Resolution of the Great Submarine Cable Crisis – and some lessons learned

As more data comes in, it is increasingly apparent that the great Submarine Cable Crisis of 2008 was another false alarm.  Yet again a large chunk of the blogosphere went crazy over a non-event.  A follow-up to this post of 7 February.

I.  Conspiracy Theories Behind Those Cut Undersea Cables“, Ben Worthen, Blog of the Wall Street Journal (6 February 2008)

Reports that a fifth undersea communications cable in the Middle East has been damaged in less than a week – further compromising Internet access in countries there, and knocking Iran off the grid entirely – are triggering wild conspiracy theories about who’s at fault, from Islamic extremists to the CIA. But BizTech readers can proceed with global business as planned: the reports aren’t true.

So says Stephan Beckert, research director at TeleGeography, who studies these cables for a living. … Beckert tells the Business Technology Blog that he hasn’t heard anything about a fifth cable from his sources in the industry and that the newspaper that reported the outage, the Khaleej Times in the United Arab Emirates, seems to have double counted two of the cables and missed a fourth one entirely. Beckert also tells us that one of the cut cables wasn’t cut at all – it’s down because of a power outage. And while Iran is experiencing Internet slowdowns just like the rest of the Middle East, it isn’t off line.

Beckert says that the most likely explanation is that a fishing boat damaged the cables by catching them in its net or that a ship accidentally cut them with its anchor – these are responsible for 65% and 18% of cable problems respectively. The first two cables were only 400 yards apart, suggesting that they were damaged in the same incident. “It might have been sharks with laser beams on their heads but I’m guessing it’s not,” says Beckert. Viewed this way, it’s two incidents in a week, which is higher than average but not unusual – last year their were 50 damaged cables in the Atlantic alone.


II.  Disrupting the Internet?, John Robb, Global Guerrillas (4 February 2008) — Robb uses this incident to remind us of the vulnerable nature of our critical infrastructure.

III.  Of cables and conspiracies“, Economist (7 February 2008).  Esp. note the second paragraph below, highlighting an often overlooked aspect of our western infrastructure systems:  they improve in robustness of time, as weaknesses are identified and addressed.

It may be rare for several cables to go down in a week, but it can happen. Global Marine Systems, a firm that repairs marine cables, says more than 50 cables were cut or damaged in the Atlantic last year; big oceans are criss-crossed by so many cables that a single break has little impact. What was unusual about the damage in the Suez Canal was that it took place at a point where two continents’ traffic is borne along only three cables.

More are being laid. For the moment, there is only one fair conclusion: the internet is vulnerable, in places, but getting more robust.

IV.  Wikipedia provided some of the best and faster all-around coverage, linking to new reports quite quickly and sorting the wheat from the chaff.

V.  For *very* detailed technical analysis of this event by a telecom expert see the blog of Renesys Corporationpost #1, post #2, and post #3.  No discussion of conspiracies or geopolitics.  (Hat tip to Opposed System Design).

VI.  Update and final resolution of the crisis:  “UAE releases one of the ships impounded for cable damage“, indiatimes (12 April 2008) — Excerpt

The UAE authorities have released one of the two ships allegedly responsible for causing damage to an undersea cable network of Flag Telecom that had resulted in disruption of Internet services across India for two weeks.  The ship was released after a Korean shipping company, which owns it, paid huge compensation to Flag Telecom, a subsidiary of Reliance Globalcom, as damage, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

The two ships — MV Hounslow and MT Ann — were impounded on February 19 when they reached Dubai shores for allegedly damaging the cable network in February.  The action was taken after Reliance Globalcom provided details of the ships by studying the satellite images of the ship movements around the area of undersea cable damage off the northern coast of Egypt and the UAE.

Abdul Jaleel Mahdi, Deputy Director of CID of Dubai Police, told the daily that one of the impounded ships, belonging to a Korean shipping company, was released after payment of huge compensation to Flag Telecom.  During police interrogation, an official of the Korean ship admitted that the vessel was passing through the area and agreed to pay USD 60,000 as damages, the report said.

The second ship, which belongs to an Iraqi company, is still in the custody of Dubai Police and the Coast Guards, a police source was quoted as saying by the daily.

The original story mentioned is “Internet cable damage: two ships impounded“, The Hindu (7 April 2008).

