Iranian ship captured by pirates with mysterious, toxic cargo.
Wow - this is the most interesting story no one has heard about. An Iranian ship operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, AKA the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Shipping Lines, was captured by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
Said pirates board ship to plunder cargo, and reportedly emerge with strange ailments, skin lesions, and hair loss. The Iranian ship had departed Nanjing, China, and claimed a destination of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, with a cargo of "iron ore and industrial materials" for a "German client".
If much of any of this story is true, the ship may be carrying Chinese nuclear material and equipment for the Iranian nuclear program, being shipped (or smuggled) via Europe to avoid international scrutiny.
The pirates and Somali officials say the ship is suspected of delivering weapons to Somali Islamic extremists in Eritrea, but I doubt this is true unless the Iranians are arming Somali terrorists with Chinese nuclear weapons.
The ship was captured on 21 August, and is reportedly still being held in Somalia. The pirates negotiated a ransom with the Iranians, but the Iranians cancelled the deal, saying they couldn't come get their ship because of the presence of the US Navy in the area.
I had to Google the heck out of this story to find anything at all about it. Here is one more story. And another.
The last story has an interesting twist - it says the US government has offered the pirates $7 million to search the ship. That's just fascinating. The question is whether the pirates hatred of the US outweighs their love of booty, and I don't know that there's any answer to that yet.
The question is what happens if we discover definitively that the ship is in fact carrying Chinese nuclear material being smuggled illegally to Iran? What do we do? My guess is that the US gov't might want to keep that story a secret, rather than potentially ignite a major international crisis.
I further suspect this is why we haven't heard more about this story - absolutely nothing in the MSM as far as I can tell.