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Typical undersea fiber optic cables, like the ones featured here, incorporate multiple layers of steel armor. Physically severing a cable can require thousands of pounds of force.
Sabotage hasn't been ruled out as the cause of the five undersea cables cut in the Middle East

Nearly a month has passed yet there is still very little information on what caused the severing of five undersea cables in and around the Middle East.

Sami al-Murshed, head of the International Telecommunication Union said, “We do not want to pre-empt the results of ongoing investigations, but we do not rule out that a deliberate act of sabotage caused the damage to the undersea cables over two weeks ago.”

DailyTech reported that FLAG Telecom found that its FALCON cable was cut by an abandoned ships anchor on February 8. The question in many minds was exactly how the anchor ended up in the area of the FALCON cable since early reports said no ships were in the vicinity of the cables when they were severed.

Adding fuel to the conspiracy theory fire was the fact that no images of the ships anchor were shown. Images would have shown if the anchor was an old barnacle covered specimen long ago abandoned or if it was a shiny new anchor cut from a ship recently. The odds of five cables failing in that period of a few weeks are simply astronomical.

InformationWeek quotes Stephan Beckert, director of research at TeleGeography Research as saying, “There's this big game of telephone going on between bloggers and reporters. Anything is possible. But it doesn't do any good to speculate.”

Beckert went on to say he believes fishing nets or ship anchors are the likely causes and when asked about sabotage he says, “[Sabotage] is extremely rare. I'm not aware of any [incidents], but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened."

DailyTech reported on the first pair of cut undersea cables on January 31, the report of the third cable cut came in on February 4; the fourth cut cable was announced on February 5 with the final report of a cut cable coming in on February 6.  It was later revealed two of the five cable failures were due to faulty power supplies, and not physically severed cables.

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So, let me get this straight
By oab on 2/20/2008 2:12:41 PM , Rating: 4
So, of the 5 cables that were cut, two had faulty power supplies (not cut), and two were cut by a ships anchor.

5 Cables disconnected
-2 lost power
-2 cut by "anchor"
=1 remaining that was damaged due to unknown causes. I think I remember reading here at one point that cables do fail naturally on their own, though it is uncommon, and highly unexpected because these cables were brand new.

So, of the three cables that had something go "properly" wrong, two was an "accident", and one has not had its cause be revealed yet.

So, much ado about nothing, probably. At least, that's what they want us to believe. Right?

RE: So, let me get this straight
By Ammohunt on 2/20/2008 2:21:23 PM , Rating: 5
It could have been a USO (Unidentified Submersible Object) on its way to an abduction. Accidentally ran into the cables and cut them.

RE: So, let me get this straight
By BladeVenom on 2/20/2008 3:26:08 PM , Rating: 2
The Martians are living in the deep oceans now.

RE: So, let me get this straight
By Ajax9000 on 2/20/2008 7:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
RE: So, let me get this straight
By Hieyeck on 2/20/2008 3:43:33 PM , Rating: 4
Quick, call XCOM!

RE: So, let me get this straight
By Etsp on 2/20/2008 2:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
Close... there were 5 total points of failure, but only 4 cables affected. One cable was cut AND lost power...

RE: So, let me get this straight
By PrinceGaz on 2/20/2008 7:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that all these incidents (cut cables, power-surges or whatever) happened in such a short space of time does look a little suspicious to me. Coincidences do happen naturally, but with things like this they happen more often delibrately. As part of the investigation into what caused it, you would have to include who could possibly gain by sabotaging them.

RE: So, let me get this straight
By Etsp on 2/20/2008 8:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
I never said it wasn't sabotage...

RE: So, let me get this straight
By solo123 on 2/20/08, Rating: -1
RE: So, let me get this straight
By solo123 on 2/20/08, Rating: 0
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