Lessons learned for when we watch real-time news (with changes suggested by Riprock in the Comment)

  1. Wikipedia and the major media should be the first places to look.  Wikipedia is imo valuable as a source of links, not analysis.  The major media, of course, have their own biases.
  2. Valuable insights and data can be found on the fringes, but this requires more work to find and thought to evaluate.
  3. Good timely data is out there, but often requires some digging.  Treat blogger speculation lightly.
  4. Look for quotes from relevant professionals about the typical nature, frequency, and magnitude of similar events.  Find sites of companies that involved in this business, whose experts might comment on current events.
  5. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”  Carl Sagan popularized this saying of Marcello Truzzi, a simplification of an insight by David Hume.  It is a powerful mental tool to help us cut through the noise.

Other posts about the Internet:  does it make us smarter or dumber?

  1. Will Israel commit suicide? More rumors of a strike at Iran.  (22 December 2007)
  2. Three blind men examine the Iraq Elephant  (6 February 2008)
  3. Cable Cut Fever grips the conspiracy-hungry fringes of the web  (7 February 2008)
  4. Resolution of the Great Submarine Cable Crisis — and some lessons learned  (8 February 2008)
  5. What do blogs do for America?  (26 February)
  6. The oddity of reports about the Iraq War  (13 March 2008)
  7. Will we bomb Iran, now that Admiral Fallon is gone?  (17 March 2008)
  8. More post-Fallon overheating: “6 signs the US may be headed for war in Iran”  (18 March 2008)
  9. Euphoria about the Bakken Formation  (10 April 2008)
  10. The Internet makes us dumber: the Bakken euphoria, a case study  (15 April 2008)

23 thoughts on “Resolution of the Great Submarine Cable Crisis – and some lessons learned

  1. With due respect, Wikipedia is a cesspool, and Snopes is not much better. By all means, don’t take the fringe sources at their word — but that doesn’t mean you can believe Wikipedia. If Wikipedia really did function well in this case, that’s nice, but I don’t believe one can trust them.

    Jimbo’s birthday, on Wikitruth. Quote:

    This is the legacy that Wales has created; a little fake world of “information” where he decides the facts, on his whim, when it suits him. How many other times has Wales Oversighted an article or edit or anything else to suit his private biases and whims?

  2. Just to clarify — it’s quite possible that this time, Wikipedia’s opinion landed on the side of fact. But check out this link: “Wikipedia ruled by ‘Lord of the Universe’“, The Register (6 February 2008) — Here an excerpt:

    When is a cult not a cult?

    Think of it as Wikipedia’s police department hotline. The “encyclopedia anyone can edit” includes a page where you can instantly alert the site’s brain trust to foul play. It’s called the “Conflict of Interest Noticeboard.” If you suspect someone has rigged the system, using the encyclopedia to push their own agenda, this is where you turn.

    But there’s a catch. One of the site’s leading administrators bears an extreme conflict of interest, but you can’t expose him from the Conflict of Interest Noticeboard. He created the Conflict of Interest Noticeboard. This administrator, Jossi Fresco, is a longtime student of Prem Rawat – formerly Guru Maharaj Ji – the India-born spiritual leader who styled himself as the “Perfect Master” and fostered a worldwide religious movement encouraging followers to call him “Lord of the Universe.” … {edited down, as this is copyrighted material}

  3. Riprock raises an important point: no source, not Wikipedia or the New York Times, is God. Wikipedia is imo valuable as (1) a source of useful material on non-controversial matters and (2) as a source of links. I have added this to the post.

    As for Snopes… I am sure it is not perfect, but in decades of use I have never found an error.

  4. What is interesting, from a sociological point of view, is how quickly so many people are to distrust (be paranoiac?) about Govt’s, especially the US. In particular the number of US citizens that complete distrust their own Govt and a readiness to think the absolute worst of it at any turn (ref 9/11, et al). I can’t remember the figure (someone please enlighten me if you can) but I remember reading that there was some amazing % of the US population that actually believe that US and/or Israel were involved in the Twin Tower’s collapse.

    The price of so many years of lies perhaps? This represents a worrying breakdown of civic responsibility, public trust and legitimacy, with unforseeable consequences. I’m reminded of two things:

    The total breakdown in public trust in the Soviet empire, especially just before it collapsed.
    The SF author John Brunner’s dystopian future, projected in his book ‘Shockwave Rider’.

