NEW DELHI: After its near successful hijack bid of PNS Zulfiqar- a missile-equipped warship of Pakistan at Karachi dockyard last month, terrorist outfit al-Qaeda, in the latest issue of its online propaganda magazine, has revealed terror plot for attack on oil shipments passing through Strait of Hormuz and other key choke points in Turkish straits.
Most of the oil shipments passing through the Straits of Hormuz are bound for Japan, India and China. The al-Qaeda plot, as it appears from its deep infiltration in Pakistan Navy, is to hijack the Pakistani warships and use it against the ships carrying oil to Asian and Western countries.
After al-Qaeda’s failed bid to hijack Zulfiqar, Pak security agencies had arrested 17 serving and retired Pakistan Navy personnel who aided the terrorist outfit to launch its dreaded mission. The vunerable point for West-bound ships, al-Qaeda says, would be West-bound Bab-el-Mandeb, which is located between the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia) and the Middle East (Yemen).
Mandeb connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. It also calls for attack in Malacca Straits, saying the route links the economies of the Persian Gulf region and India with China, Japan, Indonesia and the Pacific Rim.
The al-Qaeda’s magazine ‘Resurgence’ talks about several vulnerable points in the Strait of Hormuz, which it says transports 17 million barrels of oil on a daily basis. The 117-page magazine quoting the official figures and maps, allegedly downloaded from various government websites and data borrowed from the US Department of Energy, points out that critical sea lanes provide strategic opportunity for the Mujahideen to launch attacks.
The global terror outfit in its analysis suggested that at least 18 US Air Force and Naval bases in the Muslim world were a serious cause of concern and it required a multi-pronged strategy - attacking not only the US Army presence in the Muslim world, but also targeting the energy supply line. The al-Qaeda magazine also said the attacks on West-bound oil shipments in the chokepoints situated in the Muslim world were of immense importance.
The main objective of the al-Qaeda was to create crisis and chaos in the international energy market, by attacking super tankers with the help of Jihadi elements in Pakistan’s Navy.