UPDATE 7: The Japanese Transport Ministry came to the conclusion that the Japanese tanker M. Star was hit by explosives, but cannot conclusively state whether it was a terrorist attack and conducted by the ‘Abdullah ‘Azzām Brigades.
UPDATE 6: U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration confirmed that the attack on the Japanese tanker M. Star was indeed perpetrated by the ‘Abdullah ‘Azzām Brigades.
UPDATE 5: Anṣār al-Mujāhidīn English Forum translated the ‘Abdullah ‘Azzām Brigades official statement of responsibility for the attack on the Japanese oil tanker M Star last month, which is in Arabic below:
In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
All praises are due to Allah, the supporter of believers, who humiliates the kuffar, who promised us victory and mastery, and accomplished that through jihad on the kuffar. Prayers and peace be upon the Master of messengers, the Imam of the mujahideen, and all of his companions and family.
There has been a blessed episode in the series of our jihad for the cause of Allah. It weakened the kuffar’s world order that dominates the lands of the Muslims and steals their wealth. It was to remove oppression from Muslims; it was to recover the plundered right to worship Allah alone and be ruled by His Sharia as well as to recover their right to the wealth that Allah placed in their land that was stolen by the tawagheet of the kuffar’s world order and their lackeys that occupy our lands. A group of your mujahideen brothers in the Sheikh Yusuf al-‘Uyairi; Companies of the Shaheed Abdullah Azzam Brigades executed a successful attack on an economic artery crucial to the kuffar’s world order. The result came as they wished, and, more importantly, as Allah desired.
After midnight last Wednesday, the hero and martyr Ayub al-Tyshan— may Allah accept him among the Shuhada’— exploded himself on the Japanese oil tanker (M-Star) in the Strait of Hormuz between the United Arab Emirates and Oman and caused severe damage, as reported by global news agencies. Due to the great impact of this heroic mission on the global economy and price of oil, the enemies of Allah have concealed the truth of the operation. Some of them attributed it to an earthquake. You can believe that because our martyr made them quake by reaching this target, proving to kuffars throughout the world again that the supporters of Allah, the mujahideen, have doors, which were most securely closed, opened before them with the aid of Allah and His strength, despite what they desired from their security systems and intelligence work.
This blackout by the enemies of Allah was not unusual, the mujahideen’s attack on such a tanker is a tremendous failure for the kuffar’s world order; it is one of the largest and most advanced tankers and carries no less than two million barrels of oil. The blessed strike was in one of the most important waterways in the world, since the Strait of Hormuz is a main economic artery for the kuffar’s world order, and the Strait’s region is full of the enemy’s naval fleets. How difficult this fortified area would have been to penetrate were it not that Allah had been with the mujahideen.
If the enemies of Allah had revealed that the earthquake the tanker had endured was actually the earthquake of a martyr; then the prices of oil would have been affected, and the whole world would have known the failure of all the security systems with which the kuffar protect themselves from the strikes of the mujahideen:
We wish to bring glad tidings to our oppressed Muslim brothers that they have brothers, who will not relent before the head of global kufr is cut off, with Allah’s permission. Let them rejoice that victory is near and join their brothers by striking with an arrow. The gateway to a great reward has been opened for Muslims.
We delayed the publishing of this statement until the return of our heroes to their safe havens, thanks to Allah’s grace and favor.
This expedition was carried out in the name of the imprisoned Sheikh Umar Abdul Rahman, as a reminder to the Ummah of one, who was one of them – after Allah – who with great virtue, sparked the flame of jihad among the Ummah. And so may it be that he will be released from prison soon, by the will of Allah the exulted One.
We say to our Muslim Ummah, and to all the people of the world enslaved by the Taghut of the modern world order, that we will remove oppression from you – Muslims and kuffar – as Allah has commanded us, until Muslims and kuffar are ruled with justice and until everyone has their rights, completely without diminution, as Allah has commanded.
And we promise Allah to hold steadfast on this path:
﴾حَتَّى لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ﴿
( وَاللَّهُغَالِبٌعَلَىٰأَمْرِهِوَلَٰكِنَّأَكْثَرَالنَّاسِلَايَعْلَمُونَ )
UPDATE 4: Malcolm Nance at the Small Wars Journal wrote a piece analyzing the attack on the M Star tanker: “The Strait of Hormuz:
al-Qaeda’s Newest Jihad Zone?”
UPDATE 3: The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s Jihadi Website Monitoring Group released a new report about the ‘Abdullah ‘Azzām Brigades background and involvement in the tanker attack.
UPDATE 2: According to the U.A.E. officials conducting an investigation on incident:
An examination carried out by specialized teams had confirmed that the tanker had been the subject of a terrorist attack.
At the same time, Japanese officials are still investigating the situation and have yet to come to any conclusions. Further, Florian Flade speculates that maybe the ‘Abdullah ‘Azzām Brigades missed their intended target — a Saudi oil tanker.
UPDATE: According to Evan Kohlmann:
The vessel shown in the “Azzam Brigades” communique claiming a bomb attack on a Japanese oil tanker is actually the Saudi-owned Sirius Star.
NOTE: Last week, a Japanese oil tanker, M. Star, was hit by a bomb in the Straits of Hormuz. There was a lot of speculation surrounding who was involved with the attack, though, it was eventually believed it might have hit a submarine or a mine. Then yesterday, the ‘Abdullah ‘Azzām Brigades, based in Southern Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the attack. There proof is a supposed photograph below in the statement showing a fighter pointing toward an oil tanker. As Florian Flade stated: “Seems like [a] photoshop fake. Poss[ibility] the guy is holding the Quran in the real image.” For more on his thoughts see his recent blog post about the incident. Further, in the past, the ‘Abdullah ‘Azzām Brigades have been notorious for claiming attacks that were perpetrated by other groups. In addition, a Mitsui O.S.K. employee, the company that owns the ship, stated on anonymity: “So far, there has been nothing special [uncovered].” As such, ‘Abdullah ‘Azzām Brigades seems they published this statement more for publicity than anything else since the group primarily is internet-based except for its occasional claims of responsibility for rocket attacks against Israel.