Frigia: bomb-making nitrates closely monitored

Class: Oliver Hazard Perry USS John A. Moore (FFG19) recommissioned in the Turkish Navy as TCG Gediz (F-495)

The hijacking of the Frigia is potentially more complicated. It is unclear if its cargo of fertilizer is nitrate-based, which could be used for bomb-making in Somalia.
Naval warships generally monitor such hijacked ships very closely and it is difficult to unload cargo without proper port facilities. Using fertilizer to make bombs also requires some expertise and the Somali Islamists have not used such bombs before.

Ayhan Ugurlubay, a spokesman for the Turkey-based Karya shipping company, said officials received a distress signal from the Frigia early Tuesday but have had no contact with the ship since then.

The ship was carrying fertilizer from Israel and was heading for Thailand, he said. The ship had 19 Turks and two Ukrainians on board.

“We carried out all the required procedures. The ship sailed through the dangerous zone in a convoy, escorted by [Turkish navy frigates] the Gediz and Gelibolu,” he told Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency.

“The incident occurred one and a half days after it left the naval convoy ... It is the first time that a ship has been kidnapped so far away,” he said.

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