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"Navy Times': Strait of Hormuz 'Showdown' with Iran May Have Been the Work of Prankster

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

"Navy Times': Strait of Hormuz 'Showdown' with Iran May Have Been the Work of Prankster

Article excerpt

It was said to be proof of Iran's threatening intentions of the U.S., and President Bush and Republican candidates have been using it to threaten attacks against the aggressor. But tonight the Navy Times reports, "The threatening radio transmission heard at the end of a video showing harassing maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz may have come from a locally famous heckler known among ship drivers as the 'Filipino Monkey.'

"Since the Jan. 6 incident was announced to the public a day later, the U.S. Navy has said it's unclear where the voice came from. In the videotape released by the Pentagon on Jan. 8, the screen goes black at the very end and the voice can be heard, distancing it from the scenes on the water. 'We don't know for sure where they came from,' said Cmdr. Lydia Robertson, spokeswoman for 5th Fleet in Bahrain. 'It could have been a shore station.'

"While the threat -- 'I am coming to you. You will explode in a few minutes' -- was picked up during the incident, further jacking up the tension, there's no proof yet of its origin. And several Navy officials have said it's difficult to figure out who's talking. …

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