|Out of service:||2002|
|Fate:||Attacked October 6, 2002, Sold to Tanker Pacific Management, 2003|
|Owner:||Tanker Pacific Management|
|Notes:||IMO number: 9184392|
|Class & type:||Crude Oil Tank Ship|
|Length:||1,089.0 ft (331.9 m)|
|Beam:||58 m (190 ft)|
|Propulsion:||Burmeister & Wain, 2 S.A. 7-cyl., 7S80MC, 34650 BHP / 29420 kW at 79 RPM|
The Maritime Jewel is a double hull oil tanker built in 2000; its length is 332 metres (1,089 ft) and its width is 58 metres (190 ft). It was known as the Limburg until 2003.
On October 6, 2002, the Limburg was carrying 397,000 barrels (63,100 m3) of crude oil from Iran to Malaysia, and was in the Gulf of Aden off Yemen to pick up another load of oil. It was registered under a French-flag and had been chartered by the Malaysian petrol firm Petronas.
While it was some distance offshore, an explosives-laden dinghy rammed the starboard side of the tanker and detonated. The vessel caught on fire and approximately 90,000 barrels (14,000 m3) of oil leaked into the Gulf of Aden. Although Yemeni officials initially claimed that the explosion was caused by an accident, later investigations found traces of TNT on the damaged ship.
One crew member, a 38 year-old Bulgarian named Atanas Atanasov, was killed, and 12 other crew members were injured. The fire was put out, and four days later the Limburg was towed to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The damage to the tanker was around $45 million USD. The ship was sold to Tanker Pacific by 2003 under the new name Maritime Jewel, who repaired it for $8.5 million USD.
The attack caused the short-term collapse of international shipping in the Gulf of Aden and as a result, cost Yemen $3.8 million a month in port revenues.
Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack on the Jehad.net website, which has since been shut down. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who allegedly also planned the USS Cole bombing, is thought to have been the mastermind of the attack. Osama bin Laden issued a statement, which read:
By exploding the oil tanker in Yemen, the holy warriors hit the umbilical cord and lifeline of the crusader community, reminding the enemy of the heavy cost of blood and the gravity of losses they will pay as a price for their continued aggression on our community and looting of our wealth.
On February 3, 2006, Fawaz Yahya al-Rabeiee, who had been sentenced to death for the Limburg attack, and 22 other suspected or convicted Al-Qaeda members escaped from jail in Yemen. Among them was Jamal al-Badawi, who masterminded the USS Cole bombing of October 12, 2000. Of the 23 escapees, 13 had been convicted of the Cole and Limburg bombings. On October 1, 2006, al-Rabeiee and Mohammed Daylami were shot and killed by Yemeni security forces during raids on two buildings in the capital Sana'a. One of al-Rabeiee's accomplices was also arrested during the raids.
- "A Synopsis of the Terrorist Threat Facing the O&G Industry". Oil and Gas Industry Terrorism Monitor. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- "International Terrorism: The Threat". United Kingdom Home Office. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- "Al-Qaeda fugitive killed in Yemen". BBC. 1 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- Rollie Lal, Brian A. Jackson, Peter Chalk, Farhana Ali, William Rosenau (2006). "The MIPT Terrorism Annual 2006" (PDF). Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
- "Hunt on for Yemeni jailbreakers". BBC News. February 4, 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Yemen ship attack 'was terrorism' (BBC)
- "Interpol issues global alert after Al-Qaeda prison break in Yemen" (Channelnewsasia)