Military.com reports that retired U.S. Admiral James Stavridis stated at a naval / private industry conference that the next attack by Islamic State militants may be directed to a navy ship or a cruise ship.
The military.com website quotes the distinguished retired naval commander saying: "We have an organization that has demonstrated they are highly innovative and I don’t rule out a Cole-like event," referring to the 2000 event when an al-Qaida group rammed a boat filled with explosives into the U.S. destroyer U.S. S. Cole. The terrorist attack occurred when the naval ship was being refueled in the Yemeni port of Aden. 17 American sailors were killed and 39 service men and women were injured.
According to military.com, the commander said: "I’m surprised [Islamic State militants] have not as yet moved into the maritime world and gone after cruise ships, which I think are a logical and lucrative target for them."
He mentioned the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship by Palestinian militants who murdered Jewish-American passenger Leon Klinghoffer.
The article mentioned that Commander Stavridis said that ships were "most vulnerable when they were first getting underway and going out to sea," not when they were pier-side or out on the open ocean. "If I were an Islamic State planner, that’s what I would be looking at," he said.
This is one of the scenarios which I have mentioned in articles like al Qaeda Planned to Seize Cruise Ships, Execute Passengers which I published four years ago and How the Next Jihadist Terror Attack Against Cruise Passengers Will Happen which I published last year.
Some cruise lines have temporarily dropped ports in North Africa (Tunis) and in the eastern Mediterranean (Turkey) due to concerns with terrorist attacks.
Photo Credit: Department of Defense via military.com