US fears repeat of USS Cole suicide attack

2012-07-16 23:14

Dubai - An Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded on Monday when a US navy ship fired at their small boat off Dubai in the tense waters of the southern Gulf, officials said.

US defence officials said the motorboat had ignored warnings not to approach the refuelling ship USNS Rappahannock, and that sailors on board the American vessel feared it could pose a threat.

"Since 2000, we've been very concerned about small boats," a defence official in Washington told AFP, referring to the year of a deadly suicide bomb attack against the destroyer USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.

A United Arab Emirates official said one fisherman was killed and three other Indians were wounded.

"The services concerned are now investigating this incident," foreign ministry official Tareq Amed al-Hidan said, quoted by state news agency WAM.

A statement from the US Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain and on alert for possible Iranian action in Gulf waters, said the crew had opened fire as a last resort.

"An embarked security team aboard a US navy vessel fired upon a small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the US ship near Jebel Ali," it said, referring to an Emirati port city.

"The USNS Rappahannock used a series of non-lethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel before resorting to lethal force," it said.

"The US crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's operators to turn away from their deliberate approach," it added.

"When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-calibre machine gun."

Provocative act

According to AP, the boat appeared to be a civilian vessel about 9m long and powered by three outboard motors. It had no obvious military markings.

The boats are used for fishing in the region, though Iran's Revolutionary Guard also employs relatively small, fast-moving craft in the Gulf.

US military vessels routinely cross paths with Iranian ships in international waters in the Gulf without incident, but speed boats from Iran's Revolutionary Guard have passed close to US ships in incidents that have raised alarm in Washington.

In early 2008, then President Bush accused Iran of a "provocative act" after five small Iranian craft buzzed around the destroyer USS Hopper.

Theodore Karasik, a security expert at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, did not rule out Iranian involvement.

"There are certain factions within the Iranian political universe who are seeking a fight. And this is one way in which to do it," he said.

Karasik noted there have been no known attacks so close to Jebel Ali, which is seen as a secure port in the region.

He suggested that the attack might have been a way for Iranian forces to test US defences, though he acknowledged it was too early to know for sure.

Beefing up forces

The US navy has been building up its forces in the oil-rich region amid mounting tensions with Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, AFP reported

Tehran has warned it could close the Strait of Hormuz in the southern Gulf if international sanctions begin to bite, potentially disrupting shipping and world oil supplies through the strategic waterway.

Washington has deployed two aircraft carriers to the region - the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Enterprise - and doubled its minesweeper fleet in the area from four to eight ships on 23 June.

And on Monday, the Pentagon confirmed that it had brought forward the deployment off a third strike group, led by the carrier USS John-Stennis, by four months in order to further bolster its presence.

The deployment aims to warn off Iran over its threats to mine the narrow strait through which about a fifth of the world's traded oil passes.

In October 2000, 17 US sailors were killed when militants in an explosives-laden skiff blew a 10m-by-10-m hole in the USS Cole in Aden.

Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack.

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-07-17 00:30

    USA intelligence agencies, recon, satellites, money, power and the most sophisticated technology on earth and they can't tell the difference between a fishing vessel and an imminent threat? Credibility in a lucky packet - just add politicians.

      rlong1952 - 2012-07-17 01:54

      So you were there? Don't judge them if you weren't in the situation. Bet you would have done the same.

      stephen.decampos - 2012-07-17 06:09

      The problem isn't America.... It's that certain 'armies' fight like cowards, dressing like civilians, and employing suicidal tactics. As a result,civilians get hurt... If you want to fight a war, put on a uniform, and fight it like a man, and these issues wouldn't happen.

      imtiaz.osman.5 - 2012-07-17 06:53

      Americans fight like men when they use drones to attack civillians. and then they say it collateral damage.

