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Al-Qaeda-Linked Group Claims Suicide Attack on Mitsui Tanker

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.'s oil tanker
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.'s oil tanker "M.Star" at the Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates on July 29, 2010. Photographer: Arif Sharif/Bloomberg

Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The Brigades of Abdullah Azzam, a militant jihadist group, said one of its members carried out a suicide bomb attack on a Mitsui O.S.K. oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz last week, according to Site Intelligence Group.

The group, linked to al-Qaeda, said that Ayyub al-Taishan bombed the ship, and posted a photograph of him posing with a tanker pictured on a screen behind him, according to the website of Maryland-based Site, which monitors terrorism-related activities.

A United Arab Emirates official said on July 29 that the Japanese oil tanker was damaged by a collision, contradicting an earlier report that it was hit by a wave after an earthquake. Moosa Murad, director of the Port of Fujairah, said the cause of the damage wasn’t clear and may have been a mine or a submarine. The Strait is the main transit point for tankers hauling oil from producers including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and Kuwait.

The M. Star supertanker suffered a 60-centimeter (24-inch) breach under one of its lifeboats and had no “ingress” of water, according to a report filed by tanker Captain Mathew Manoj to the Fujairah harbor master.

Mitsui O.S.K. is currently investigating the cause of the explosion, spokeswoman Kazumi Nakamura said by telephone today in Tokyo. She declined to comment on the reason for the incident or possible scenarios the shipping line is considering.

To contact the reporter on this story: Camilla Hall in Abu Dhabi at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at;

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