    Can a society remain viable if a majority, or at least a significantly large minority (too big too lock up in detention centers that is) completely distrust, to the point of paranoia, the Govt, political parties, corporations, mainstream media, etc (ie the institutions of the State)?

  5. “With due respect, Wikipedia is a cesspool, and Snopes is not much better. By all means, don’t take the fringe sources at their word — but that doesn’t mean you can believe Wikipedia. If Wikipedia really did function well in this case, that’s nice, but I don’t believe one can trust them.

    Jimbo’s birthday, on Wikitruth. Quote:
    This is the legacy that Wales has created; a little fake world of “information” where he decides the facts, on his whim, when it suits him. How many other times has Wales Oversighted an article or edit or anything else to suit his private biases and whims?
    Comment by riprock — February 8, 2008 @ 9:26 am”

    Seems like you owe no respect dues. Perhaps you would be happier with Conservapaedia. Here are Conservativapedia’s top searches:

    Conservapedia statistics

    There are 45,133 total pages in the database. This includes “talk” pages, pages about Conservapedia, minimal “stub” pages, redirects, and others that probably don’t qualify as content pages. Excluding those, there are 19,615 pages that are probably legitimate content pages.

    5,917 files have been uploaded.

    There have been a total of 37,868,290 page views, and 335,583 page edits since the wiki was setup. That comes to 7.44 average edits per page, and 112.84 views per edit.

    User statistics

    There are 15,585 registered users, of which 27 (or 0.17%) are Administrators.

    Most viewed pages
    1. Main Page [1,936,134]
    2. Homosexuality [1,625,353]
    3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis [518,154]
    4. Homosexuality and Parasites [434,530]
    5. Homosexuality and Promiscuity [422,230]
    6. Gay Bowel Syndrome [402,194]
    7. Homosexual Couples [374,141]
    8. Homosexuality and Gonorrhea [332,116]
    9. Homosexuality and Anal Cancer [294,484]
    10. Homosexuality and Mental Health [293,812]

  6. Mikey, nice post and a wicked thought, the obession of these ‘conservatives’ about homosexuals, denial about themselves? (I know a lot of Conservatives that I admire, these people are not in any way Conservatives). Perhaps they should go to a Gay bar and get it out of their systems ;)

  7. Well, without getting into my own doubts regarding wiki… I sent the editors reference links to several reputable dictionary’s and other reference sources (like the encyclopedia of engineering principles). But for the readers of THIS blog, here’s a link to an on-line dictionary that blows Wiki out of the water on most linguistic terms: The Century Dictionary on-line. Take a look at the editors introduction, and after that the scientific and philosophic/methodological definitions….

    http://www.global-language.com/CENTURY/

    A. Scott Crawford

  8. Agreed that for any specific knowledge domain there is often a better reference source online. Wikipedia is nice in that it is a “one-stop” source, hence a nice place to start. With the caveat that it is almost useless for contraversial issues — except as a valuable source of links.

    This thread was discussing getting news on current (now!) geopolitical events. Wikipedia acts as a news aggregator, with many people finding interesting links and posting them on Wikipedia. In this case the poor internal dynamics of Wikipedia do not matter. It acts as a large bulletin board.

  9. “Pay no attention to Mr. Squirrel, he’s a friendly Squirrel.” Carl Spackler, in “Caddyshack”

    Yes this is unprecedented conspiracy blather.

    “If if wasn’t a direct attempt at eavesdropping, perhaps it was indirect. Several years ago, a colleague and I wrote about link-cutting attacks. In these, you cut some cables, to force traffic past a link you’re monitoring. Link-cutting for such purposes isn’t new; at the start of World War I, the British cut Germany’s overseas telegraph cable to force them to use easily-monitored links. One of the messages they intercepted — and cryptanalyzed — was the Zimmerman telegram, which asked Mexico to join Germany in attacking the US, in exchange for financial support and recovery of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Instead, public outrage in the US contributed to the decision to enter the war against Germany.”
    The Cable-Cutter Mystery

    Pay not attention to these links and their internal links. Nothing to see here, move along.
    Using the Internet as a weapon
    Petrodollar Warfare: Dollars, Euros and the Upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse

  10. Mikey, your posts re-enforce my comments in this post.

    1. Yes, these events could be either a intel op or prelude to war. The question is probability, likelihood. Just because they might be does not mean that they are.

