Anchor Cut Persian Gulf Internet Cable

Source unknown; severance raises questions of sabotage
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 8, 2008 5:41 PM CST
Map shows damaged undersea cables off the coast of Egypt; 2c x 3 1/8 inches; 96.3 mm x 79.4 mm   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The severed Internet cable in the Persian Gulf was the work of a 5.5-ton ship’s anchor, the AP reports. A crew from the FLAG telecommunications company, which owns the cable, found the anchor near Dubai and hauled it up; how the cut occurred is still unexplained. The incident spawned Internet-usage problems through the Middle East and areas of Asia.

FLAG has not identified the ship that dropped the anchor. The cut has sparked bloggers to question whether intent was involved; authorities have not commented. But some believe the severance calls for tougher cable security. “If ports, railways, gas pipelines and other networks are being secured against possible sabotage,” says an analyst, “we must similarly increase the security of undersea optical highways.”