Friday, September 19, 2014

Militants Planned to Target US Ships With Hijacked Pakistani Frigate |

Militants Planned to Target US Ships With Hijacked Pakistani Frigate | Al-Qaida militants, who tried to hijack a Pakistan Navy frigate earlier this month, intended to use it to target U.S. Navy vessels on anti-terrorism patrol in the northwestern Indian Ocean, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing Pakistani security officials.

The Sept. 6 raid, which was foiled after a firefight and a suicide bombing, was carried out in part by Pakistan Navy personnel who had been recruited by al-Qaida, the report said, adding it raised fears about terrorist infiltration of the nuclear-armed nation's military forces.

Describing the Karachi raid as the first major operation carried out by al-Qaida's newly formed regional wing, the Journal said its timing may have been set to mark the start of the affiliate or to coincide roughly with the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks.

News of the attempted seizure of the frigate, PNS Zulfiqar, the report said was initially kept from the media, and the details of the incident are only beginning to emerge.

It was pointed out that the Pakistan Navy works closely with the U.S. Navy and other foreign maritime forces in combating terrorism, piracy and the drug trade in the Indian Ocean. That cooperation includes the docking of ships from allied nations in Karachi.