Terrorist Attack Claim Backed by Tanker's Data Recorder

By MarEx 2010-08-19 00:00:00

Radar images captured by the data recorder on the Japanese oil tanker damaged in the Strait of Hormuz last month show a small boat near the tanker moving in a suspicious manner.

Images of the boat were captured by the voyage data recorder (VDR) of the M STAR. The images support the theory that the tanker, which was damaged in a blast on July 28 after leaving Al Ruwais for Tokyo, was attacked by terrorists.

Earlier this month the UAE said the blast was a terrorist attack, probably caused when a speedboat rammed into the ship. Investigators have found evidence of homemade explosives on the tanker’s hull.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Tokyo is leading the investigation of the Japanese owned M STAR. The agency is expected to make their findings public once the investigation is complete.

The blast left a large dent on the side of the ship, blew out windows and caused a door to buckle. One of the 31 crew members suffered injuries.

A group calling itself the Abdullah Azzam Brigades has claimed responsibility for the blast in a statement posted on a militant web site. The group also claims that one of its members died in the attack.

The Strait of Hormuz is a vital passageway for tankers, and if the attack is proved to have been carried out by militants, the assault on the M Star would be the first terror attack in this area.