Sunday, October 12, 2008

Poetic Justice: Iran's Dirty Bomb Attack on Israel Thwarted by Somali Pirates?

Hijacked Iranian Ship: Dirty Bomb meant for Israel on Yom Kippur?

Follow up on an original posting by Snooper of Take Our Country Back
Cross posted from Director Blue

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shirat Devorah researched the various articles surrounding the recent Somali hijacking of an Iranian vessel and came to an ominous conclusion.

On August 21st, 2008, the MV Iran Deyant, 44,458 dead weight bulk carrier was heading towards the Suez Canal. As it was passing the Horn of Africa, about 80 miles southeast of al-Makalla in Yemen, the ship was surrounded by speedboats filled with members of a gang of Somalian pirates who grab suitable commercial ships and hold them and their cargos and crews for ransom. The captain was defenseless against the 40 pirates armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades blocking his passage. He had little choice other than to turn his ship over to them. What the pirates were not banking on, however, was that this was no ordinary ship.

The MV Iran Deyanat is owned and operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) - a state-owned company [that] regularly falsifies shipping documents in order to hide the identity of end users, uses generic terms to describe shipments to avoid the attention of shipping authorities, and employs the use of cover entities to circumvent [UN] weapons proliferation [regulations].

[The hijacked ship] was brought to Eyl, a sleepy fishing village in northeastern Somalia, and was secured by a larger gang of pirates - 50 onboard and 50 onshore. The Somali pirates attempted to inspect the ship's seven cargo containers but the containers were locked. The crew claimed that they did not have the "access codes" and could not open them. Pirates have stated they were unable to open the hold without causing extensive damage to the ship, and threatened to blow it up.... the pirates broke open one of the containers and discovered it to be filled with packets of what they said was “a powdery fine sandy soil” ....

Within a period of three days, those pirates who had boarded the ship and opened the cargo container with its gritty sand-like contents, all developed strange health complications, to include serious skin burns and loss of hair. And within two weeks, sixteen of the pirates subsequently died, either on the ship or on shore...

...At this writing, the MV Iran Deyanat is at anchor, watched closely by American, French and Russian naval units.

[Russian sources claim she] was an enormous floating dirty bomb, intended to detonate after exiting the Suez Canal at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and in proximity to the coastal cities of Israel. The entire cargo of radioactive sand, obtained by Iran from China (the latter buys desperately needed oil from the former) and sealed in containers which, when the charges on the ship are set off after the crew took to the boats, will be blasted high into the air where prevailing winds will push the highly dangerous and radioactive cloud ashore.

Given the large number of deaths from the questing Somali pirates, it should be obvious that when the contents of the ship’s locked cargo containers finally descended onto the land, the death toll would be enormous. This ship was nothing more nor less than the long-anticipated Iranian attack on Israel.
Fox News interviewed an expert whose analysis would seem to confirm these conclusions:

Chemical experts say the reports sound inconsistent with chemical poisoning, but may reflect the effects of exposure to radiation.

"It's baffling," said Jonathan Tucker, a senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. "I'm not aware of any chemical agent that produces loss of hair within a few days. That's more suggestive of high levels of radioactive waste."

A note from Radarsite: Is this thwarted operation the world's first major dirty bomb attack? If these facts check out -- and so far they seem fairly well substantiated -- this could be the biggest story of the year. If this was in fact a thwarted dirty bomb attack by Iran on Israel, then this is nothing less than an overt act of war. What will Israel's response to this be? What should it be? And how ironic that it should be thwarted by Somali pirates, who are now apparently its only victims.
We will be following these events very closely in these next few days. If anyone has any additional information on this whole affair please forward it to Radarsite and I will post it immediately. - rg


  1. I would suggest that the Pirates had inside information...or a suggestion from some MOSSAD individual to select this special freighter.

    I would also suggest that Israel might not have been the intended target.

  2. Thank you Mark. Once again you're ahead of the curve.

    And RP -- Welcome to Radarsite. Those are both fascinating suggestions.

  3. Iran is a major producer of caustic soda, which can cause the same symptoms and in its anhydrous form matches the description of the material inspected by the pirates.

  4. Well done. Please keep me informed. I have nephew who is on a boat in that area. He says they have been ordered to stay well clear and to be on guard.


  5. I won't rule out MOSSAD, but this should make the pirates a bit more careful in the future.

  6. Lacunar, Shalom! I'm hoping you can answer this question for me -- I'm at work and can't do the research from here.

    You say that "Iran is a major producer of caustic soda..." If you mix anhydrous caustic soda with diesel fuel, would you get the same kind of explosive as when you mix anhydrous fertilizer with diesel fuel? I'm thinking the packets "sandy soil" might have been packed around nuclear waste material. If in fact anyhydrous caustic soda + diesel fuel = explosive material, then you don't need to have explosive charges on the ship -- just fill the containers with diesel fuel and let soak a couple of hours. When the containers are blown, there would definitely be enough force to put the radioactive material high enough in the air to ensure that it would actually hit land.

    (Much easier to cover up that way, too. Just having charges on the ship would only guarantee that the ship would sink, not that enough of the radioactive material would be cast into the air. You'd have to have charges placed on the containers themselves, which might leave too much evidence behind. If the soda + diesel makes an explosive, though, then you've got seven Murrow-building sized bombs -- more than enough to sink the ship and aerosolize the radioactive material.)

  7. Thank you for that informative comment Jim Carrol, and welcome to Radarsite.

  8. Shalom! I have to retract my previous remarks. From what I have been able to find, "caustic soda" aka "sodium hydroxide" could not be used as part of a fertilizer/diesel bomb. However, there are some other scenarios to consider:

    1. When you add water to caustic soda, you get lye. Caustic soda is one of the chemicals occasionally used as dessicants, because it LOVES water in any form. I would want to know if those packets had sny kind of plastic lining, since I cannot imagine shipping a chemical like sodium hydroxide in a water-going vessel without being protected from the humidity.

    2. While Lacunar is right in that caustic soda can cause the symptoms described, they would have occured MUCH faster, as in, as soon as any water (such as sweat) contacts the caustic soda dust on your hand. The people would have noticed burns occuring almost immediately, instead of three days later.

    3. It's possible that the ship listed "caustic soda" as its cargo. The dangers of this chemical might have limited any inspection if the ship was borded at any time. However, I believe the final dirty bomb was someplace different.

    4. The hold was sealed, as were the cargo containers (i.e., the containers needed "access codes", so it was something other than the typical container lock). It would be easy to carry and conceal the explosive devices needed to scuttle the ship after delivering the material. However, the planners needed to destroy all seven cargo containers in such a manner as to aresolize a majority of the "powdery fine sandy soil" contained in the cargo carriers, PLUS they needed to destroy the ship in such a way as to release the material into the air instead of containing the explosion inside the hold or forcing the material into the water. I beieve the amount of explosives needed to do this would be immediately obvious to any pirate, would become part of the booty, and would have been mentioned by at least one or two of the pirates. So I believe this ship was just a transport, and not the final dirty bomb.

    (Of course, it's possible that the explosives would have been arriving separately, after the ship left the Suez Canal.)