Is IS a Threat to Shipping?


Mediterranean shipping could be at threat after Quilliam – a British anti-terrorism think-tank – seized a document sent by the Islamic State outlining its intention to cause chaos to commercial shipping in Europe, according to a report by Charlie Bartlett in Seatrade-Global.

The document has been considered a bluff, despite claims made by the Islamic State that it will be targeting crusader ships and tankers, as well as closing shipping lines.

The document also outlines the possibility of using existing people-trafficking routes in order to smuggle jihadists into Southern Europe.

It could prove to be the biggest threat of disruption to Mediterranean shipping since WWII if the document is sincere, according to Bartlett.

For further insight into threat detection and recognition, click here

Ian Millen, COO of maritime operations company, Dryad Maritime, said: “With a strong foothold and logistic base in Libya, it would be theoretically feasible for Islamic State to target shipping in the Mediterranean. How likely this is and how capable they might be in open sea operations is another question.

“Whilst privately contracted armed security personnel are more than a match for Somali pirates intent on boarding a vessel for hijack, a suicide attack from a ISIS terrorist would pose very different challenges. That doesn’t mean that the shipping industry would not push to have this level of embarked protection.”

Attempts thus far by Islamic terrorist groups to attack commercial shipping have proved largely unsuccessful.

In other Mediterranean news, Hellenic Shipping News reported that European shipping is set to become more competitive after European Transport Minister Violeta Bulc announced initiatives such as more financial support to assist with shipping infrastructure and logistics innovation.

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