Sunday, September 28, 2008

Iranian Ship Suspected of Carrying WMD

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This is disturbing but not unexpected:

A tense standoff is underway in northeastern Somalia between pirates, Somali authorities, and Iran over a suspicious merchant vessel and its mysterious cargo. Hijacked late last month in the Gulf of Aden, the MV Iran Deyanat remains moored offshore in Somali waters and inaccessible for inspection. Its declared cargo consists of minerals and industrial products, however, Somali and regional officials directly involved in the negotiations over the ship and who spoke to The Long War Journal are convinced that it was heading to Eritrea to deliver small arms and chemical weapons to Somalia's Islamist insurgents.

...The MV Iran Deyanat was brought to Eyl, a sleepy fishing village in northeastern Somalia, and was secured by a larger gang of pirates - 50 onboard and 50 onshore. Within days, pirates who had boarded the ship developed strange health complications, skin burns and loss of hair. Independent sources tell The Long War Journal that a number of pirates have also died. "Yes, some of them have died. I do not know exactly how many but the information that I am getting is that some of them have died," Andrew Mwangura, Director of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Program, said Friday when reached by phone in Mombasa.

News about the illness and the toxic cargo quickly reached Garowe, seat of the government for the autonomous region of Puntland. Angered over the wave of piracy and suspicious about the Iranian ship, authorities dispatched a delegation led by Minister of Minerals and Oil Hassan Allore Osman to investigate the situation on September 4. Osman also confirmed to The Long War Journal that during the six days he negotiated with the pirates members of the syndicate had become sick and died. "That ship is unusual," he said. "It is not carrying a normal shipment."

This will not be covered by the MSM but it's clear that the Iranians have been caught shipping either biological, radiological or chemical weapons to Eritrea and that those weapons were to be used in Somalia. Iranian influence is ever-expanding in the region and this ups the ante considerably as the introduction of chemical weapons in that region of Africa, whether it be in the Sudan or Somalia could trigger a wider conflict involving Ethiopia and others. Perhaps that is the Iranian aim here.

While the feckless IAEA led by Mohammed el-Barradei continues to investigate Iran in a Clouseau-like manner, Ahmadinejad continues to spread his virulent strain of jihad to any nation he can. The time for military engagement with Iran by either the US or Israel is coming sooner rather than later (click the link for John Bolton's estimation of the timeframe), to continue to ignore the 800-pound elephant will be to the detriment of us and our allies.

The Long War Journal is a must-read for those following developments in the Mideast and eastern Africa as well as the overall War on Terror. They cover the nuts and bolts of what is really occurring in the region on a daily basis. Please consider dropping a little something in their tip jar.

Via LGF.

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