    2. The other two articles nicely illustrate my point about the importance of using expert opinion as a check on speculation. First, so far as I can determine (pls correct me if I am wrong) Iran was NOT {update, I left out NOT when posting this} disconnected. Several articles, such the that by the Economist, are clear about that. What is the basis for these assertions?

    Second, the speculation about the long-awaited Iran oil trading center is nonsense. Totally absurd. On a minor level, Iran’s ability to displace the major US and EU oil trading centers is near zero in any reasonable time frame. Unless — the major Middle Eastern oil exporters used the Iran traders for forward selling and hedging. (Given the antipathy between them and Iran, that is not likely soon).

    More importantly, one can trade oil — or anything — in any currency without affecting either trade or currency flows. What matters is the currency in which wealth is held (i.e., closing balances). Even if (a big if) Iran were to become a major oil trading center that would not by itself force or spark a major change in the role of the US dollar.

  11. Whatever happened to those cables, there is a more important lesson here. After decades of propaganda, secrets and outright lies, the credibility of, well, any official source that one might name, is rapidly approaching zero. It is hardly worth bothering to read the news anymore.

  12. As the saying goes, “Never believe any story about the government until after the second denial.”

    Sixty years of US govt lies, now become almost pathological by Government officials, has bred a mistrust of government that breeds paranoia and extremism. As does the shorter but still impressive list of nefarious deeds.

    We saw this in the Clinton years with stories about Mena airfield, the crash of Secretary Ron Brown’s USAF aircraft, and the death of Vince Foster. All had suspicious characteristics. The mainstream was horrified that anyone would believe the fantastic explanations; the fringe was horrified that after so many years most people still remained closed to the possibility of extraordinary events.

  13. From a pure 4GW point of view, yet another nail in the coffin of the State. It also means that any future (home grown or other) insurgents will have a field day on the propganda and legitimacy front. And that is very worrying.

    Unfortunately, looking at our current crop of ‘leaders’ (with a few few honourble exceptions, lying appears to be institutionalised (ie it is more normal to lie than tell the truth) and the mainstream ‘forth estate’ look more and more like Pravda clones.

  14. To reply to several persons:
    1){edited down, as this is copyrighted material}.. Yeah, sorry about that, I should have given a shorter quote, thanks for the edit.

    2) Thanks very much for the links to Conservapedia and global-language.com.

    3) OldSkeptic said “What is interesting, from a sociological point of view, is how quickly so many people are to distrust (be paranoiac?) about Govt’s, especially the US. I can’t remember the figure …there was some amazing % of the US population that actually believe that US and/or Israel were involved in the Twin Tower’s collapse.”

    I think you’re referring to the Zogby polls:
    67% also fault 9/11 Commission for not investigating anomalous collapse of World Trade Center 7
    Nine percent of those polled believe the 9/11 attacks were carried out by the U.S. government

    These polls are not as surprising to civilians as they are to U.S. military folks. The U.S. relies on the much-abused military. Military personnel are forbidden to openly criticize their superiors. Some personnel must be aware of some realities on the ground — but they are forbidden to connect the dots and talk about how to reform the system. U.S. citizens remember COINTELPRO, the Tuskeegee syphilis experiments, and Iran-Contra. The U.S. kept the Manhattan Project secret, even though thousands of people were in on the secret. That means the U.S. can keep epoch-making events secret. Mainstream civilians have been connecting the dots since Watergate.

  15. The 9/11 commission was, as usual for these things in the US, very sloppy. Many odd things, like the collapse of WTC 7 and cell phone transmissions from the hijacked aircraft, were not investigated. Nor was there anything but cursory forensic work done on the WTC rubble (trucked away with great haste), absurd when one considers the workup considered appropriate for a crime scene in which one person is murdered. This creates lack of confidence in their results and fuel for conspiracy-mongers on the fringes. Minimizing this was, of course, of one the major goals of the Commission.

    As for secret projects, remember the greatest of them all: ULTRA, breaking the German codes. The thousands of people involved kept this secret until 1974.

  16. Two points:

    A)Regarding Mikey’s links and Mikyo’s observation, Fabius wrote:

    “The other two articles nicely illustrate my point about the importance of using expert opinion as a check on speculation. …The mainstream was horrified that anyone would believe the fantastic explanations; the fringe was horrified that after so many years most people still remained closed to the possibility of extraordinary events.”

