The Times reveal that the pirates who took over this mysterious vessel, "suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill “within days” of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died."
Weird, because that sounds just like radiation poisoning. Which is caused when people come into contact with radioactive material. Like uranium. Which is used to make nuclear weapons.
The ship's manifest says it's carrying "minerals." What's more interesting is that the shipping company is Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, a state-owned company run by Iran's military.
Out of about 100 pirates who boarded the ship, a number of them fell ill and died during the six days of negotiating with Somalian officials. This was confirmed first-hand by Hassan Allore Osman, minister of minerals and oil in Puntland, who was sent to investigate the reports of toxic cargo.
The Long War Journal adds, "Somali and regional officials directly involved in the negotiations over the ship and who spoke to The Long War Journal are convinced that it was heading to Eritrea to deliver small arms and chemical weapons to Somalia's Islamist insurgents."
This, of course, is not terribly far fetched.
Iran's involvement in the conflict in Somalia on behalf of Islamist insurgents is well documented. In 2006, Iran flouted arms embargos and provided sophisticated anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons to the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), intelligence sources told The Long War Journal, including SA-7 Strella and SA-18 Igla MANPADS - shoulder fired surface-to-air missiles - as well as AT-3 Sagger antitank missiles.See? Uranium.
A report issued by the United Nations in 2006 states that weapons were transferred to Somalia through Lebanon-based Hezbollah, which also absorbed a contingent of 700 Islamist fighters from Somalia during Hezbollah's war with Israel. The report also states that Iran provided support for Islamist training camps inside Somalia and had sent two emissaries to negotiate with the ICU for access to Somalia's uranium mines.