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Maritime Terrorism in the Eyes of Al-Qaeda

Recently, Jihadi online forums have been focusing attention on the western marine forces’ presence in the high seas and marking them as a target for terrorist attacks. This trend stems, in all probability, from the media resonance surrounding the success of Somali pirates in taking over western ships, looting their cargo and sometimes receiving high ransoms for the release of their crews.

The abduction or attack of a sea vessel is not a new trend characterizing global Jihad. Already, in the early days of Al-Qaeda’s operations, the organization’s activists carried out terrorist attacks against vessels docked in marine ports.

Abu Musab Al-Suri, one of the most prominent Al-Qaeda ideologists, noted in his book “Global Islamic Resistance Call”, the need to target western sea vessels in the Mediterranean, in light of their strategic and economic importance, and also due to the West’s extreme sensitivity to the security of the marine cruise and commercial routes.

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