According to statistics posted on the Suez Canal's website, anywhere from 16,000 to 22,000 ships pass through the 118-mile canal every year. In 2012, 17,225 ships went through, approximately 47 ships per day.
The U.S. official said the Suez Canal, as important as it is to the global economy, is naturally a "persistent target" for potential terror plots, a sentiment confirmed by the al-Furqan Brigades' statement.
"We will target it again whenever we want… It is the lifeblood of trade for the states of infidelity and oppression," the group said. "The worst is yet to come."
The COSCO Asia was apparently undeterred by the assault and has continued its journey to Hamburg, Germany. It is, as of this report, off the northern coast of Spain, according to online vessel trackers. Representatives for COSCO did not immediately respond to requests for comment.