    The issue of how to manage expert research on controversial topics is extremely important; one could easily teach a semester-long management science course on this.

    The problem is — given a bunch of obviously clever folks, who is an expert on what? Is a given source a madman, an agent provocateur, a plutocrat who deceives the pleb to stay loyal to his upper-class roots? It’s easy to confuse expertise in one field with expertise in another. It’s easy to overestimate reliability. Once you know who knows what, you have to apply that expertise to the right point in your organization.
    Discouraging speculation and claims is useful in some situations — such as when one has a rifle team to get ready for deployment and does not want anything to compromise that mission. The problem is how to organize the resources so that useful leads are not lost entirely. “Open source” movements will probably be better at this than hierarchies for the foreseeable future.

    B) Regarding the 9/11 Commission, the most trustworthy folks resigned in protest. One was Max Cleland. He said: “The Warren Commission blew it. I’m not going to be part of that,” and Bush gave him a different post so he wouldn’t have to stay. That looks damning to many onlookers. It doesn’t look sloppy, it looks like a carefully premeditated crime.

  17. Am I a conspiracy theorist? I haven’t seen that black helicopter. The one full of chain smoking ex-snipers who spend all their time chasing Agent Scully. The 9/11 inside job theory seems laughable. However, I don’t believe the official story either. Something was covered up. What was it exactly? I don’t know. Does that mean I need a tinfoil hat?
    .
    .
    Fabius Maximus replies: No, I do not believe you need a tinfoil hat. Respect for the data — or lack of data — is essential in the search for truth. 20th Century American history teaches us that there is much “hidden history.” God only knows what we will learn about the past fifty years… eventually. Perhaps even who killed President Kennedy, and why.

  18. Actually, these was one sort of ‘conspiracy’ about 9/11. Why such a vulnerable building could be allowed to be built in the first place. Any large fire (ie 3-7 contiguous floors fully burning) would have brought it down, because of its particular design. That’s why so many firemen were lost. The New York Fire Dept knew that it was vulnerable and that any fire had to be put out very quickly. Unfortunately they were too late.

    Basically there were 2 weak points.

    (1) The ‘stays’ holding each floor up (to the outer frame). Once they got too hot they would lose strength (at most, half the melting point of iron), then a floor would fall onto the one below, then both to the next and so on. These ‘stays’ were fire proofed (to a certain extent by covering them in asbestos) but a lot were damaged in construction and of course by age.

    (2) The central hub was not load bearing and not very strong. This meant that it could be distrupted (by fire, explosion, etc), blocking access from other floors and stopping people from above being able to get down and out.

    The planes did very little damage in structural term, they just started the fire (the jets’ fuel was burned up very quickly), but moden offices are full of flamable material (plastics, paper, etc) and that was what kept burning. They may have damaged the central hub as well, blocking access from above.

    It was the continuing fire of all the furniture, floor coverings, etc, etc, that the planes started that brought the buildings down. But, it could have been started by other means and had the exact same affect. Though to be sure that the Fire Dept couldn’t put it out before collapse, you would have to get (probably) 3 or more contiguous floors burning strongly. Another, probably related, factor was overloading of floors (no one likes to talk about this one). Buildings tend to become heavier over time as tennents put more people and stuff in. Computers, open plan offices, files, etc, etc. These probably meant that many floors were getting nearer their upper load limit anyway, meaning that just a small reduction in stay strength would cause a floor to collapse.

    Fundementally it was an unsafe design. It was very economic, cheap to build and offered more space (and hence more rental income) from the higher floors. If a traditional building, such as the Empire State, had been hit just about everyone would have got out and the building would still be standing today.

    Money before safety (again) and should have never been allowed to be built. Just to make you worry at night, there are many US buildings (and quite a few overseas ones) that use the same design and have exactly the same weaknesses.

  19. Two things about the WTC (again, big-time topic drift):

    1. Any references on this? These are the first allegations I have seen that this design was unsafe. Esp the floors near their load limit, which seems odd — I thought buildings were designed with large margins of saftey.

    2. The big questions are about WTC 7, not 1 and 2. 7 went down just like the twin towers, but was hit by no airplane. The explanation I’ve seen mentioned the large stores of fuel held there for generators.

