Canada has cancelled a visit to India for one of its warships and assigned it to counterterrorism operations in the Gulf of Aden because of risks of al Qaeda attacks, an officer on the ship said.
Canadian authorities working with their allies in the area determined that an increased threat from al Qaeda warranted the frigate HMCS Fredericton shifting to counterterrorism duties from originally planned joint exercises with India.
“This was more important, based on the immediate threat,” Navy Lieutenant Brian Owens from the Fredericton in the Gulf of Aden area, which is near the mouth of the Red Sea.
The Fredericton had already been in the area combating piracy, where cargo ships are being held for ransom, and has now shifted its attention to fighting attacks on ships aimed simply at destroying them.
Two weeks ago, the US government warned ships sailing off Yemen’s coast of the risk of al Qaeda attacks similar to a suicide bombing of the US warship Cole in 2000, which killed 17 sailors.
Pic: Canadian frigate HMCS Frederiction