      merven.halo - 2012-07-17 07:04

      @Hugh, what and idiotic comment. The boat that exploded against the USS Cole was also a 'innocent fishing trailer'. @imtiaz.osman.5 - another idiot. The enemy hides between civilians, the same as in Palestine. Thanks to the US there are 80 less dangerous terrorists leaders.

      afrikeni - 2012-07-17 07:19

      @ marven, when at war u play to yo enemy's inconvenience or weakness, not to say its moral or not.Straight war with US, they will be toast so they do dirty stuff.

      rayaaz.ismail - 2012-07-17 07:39

      This is what one man does to an entire nation,haha bim laden turned them into a bunch of paranoid yanks

      merven.halo - 2012-07-17 07:49

      True afrikeni, but then people must not complain when their county men get killed.

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-07-17 07:49

      Americans where worried this boat was going to off load a stuffed tinny fish.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-07-18 22:12

      Esqueeze me, but the USA and it's patriots are the first to yell HOOHAA! and brag about their mighty intelligence agencies, military power etc, and here they messed up, taking out a civilian target - yet you sheep give me thumbs down for a bottom line fact? F the USA and F Islam too. You can all take your "mighty" mush and shove off. Pack your arrogance in your little narrow mind bags and kiss my own thumbs up retards.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-07-18 22:15

      Saffa - you missed the point, and you weren't there either so here's a nice luke Warm cup of go F yourself.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-07-18 22:17

      Merven - to use Saffa's excuse for a retort - "were YOU there?" No? Don't take my comment out of context then. They F'd up, and you guys are excusing them like a bunch of sheep. F you.

  • silindile.mabaso.9 - 2012-07-17 02:33

    This poor guy, just innocently fishing and ends up being shot to death by overly paranoid Americans. What gives them the right to just shoot at unarmed civilians!? And now they're explaining away his death like its acceptable and logical. Sies.

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-07-17 03:45

      Do you even know what happened on board the USS COLE? Thank God I do not have you in charge of my safety

      stephen.decampos - 2012-07-17 06:12

      It's much more logical the racing towards a warship in a speedboat!

      merven.halo - 2012-07-17 07:05

      If they were just innocently fishing, why didn't the stopped when warned?

      charlie.tshangana - 2012-07-17 07:33

      But they were warned!!! I think the Navy's response is justifiable

      Koos - 2012-07-17 08:08

      "As jy nie wil hoor nie moet jy maar voel." springs to mind.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-07-18 22:19

      F'ing yank mentality. I can't believe the support they still have in SA. Idiots. I'm no "infidel" or anything, but seriously, does US patriotism really go from hollywood to the minds of men in other countries? Jaaisus.

  • silindile.mabaso.9 - 2012-07-17 02:35

    This poor guy, just innocently fishing and ends up being shot to death by overly paranoid Americans. What gives them the right to just shoot at unarmed civilians!? And now they're explaining away his death like its acceptable and logical. Sies.

      mundu.olewega - 2012-07-17 04:20

      Fishing se moer. They caught more than they expected. Bet they won't try that again.

  • mike.mcc.71 - 2012-07-17 06:16

    I can't say I am surprised, these fisherman have absolutely no regard for any form of maritime law. They regularly drive their boats underneath the oil platforms inspite of numerous warnings about the dangers that this poses to the platform and themselves. Not even pursuit by other vessels keeps them away as these boats are fast and very agile, they simply reposition where the larger vessels cannot follow them. Spray from water cannons provides a temporary solution as they simply return once the water cannon is left unattended. If you are too stupid to learn then you must feel!

