November 21, 2010 / 5:05 PM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX-Abdullah Azzam Brigades and Japanese supertanker

Nov 21 (Reuters) - A Japanese oil tanker damaged in July near the Strait of Hormuz shipping lane was attacked by an al-Qaeda linked group that could carry out more strikes in the area, according to the U.S. Department of Transport.

In an advisory, it says it has concluded that a militant group’s claim of responsibility for the attack was “valid”. The Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed that a member of the group had launched a suicide bomb attack on the tanker on July 28.

Here are details on the group and past claims of attacks:

* BACKGROUND:

— The group is named after Palestinian Abdullah Azzam, who led Islamic militants in Afghanistan and was killed in 1989 by a roadside bomb. Azzam is regarded as the one-time spiritual mentor of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

— The Brigades have generally operated from the Sinai Peninsula, and have carried out attacks primarily on targets in Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. The latest claim could suggest they also have ties with the Yemen-based wing of al Qaeda.

* CLAIMS OF OTHER ATTACKS:

— September 2009: A part of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for two Katyusha rockets from south Lebanon that landed in the northern Israeli coastal town of Nahariya.

— August 2005: The Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed a failed attempt to strike two U.S. warships in Jordan’s Aqaba port with rockets, instead hitting a warehouse and a hospital and killing one Jordanian soldier.

— July 2005: The Brigades claimed an attack on the Egyptian Sinai resort town Sharm el-Sheikh, where two car bombs and a suitcase ripped through hotels and shopping areas, killing 67 people and wounding more than 200.

— April 2005: A suicide bomber struck at foreign tourists near Egypt’s most famous museum in Cairo, while his sister and girlfriend opened fire on a tourist bus. The attacks killed three people. Two groups — the Mujahideen of Egypt and the Martyr Abdullah Azzam Brigades — said on an Islamist website that their people carried out the attacks.

— October 2004: A group calling itself the Martyr Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed truck bomb attacks that killed 34 people and wounded 120 at the Hilton hotel resort in Taba, an Egyptian Sinai town on the border with Israel, along with two explosions that hit backpacker beaches in Nuweiba, south of Taba. (Sources: Reuters/Janes World Insurgency) (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by William Maclean and Peter Graff)

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