Al Qaeda elements claimed Tuesday that a suicide bomber blew himself up near a Japanese oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz last week, the US monitoring group SITE said. Mitsui OSK Lines had previously reported that one of its tankers, the M Star, was hit by a blast July 28 in the waterway between Iran and Oman.
According to AFP, SITE said the Brigades of Abdullah Azzam claimed in a message on jihadist websites that it had placed a suicide bomber on the tanker, identifying him as Ayyub al-Taishan. It said the attack was carried out in the name of Omar Abdul Rahman, the Egyptian "Blind Sheikh" imprisoned in the United States.
The attack sought "to weaken the infidel global order which is thrust unto Muslim lands and which loots its resources," the brigade said, according to SITE.
"We delayed the publication of the statement until our heroes returned safely to their bases."
Mitsui OSK Lines officials had said crew members saw a flash and heard an explosion in the incident shortly after midnight local time a week ago. One crewman was slightly injured in the explosion, which caused minor damage to the ship.