Friday, 26 September 2008

Linkage

Here’s your “dirty bomb”? Or “just” chemical weapons?


An Iran-owned ship.  Captured by Somali pirates.  Mysterious illnesses and deaths.  Evasion about the cargo.  Something wicked going down?

The MV Iran Deyanat was brought to Eyl, a sleepy fishing village in northeastern Somalia, and was secured by a larger gang of pirates...  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...

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.
...
Once in direct contact, the pirates told Osman that they had attempted to inspect the ship’s seven cargo containers after they developed health complications but the containers were locked.  The crew claimed that they did not have the “access codes” and could not open them.  The delegation secured contact with the captain and the engineer by cell phone and demanded to know the nature of the cargo, however, Osman says that “they were saying different things to different people.”  Initially they said that the cargo contained “crude oil” but then claimed it contained “minerals.”
So far, speculation ranges from yellowcake uranium to toxic waste.  Worth keeping an eye on.


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