US warns ships of possible Al-Qaeda attack

The United States’ Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) warned on its website that ships sailing off Yemen‘s Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts run the risk of Al-Qaeda attacks similar to the suicide bombing of the US warship USS Cole in 2000 that left 17 US sailors dead.

“Al-Qaeda remained interested in maritime attacks” along Yemen’s coast, especially in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab Strait and the Gulf of Aden region, the special advisory notice stated.

It was unclear how, where and when the attack could take place, the report read, adding that it “may be similar in nature” to the attack against the USS Cole in 2000, but it could also be a “more sophisticated” attack, including missile attacks.

In its conclusion, the report urged all ships operating in the vicinity to heighten their state of readiness, especially in areas with reduced manoeuvrability or while anchored in a port.