VLCC broke up and dumped the full load.

As you said, these losers failed to breach 5/8" plate.  At contact range you could probably do that with about 20 ounces of HE.  And all through the tanker war with the Exocets and bombs and mines and massive oil discharges we wrote off about 80 super tankers of various sizes and ignored it altogether. Those were the ones hit by multiple missiles, bombed, mined and burned. 

not one breathing soul in Arabia or Persia gives a damn.  In Persia I'm sure they all dream at night about letting their enemy's eating fission products.  The arabs nightmare is what follows from that.

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

More haste, less speed..................................................................

洪勳劉耀德劉耀德華 said...

真正仁慈的人,會忘記他們做過的善行,他們全心投入現在的工作,過去的事已被遺忘。.................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。......................................................................

Curtis said...

history proves you wrong on an unfortunately vast scale.  Outside the West, nobody really cares at all.

Southern Air Pirate said...

It is any suprised that this was done? I mean it was something like eight years ago they succeeded against a French flagged tanker, if my faulty memory serves me right. You know what they succeed in doing if a supertanker is heavily damaged enough to either sink or limp into a port? They manage to destroy 85% of the worlds economy. Control the price of oil via terrorism and then they have effectively destroyed not only the US, but Western Europes, and most of Asias economies. Someone is going to ask that something be done. Whether we face another tanker wars situtation like we did in the mid-80's? That would have to be seen.

Casey Tompkins said...

Dude, relax. Take a moment and review Curtis' comment about the Tanker War downstream.

Actually, a modern supertanker is in many way more robust than most current Navy ships.

Casey Tompkins said...

Please read the report. The attackers used home-made explosives. This is a far cry from military-grade weapons such as torpedoes, or the shaped charge used against the USS Cole.

Sal summed it up fairly well: <span>"excellent mission planning, poor weaponeering." For those not paying attention, we took a page from the Israeli's playbook several years ago, and started targeting not just the cadre leaders, but experts such as bomb-builders. That kind of expertise is fairly rare; more so in the Arab world. We've been killing off all the talent, so the enemy is reduced to expedients such as home-made explosives created by amateurs, and delivered by, well, other amateurs. USS Cole: The Sequel this ain't. </span>

ewok40k said...

The problem is when we run into state actors.  Hint: look north of the Hormuz...
I do feel Naval IRG units have much more potent explosives packed on their fast boats, and they have ASMs - maybe not of first grade effectiveness, but against undefended merchant even Silkworm might be deadly.
And this is much more urgent each day as Israelis are running out of time with their opportunity window befor Iran has nukes.

Casey Tompkins said...

Good point. Thing is, when state actors get involved, so do the states. Persia can disavow acts performed by Hamas or Hezbolla, but not their own people.

I repeat: the Mid-East/Southwest Asia terrorists/radicals/activists (pick one) have lost the vast majority of their tech experts. This ship was attacked with home-made explosives made by second-rate builders and launched by second-rate suiciders.

Certainly Persia can start handing out Silkworms, or shaped charges, but if that starts happening questions will be raised. Most of the Sunni Arab countries already have their pants in a twist over Persia's regional goals, and they won't be amused if business is disrupted in the straits, or the gulf. I suspect most of those countries are secretly hoping Israel will trash the Persian nuclear initiative, despite their public rants about the Jewish State.

ewok40k said...

I am assuming Persia will be past using proxies when it gets bombed. BTW, fuel rods are getting inserted into reactors as we chat...