Terrorism: January 19, 2003


For the second time in less than two months, Palestinians terrorists tried to blow up an Israeli Navy vessel using a small boat-bomb. On the morning of the 17th, Israeli sailors noticed a suspicious raft approaching them in waters banned to Palestinian Authoritie vessels off the northern Gaza coast (near the beach of the Jewish community of Dugit). They first fired warning shots and then fired for effect, which caused the raft to explode. No Israeli sailors were hurt and no damage was suffered, but it remains unknown how many terrorists were aboard the raft-bomb. The Israeli Navy is still sweeping the engagement area.

On November 22nd, 2002, four Israeli sailors were wounded when Islamic Jihad terrorists detonated a boat-bomb off the coast of Gaza very close to their Dabur patrol craft.  When the two people on the boat refused calls to turn around, the troops sprayed them with water and fired warning shots in the air. Two Islamic Jihad terrorists were killed in the blast. The patrol boat was damaged but made it back to shore. 

Three Saudis were arrested in Morocco in June 2002, in connection with an al-Qaeda plot to use boat-bombs against U.S. and British warships crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. The most-successful attack of this type was the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which was hit as it refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden. In addition to causing extensive damage, 17 American sailors were killed. The American response has been to increase the number of armed sailors on watch topside. - Adam Geibel


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