US warns ships of attacks off Yemen

US says al-Qaeda seeking maritime attacks in Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

    The US naval office said attacks may be similar in nature to that on the USS Cole in October 2000 [EPA]
     

    Yemen, at the forefront of Western security concerns since a failed December attack on a US-bound plane, boosted security on its coast earlier this year to prevent fighters reaching its shores from nearby Somalia to reinforce al-Qaeda in Yemen.

    Al-Qaeda's Yemen-based arm claimed responsibility for the failed December plane attempt.

    'Sophisticated attacks'

    Western allies and neighbouring oil exporter Saudi Arabia fear al-Qaeda is exploiting instability on several fronts in impoverished Yemen to recruit and train fighters for attacks in the region and beyond.

    The transportation department statement said more sophisticated methods of attack by al-Qaeda in the waters near Yemen could include missiles or projectiles.

    "All vessels transiting the waters in the vicinity of Yemen are urged to operate at a heightened state of readiness," the statement said, adding that vessels were at greater risk in areas of limited manoeuvrability or while anchored or at port.

    The US navy warship USS Cole was hit by a suicide attack in the Yemeni port of Aden in 2000 leaving 17 navy personnel dead and 39 wounded. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Two years later an al-Qaeda attack damaged the French supertanker Limburg in the Gulf of Aden.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.