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.