The M. Star, a Japanese oil tanker, suffered … something in the early-morning hours Wednesday as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz. Crew members heard a blast and saw a flash, windows were blasted out, ceiling panels in a dining room were shaken loose, and one crew member suffered minor injuries. And most significant, an enormous dent appeared on the tanker’s starboard side, extending from the waterline more than halfway up the hull. But what caused it? the New York Times asks. Who knows?
Officials with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, the firm that owns the tanker, think a blast of some kind struck the ship, but they don’t know what, AFP reports.
The natural, and most troubling, conclusion to jump to is a waterborne terrorist attack along the lines of the one that ended the film “Syriana” — something al-Qaida has attempted in the past.