Rense has sensational article suggesting up to 8 cables cut...
UPDATE : 14.30 GMT
The Galloping Beaver has a fascinating post which concentrates it appears with considerable knowledge on the unique facilites of the USS Jimmy Carter (remember the Carter Doctrine after the Iranians nabbed the Embassy staff inTehern ?) .
This is .."one hot piece of kit. It is the one submarine in the US fleet which is designated a Multi-Mission Platform and is purpose built to carry out a number of roles in special warfare, undersea surveillance and other really sneaky stuff."
This Hot wet split beaver then proposes .."If I were conducting an intercept operation requiring an undersea fiber-optic cable splice which I knew the cable operator would detect, I need a way to prevent that operator from detecting it. Create a diversion.
By disabling the cable, either by severing it underwater or creating a problem ashore, it gives me time to do my splice undetected in a location far away from the diversionary problem. When the cable operator says it will be days before a repair ship can get to it, that gives me plenty of time to get the job done and get out of the area."
Sounds plausible and well worth reading the background of the cold war ops when the US navy successfully read the the Soviet navy's Pacific Fleet headquarters comms when they tapped an undersea cable in the Sea of Okhotsk, which was discovered by the Soviets and another of the Kola Peninsula tapping into the Soviet Northern Fleet headquarters which remained undiscovered.
Commentator Boris also reflects that
It doesn't have to be in advance of any US action; it could just as easily be a relatively harmless way to test if it could be done should the need arise. Cutting those cables would empirically tell the [US] two several things: 1) the response time of the repairers; 2) the effects it has on the target region; 3) the adaptive mechanisms used to overcome it (rerouting signals through other networks = IDing new targets). The US has stated in the past they want the capability to "turn off" the internet or any global communication system.
Some folks tie this in, not with raining missiles down on the shopping Malls of Teheran but the much heralded ( 4 years in gestation)Teheran oil Bourse... which seems as much vapour ware as ever.
This has sevral interesting links which dig deeper into tinfoil territory;
http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=34493 - USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) and USS Maine (SSBN 741) (Blue and Gold) were awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" award for 2007 in ceremonies Jan. 17 and 18.
Richard Sauder @ http://www.cyberspaceorbit.com/ConnectingTheDots.htm ... "By my count, we are probably dealing with as many as eight, maybe even nine, unexplained cut or damaged undersea cables within the last week, and not the mere three or four that most mainstream news media outlets in the United States are presently reporting. Given all this cable-cutting mayhem in the last several days, who knows but what there may possibly be other cut and/or damaged cables that have not made it into the news cycle, because they are lost in the general cable-cutting noise by this point. Nevertheless, let me enumerate what I can, and keep in mind, I am not pulling these out of a hat; all of the sources are referenced at the conclusion of the article; you can click through and look at all the evidence that I have. It's there if you care to read through it all.
1) one off of Marseille, France
2) two off of Alexandria, Egypt
3) one off of Dubai, in the Persian Gulf
4) one off of Bandar Abbas, Iran in the Persian Gulf
5) one between Qatar and the UAE, in the Persian Gulf
6) one in the Suez, Egypt
7) one near Penang, Malaysia
8) initially unreported cable cut on 23 January 2008 (Persian Gulf?)
He has a mass of links and appears to fully understand the technology ... and says quite reasonably ,"The hard reality is that we are now living in a world of irrational and violent policies enacted against the civilian population by multinational corporations, and military and espionage agencies the world over. We see the evidence for this on every hand. Only the most myopic among us remain oblivious to that reality." and provides this brillian tlink to "Ivy bells" the sea of Okhotsk jobby. A nust read. http://www.specialoperations.com/Operations/ivybells.html - see pic
All very interesting to those sort of people who find this sort of thing very intersting.
PS : Robert Pelton
Pelton was a low-level , red haired , communications specialist at the National Security Agency for 14 years. He left the NSA in 1980 and was arrested in 1985 and accused of selling secrets to the Soviets. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted in 1986 of two counts of espionage and one count of conspiracy. He was sentenced to three concurrent life sentences. One of the secrets Pelton passed to the Soviets was information that compromised "Operation Ivy Bells," a top-secret operation in which a listening device was attached to Soviet undersea communication lines to record Soviet communications. He collected US$35K from the Russians for his troubles.