British Suspect in Iceland Sabotage Gave False Name
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) _ A Briton suspected in the sabotage of two Icelandic whaling ships gave a false name when he stayed in the country, police said Thursday.
Authorities are also investigating the possible involvement of a Swedish woman, Christina Madeling, in the attacks, the newspaper Helgarposturinn reported. An American is also sought.
Police spokeswoman Helgi Danielsson said the Briton’s real name is David Howit and he was believed to be back in Britain.
On Wednesday, Iceland said it had issued arrest warrants through Interpol, the international police agency, for David Howard, 21, of Plymouth, England, and Rodney Coronado, 20, of Morgan Hill, Calif.
Ms. Danielsson said that Howit gave the name Howard in registering at the Salvation Army guest house in Reykjavik.
Both men are members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international anti-whaling group. It has claimed responsibility for sinking two of Iceland’s four whaling vessels in Reykjavik harbor early Sunday and for wrecking a whaling station where whale byproducts are processed.
There were no injuries, but damage was estimated at $2 million.
Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson said Thursday in an interview with Iceland Radio that a man named Howit was a member of the society. Watson said Howit was in the crew of the society’s vessel, Sea Shepherd, which harassed whalers earlier this year in the Danish Faroe Islands between Iceland and Britain’s Shetland Islands.
The society said earlier that Coronado arrived Wednesday in New York.
Police sources in Iceland said Ms. Madeling, 21, also stayed at the Salvation Army hostel and had said she intended to stay until Christmas. But she joined Coronado and Howit on an Icelandic Airlines flight to Luxembourg immediately after the sabotage, the sources said.
Work to raise the two vessels began Thursday. Kristjan Loftsson, manager and main owner of the Hvalur Whaling Co. that owns the vessels and the damaged processing station, said the full damage will be known after the ships are afloat.
Sea Shepherd accuses Iceland of conducting illegal commercial whaling in the guise of scientific research. Iceland abides by the International Whaling Commission’s decision to halt commercial whaling until 1990, but it permits the killing of 200 whales a year for scientific study.