On 10/06/2002, almost two years after the USS Cole attack, in the same place, the Gulf of Aden in South Yemen on the Indian Ocean, and with the same method, two speedboats loaded with explosives and driven by suicide bombers rammed into the French tanker LImburg.

LImburg. a modern vessel with double walls for safty, was carrying 397,000 barrels of crude oil from Iran to Malaysia. Due to the double walls the boat bombs managed to punch a hole in the outside wall only and the ship remained safe on water. Approximately 90,000 barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Aden. One crew member, a 38 year-old Bulgarian named Atanas Atanasov, was killed, and 12 other crew members were injured.

Yemen security officials claimed that the tanker was an occasionally substitute target and not the original one, which was probably an American or British vessel. Al Qaeda claimed through a website responsibility for the attack.

Because of full cooperation between the Yemen security services and the CIA, they managed to uncover a series of cell and satellite phone conversations, identified and located almost all the chain of operation that carried out the attack and was, eventually, the same group that committed the USS Cole attack two year earlier.  Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri Al Qaeda’s chief of operation in the entire Arab peninsula was located through his satellite phone from which he coordinated the attack and arrested in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) in early 11/2002. 

The command and supervising group of three Al Qaeda operatives, who were involved also in the USS Cole attack two years earlier: Abu Ali al-Harthi, alongside Muhammad Hamdi al-Ahdal and Kamal Derwish were killed, on 11/03/2002, by a missile from an UAVUnmanned Aerial Vehicle, on a road 160 km east of the Yemeni capital Sanaa in Marib province.

Jamal al-Badawi who provided the logistic support for the attack was located and arrested in early 2003 in Yemen.

Fawaz al-Rabeei , who directly commanded the attack on LImburg from the town of Aden, was arrested in early 2004. He managed to flee Yemeni jail on 02/03/2006 ( Sanaa Escape ) and was killed by the Yemen police in a shootout in Sanaa on 10/01/2006.

Summary –

The LImburg attack was a duplicate of the USS Cole two year earlier – the same men, the same place and the same method enabled only due to the total failure of Yemeni authority dismantling the network after the USS Cole attack in 10/2000. 


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