KSA, UAE and Norway release findings from oil tanker sabotage investigation

KSA, UAE and Norway release findings from oil tanker sabotage investigation
Published: 9 June 2019 - 6 a.m.
By: Carla Sertin

Permanent representatives to the United Nations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Norway released the preliminary findings of their investigation into the 12 May attacks on four oil tankers off the port of Fujairah.

A statement by the affected countries noted that "the four attacks were part of a sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out by an actor with significant operational capacity, most likely a state actor.

The investigation revealed that it was "highly likely that limpet mines were used in the attacks," according to UAE news agency WAM.

"Based on the evaluation of radar data, and the short time several of the targeted vessels had been at anchor prior to the attacks, it appears most likely that the mines were placed on the vessels by divers deployed from fast boats," the joint statement wrote.

It also noted that the attacks "required intelligence capabilities for deliberate selection of four oil tankers from among almost 200 vessels" that were at anchor in the area at the time. It also require trained divers, as "the explosive chargers were placed with a high degree of precision under the waterline," which it says indicated that they were "designed to incapacitate the ships without sinking them or detonating their cargoes, indicating minute knowledge of the design of the targeted ships."

The joint statement revealed that the attacks were most likely carried out by several teams with a high degree of coordination. The attacks occurred less than 12 nautical miles from the UAE's coastline, and saw two Saudi tankers targeted, as well as one from the UAE and one from Norway. This was followed by an attack on two pumping stations in Saudi Arabia.

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