Limpet mines laid by “sophisticated” state actor, says report to UN

An investigation undertaken by the UAE, Norway and Saudi Arabia has concluded that the attacks on four ships on May 12th off Fujairah was probably the work of a state actor

In a document on the briefing to UN Security Council members the UAE, joined by Norway and Saudi Arabia told UN Security Council members last Thursday June 6th that the attacks bore the hallmarks of a “sophisticated and coordinated operation”. They did not say who they believed was behind the attacks and did not mention Iran, which the US had accused of being directly responsible.

The report said that the attacks were likely to have been the work of several teams of operatives, coordinating the timed detonation of the four explosive charges within less than an hour.

The attacks targeted two Saudi tankers, an Emirati vessel and a Norwegian tanker. There were no casualties and the damage was not serious for such large vessels

The report said that the attacks required expert navigation of fast boats and trained divers. These divers probably placed limpet mines with a high degree of precision on the vessels under the waterline so as to incapacitate but not to sink them.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said on May 29th that the attacks were the work of naval mines that were “almost certainly from Iran,” an accusation denied by Iran.

Vessels attacked:

Crude oil tanker Amjad, IMO 9779800, dwt 300000, built 2017, flag Saudi Arabia.

Crude oil tanker Al Marzoqah (IMO 9165762), dwt 105084, built 1999, flag Saudi Arabia.

Product tanker A Michel (IMO 9177674), dwt 6711, built 2007, flag UAE..

chemical/oil carrier Andrea Victory (IMO 9288849), Norwegian flagged.

1998-built, UAE-flagged, 4,346 gt A Michel is owned and managed by Al Arabia Bunkering Co LLC of Sharjah, UAE. ISM manager is Poseidon SA of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Shipowners’ Club on behalf of Poseidon SA.

2005-built, Norway-flagged, 29,214 gt Andrea Victory is owned by MAP MR3 LLC care of manager Champion Tankers AS of Paradis, Norway. ISM manager is Thome Ship Management Pte Ltd of Singapore. It is entered with UK Club (Area Group London L3) on behalf of WA Tankers AS. It is entered for H&M with Gard AS on behalf of Champion Tankers AS. Gard indicates the vessel as being Isle of Man-flagged. UK Club indicates the vessel as Norwegian International-flagged.

2017-built, Saudi Arabia-flagged, 154,252 gt Amjad is owned and managed by Bahri of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. ISM manager is Mideast Ship Management of Dubai, UAE. It is entered with Assuranceforeningen Gard – gjensidig – on behalf of the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia. It is entered for H&M with XL Syndicate 1209, with Gard having a subscription position.

1999-built, Saudi Arabia-flagged, 58,141 gt Al Marzoqah is owned by Al Mubarakah International NAV care of manager Red Sea Marine Services LLC of Dubai, UAE. It is entered with West of England (Claims Team 1) on behalf of Al Mubarakah International Navigation Co Ltd.