  20. Re WTC. There is a great series of articles by a physicist Manuel Garcia at Counterpunch. See:

    The Physics of 9/11
    The Thermodynamics of 9/11
    The Fall of WTC 7

    Also worth looking at is Fire Collapses Oakland Freeway as Steel Supports Fail

    After re-reading the articles I stand corrected. The initial point of collapse was the outer frame buckling (this was observed), but for the same reason – fire. Blame it on a memory fault and getting mixed up with Zdenek P. Bazant’s (a civil engineering professor at Northwestern University) theory of the collapse initiation done two days after they fell. It was a good theory, but more detailed study showed it was not ‘stay’ collapse that initiated the fall as he had proposed.

    Garcia brings together all the elements and adds some other elements, such as insulation being damaged by the plane’s impact and the role of shock waves running through the whole structure as each floor collapsed onto the next.

    His article on the thermodynamics shows that it was the building contents burning (after all the plane fuel quickly burned up) that raised the temperatures enough for the frame to lose its strength. Which confirms my point hat ANY sufficiently large fire would have brought it down unless it was put out very quickly. He covers WTC 7, where the main factor was thousands of gallons of diesel fuel being pumped onto the fire that was started by debris from WTC 1 and 2 hitting the building.

    The article on the Oakland Freeway collapse show just how fire can bring any metal reinforced concrete structure down provided there is enough heat and fuel.

    The WTC was far more vulnerable though, because so many structural frames were relatively exposed. A more traditional building (steel reinforced concrete centre as the main load bearing point) would have lasted longer (as the concrete shields the steel from fire) and, if the fire was put out in time would probably have survived. Additionally the heavy, strong centre would have probably shielded the exits from the planes’ impact, so that more people could have got out (in the WTC it was just light concrete ‘cladding”).

    This was known at the design time and additional asbestos shielding was added to the frames at the time of construction due to pressure from (I think) the fire dept (might have been city engineers though). I got that info from a British report (BBC I think) that I’m still chasing up details on (lost the ref when I changed computers).

    To summarise,
    (1) It was a flawed design due to excessive vulnerability to fire. The fact that it went down in only an hour or so (WTC1 – 1:42 hours, WTC2 only 56 mins)demonstrates that conclusively. It should have stayed up far longer and maybe even survived if the fire had been put out in time.

    (2) This was known at design and construction time. Some extra attempts to improve its fire resistance were made, but as was seen, it was far too little. At the very least, the centre area should have been reinforced to enable escape from higher floors.

    (3) Despite this, the design was allowed to by built, because it was cheap and offered higher rentals from the larger areas available at the top of the building (as opposed to traditional designs).

    (4) The New York Fire Dept were obviously aware of this, which is why they put in such a large team of their crack people to try and put it out quickly. Tragically they were too late and lost so many of their best people. If the building had been capable of surviving the fire for even a few more hours the Firemen might have been able to put it out (or at least slow it down) and get all the people out from the higher floors.
    .
    .
    Fabius Maximus replies: excellent references. Thank you for posting them!

  21. Update and final resolution of the “cut cable crisis” — no terrorists, no submarines, not a prelude to an attack on Iran. As the experts said at the time — and the mainstream media reported — it was just a typical accident.

    UAE releases one of the ships impounded for cable damage“, indiatimes (12 April 2008) — Excerpt

    “The UAE authorities have released one of the two ships allegedly responsible for causing damage to an undersea cable network of Flag Telecom that had resulted in disruption of Internet services across India for two weeks. The ship was released after a Korean shipping company, which owns it, paid huge compensation to Flag Telecom, a subsidiary of Reliance Globalcom, as damage, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

    “The two ships — MV Hounslow and MT Ann — were impounded on February 19 when they reached Dubai shores for allegedly damaging the cable network in February. The action was taken after Reliance Globalcom provided details of the ships by studying the satellite images of the ship movements around the area of undersea cable damage off the northern coast of Egypt and the UAE.

    “Abdul Jaleel Mahdi, Deputy Director of CID of Dubai Police, told the daily that one of the impounded ships, belonging to a Korean shipping company, was released after payment of huge compensation to Flag Telecom. During police interrogation, an official of the Korean ship admitted that the vessel was passing through the area and agreed to pay USD 60,000 as damages, the report said.

    “The second ship, which belongs to an Iraqi company, is still in the custody of Dubai Police and the Coast Guards, a police source was quoted as saying by the daily.”

    The original story mentioned is “Internet cable damage: two ships impounded“, The Hindu (7 April 2008).

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