Terror plot reveals political issues
al Qaeda attempt to hijack naval vessel was doomed from outset.
Karachi terror plot reveals plenty about the political landscape
n early September, a group of terrorists attempted to seize a Pakistani naval frigate moored in Karachi. The vessel had been scheduled to sail out into the Arabian Sea, where it was to have served as the command ship of the multinational task force that patrols the western Indian Ocean to deter seaborne terrorism and piracy. Their plan was to stow aboard the warship, wait until it joined the flotilla, seize control and then fire its anti-shipping missiles at participant American naval vessels. The key to the success of the highly imaginative terrorist plot was the participation of 17 navy seamen, officers included. Their knowledge of the applicable military protocols supposedly would have prevented detection until it was too late.
Realistically, the plan was naive and doomed to failure because it was based on a long list of assumptions, starting with the element of surprise and concluding with the ability of the ship’s crew to identify their mates. Predictably, the non-naval element of the terrorist band was detected at the get-go by the ship’s gunner as they approached in a motorised dinghy. The ensuing exchange of fire sounded the alert and the credentials of the treacherous naval personnel aboard were immediately challenged, prompting an onboard battle that lasted several hours, but that could only ever have one outcome.
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