Singapore Warns of Terror Threat in Malacca Strait

March 4, 2010 - 6:27 AM
The Malacca Strait is the favorite route of oil shippers between the Persian Gulf and Asian Pacific markets.
Singapore (AP) - Singapore's Navy warned that a terrorist group is planning attacks on oil tankers in the Malacca Straits, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.
 
Terrorists may also be targeting other vessels in the shipping lane off Malaysia's east coast, according to an advisory issued Wednesday by the Navy's Information Fusion Centre seen by The Associated Press.
 
"The terrorists' intent is probably to achieve widespread publicity and showcase that it remains a viable group," the Navy advisory said. "However, this information does not preclude possible attacks on other large vessels with dangerous cargo."
 
The Navy did not say which terrorist group is planning the attacks. Spokesmen at the Defense Ministry and the Information Fusion Centre were not immediately available for comment.
 
The Malacca Strait is the favorite route of oil shippers between the Persian Gulf and Asian Pacific markets. The strait, just 1.7 miles at its narrowest point, was the second-busiest shipping lane of crude in 2006, with 15 million barrels a day passing through, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.
 
Singapore lies at the southern tip of the Malay peninsula and is home to the world's busiest port.
 
The Navy said in previous successful terrorist attacks on tankers, small fishing boats or speedboats were used, and these kinds of boats could be used to attack ships in the Malacca Strait.
 
The Navy, which said it is coordinating with regional partners regarding the threat, recommended ships add lookouts and lighting, avoid fishing areas and maintain a good speed.