Terrorist threat poses many challenges

Sept. 23, 2008 at 5:03 PM
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MANAMA , Bahrain, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Despite stopping several terrorist attacks in the Gulf of Aden, a Combined Task Force 150 official says some criminal networks continue to operate.

U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, Combined Maritime Forces commander, says since the CTF 150 began patrolling the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia in the Arabian Sea, "more than a dozen" attacks have been prevented.

Despite the CTF 150's regular patrols in the Maritime Security Patrol Area, terrorist groups continue to operate drug- and human-smuggling networks in the volatile region, the Navy reported.

The International Maritime Organization called on the international community for assistance in the Gulf of Aden, prompting the CTF 150 to establish the Maritime Security Patrol Area in the region.

"This is a problem that starts ashore and requires an international solution. We made this clear at the outset -- our efforts cannot guarantee safety in the region," Gortney said in a statement.

"Our part in preventing some of these destabilizing activities is only one part of the solution to preventing further attacks."

Gortney has called on the shipping industry to take a more proactive security approach to protect their vessels.

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