  • snotty.dotty.9 - 2012-07-17 06:48

    what was this boat doing in these waters.?if they were Indian they should fish in their waters and not in the ARABIAN GULF In spite of warning to move out they continued to come closer to the army vessel.The Americans are patroling the shores of these Arab countries to protect them from attacks.Right now the UAE is investigation an international group who are threatening an attack on social security of the country so it's the army's job now to watch out for any intruders who don't take warnings seriously.Its not the paranoid Americans its the Arabs who are nervous Imagine an terrorist attack on Dubai where millions of tourists are present every day !!!UAE has to take extra specail care to foreign boats in their waters as there is lots of tension in the gulf right now.........

      mike.mcc.71 - 2012-07-17 08:45

      The UAE is innundated with people from all over the world. These Indian fishermen were no doubt from Dubai or another part of the UAE and most likely went to sea from Jebel Ali port so I doubt that they were in the area illegally. That said, you have to be really thick to set yourself on a collision course with a naval vessel of any kind.

  • imtiaz.osman.5 - 2012-07-17 06:56

    US fifth fleet is in bahrain why they don't help the bahraini people get democracy. They only worried about iran an syria. Very selective

      merven.halo - 2012-07-17 07:08

      Because Bahrain don't hide the terrorists that plan attacks on the US. Where must the US get money to help every little country that can not help themselves?

      imtiaz.osman.5 - 2012-07-17 07:55

      Marven do u know the meaning of terrorist? \r\nSo u are saying bahrain royals are not terrorizing their citizens. The truth is america is helping themselves under the disguise of democracy

      imtiaz.osman.5 - 2012-07-17 08:08

      Continued... They only want oil and the uasge of their currency by oil exporting countries otherwise these countries become terrorist countries and get bombed.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-17 08:53

      Bahrain in March setup a framework for democratic reforms ect, the country is in a very different position . If you support democratic movement in Bahrain then it should be the same in Syria , the Bahraini peaceful transition is far more optomistic. Kososvo has no oil , so don't use oil and the dollar as base currency as motivation . The only people that benefit from conflict in oil prod countries are the other oil producing nations. End of the day if there is no 'west' to sell it too then the value is not very high (eco 101).

      merven.halo - 2012-07-17 10:30

      @imtiaz, go and read: The Art of War by Sun Tzu, then you'll understand the war and the oil question better.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-17 13:26

      @Ninja Your are gullible and ignorant if you think there's anything peaceful about the Bahrain uprising. It is not being reported on by your media darlings because Bahrain is a friend of the empire and a guarantor of the petro-dollar, just like Saudi Arabia. There will be no democracy in Bahrain, with a Shia majority, and you know this or is truly ignorant.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-17 14:14

      Don't worry Ninja, Whatever Professor Fidel says, the truth, is ALWAYS the opposite!!!

      imtiaz.osman.5 - 2012-07-17 17:58

      Anthony actually what fidel says its the truth. Where u get your information from your advice will work there

  • kyle.buitendag - 2012-07-17 07:56

    should have hit them with an RPG ..........

  • komorison - 2012-07-17 09:02

    Building up to another false flag incident.

  • ari.potah - 2012-07-17 09:10

    The USS Cole was a false flag operation engineered by the Israelis. The former CIA agent, John O’Neill who worked with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York and New Jersey stated that the USS Cole was hit by a specially-configured Popeye cruise missile launched from an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine. Israeli tests of the missile in May 2000 in the waters off Sri Lanka demonstrated it could hit a target 930 miles away. The ex-CIA agent also stated that Ambassador Bodine threw John O’Neill and his team out of Yemen lest their investigation began uncovering evidence that the Cole was not blown up by an explosive-laden boat but by an Israeli cruise missile. The former CIA agent said the reason for the Israeli attack was to further galvanize U.S. public opinion against both Al Qaeda and the Democrats in the weeks prior to the 2000 presidential elections.

  • Noedig Greene - 2012-07-17 09:32

    SADF under the National Party rule always hit the wrong house i know how it feels wen u r not even interested in politics, poor fishermen. Years back de US warship shot down an Air Iran plane carrying 110 passenger mistaken 4 a fighter jet, the ship captain got a hero's welcome back home.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-17 10:43

      That is how sick and despicable the Americans are. Poor captain never felt comfortable with this award and retired from the navy.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-07-17 10:47

    Americans love killing...too much! The United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.

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