Ships to turn terror targets? UK-trained naval officer defects to Islamic State

London: Kuwaiti-born Ali Alosaimi trained on a Merchant Navy course in Britain before allegedly fleeing to join Islamic State, leading to concerns his knowledge could be used to attack shipping.

Defence experts, according to the RT online, claimed the 28-year-old’s knowledge and training could make him a threat to Britain.

Alosaimi enrolled on a three-year course at a marine college in South Shields in 2011, although it was not known whether he completed his studies.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Former Navy chief Admiral Lord West told the Daily Mail: “This suddenly raises the specter of IS damaging shipping. Someone with his knowledge opens up a whole new area where terrorism can take place.”

Alosaimi joined IS after being radicalized by videos of Syrian troops bombing civilians. His details came to light in a cache of document leaked to the Mail, revealing he had previously worked for a Kuwaiti shipping company.

It was feared, but not confirmed, that he had access to information about vessels chartered to the Ministry of Defence.

IS appears determined to attack Britain's military infrastructure, be that at sea or online.

On 3 May, an online offshoot of IS calling itself the “Islamic State Hacking Division” issued threats after publishing a hit list of targets, including details of 75 US Air Force personnel.

According to a Sunday Times report, hackers said they would “disclose secret intelligence” from an alleged source working in the MoD.

“In our next leak, we may even disclose secret intelligence the Islamic State has just received from a source the brothers in the UK have spent some time acquiring from the Ministry of Defence in London as we slowly and secretly infiltrate England and the USA online and off,” the collective wrote.

Updated Date: May 10, 2016 08:18 AM

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