The Curious Case Of Saudi WBIED Attacks In The Gulf Of Aden
By Dryad GlobalMarch 6, 2020
Reports issued by the Saudi-led coalition that is active in Yemen, state that they had foiled a potential attack on a crude oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden. The attack was reported in a coalition briefing as having taken place on 3 Mar 20 approx. 90 nm SE of the Yemeni port of Nishtun, situated on Yemen’s SE coast
The attack is reported to have entailed three boats which attempted to attack the ship and trigger an explosion. It is also suggested that one of the skiffs was unmanned and was water-borne improvised explosive device (WBIED).
The initial Coalition briefing provided a slightly different location for the incident to that of original source reports from UKMTO who placed the incident 95nm SW of the Port of Nishtun.
The vessel under attack was identified by TankerTrackers.com as being the Saudi flagged Aframax MT GLADIOLUS IMO 9169548. Analysis of the vessel indicate that she maintained a consistent speed of 10.9kts throughout and did not alter her course.
A number of photos purporting to have been taken from the deck of the GLADIOLUS show a small unmanned fishing vessel at speed in close proximity to the vessel. A video posted online by twitter user @MaritimeSecuri1 reportedly taken by a vessel in the vicinity shows a large black plume of smoke on the horizon indicating an explosion has occurred.