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The Jehoshua Novels


Ahoy There! Piracy is the newest security threat

Asymmetrical warfare, the Pentagon calls it. The U.S. spends a minimum of $600 billion on its Defense Department budget, but the real security threats come from terrorists or pirates with minuscule budgets and attack forces numbering 20 or less.

The latest outrage is this week’s commandeering of a Very Large Crude Carrier, the Star Sirius, off the coast of Somalia. VLCC means that the carrier is holding $100 million of crude oil, destined for the United States. This is a vessel taller than the Chrysler Building, yet it was successfully overtaken by 15 pirates who captured the crew, and had the carrier taken to a Somali port where it is now surrounded by hundreds of other pirates.

This is the largest ship attacked by pirates off Africa’s east coast – in fact, short of a U.S. aircraft carrier, ships don’t get any larger or more valuable. The pirates have gotten rich off this trade, and unless some nation mounts a risky direct assault on the vessel itself, it is almost certain that the Saudi owners of this VLCC are going to pay millions of dollars in ransom for the crew and the carrier.

Captains of freighters and other cargo ships say that it is unusual not to be attacked by pirates in these waters. Freighters and cargo ships are increasingly traveling by night to avoid detection, and at speeds in excess of 60 knots, because the wake that results makes it harder for pirates to climb aboard.

The U.S. navy is patrolling these waters, but it says it doesn’t have enough ships to do a thorough job, and that shipping companies must beef up their own security to deal with this menace.

One argument the Pentagon has made as to why it needs a budget that dwarfs all other military budgets combined is that it acts as the policeman for global shipping. This is like saying the United States dollar as the reserve currency of the world, along with its preeminent financial infrastructure, are providing an inestimable service to the global economy. It just ain’t so.

Nobody is getting their monies worth from the $600 billion Pentagon budget – not the American people, and not the citizens of the rest of the world who are supposed to put their faith in American military hegemony.

Modern piracy occasionally results in casualties, but for the most part it is an economic crime, and so it doesn’t get the public attention of something like the 9/11 attacks. But it has its consequences – the price of crude oil jumped several dollars on this news, and over time the cost of this piracy is inevitably parceled out to the consumer.

After the previous U.S. military experience in Somalia, it is not likely that the U.S. will want to mount a land invasion of this lawless country in order to roust out the pirates. But if the U.S. can embargo Cuba for four decades, maybe it can find a way to establish a cordon of ships off the coast of East Africa, to prevent the pirates from getting through to the shipping lanes. That would at least be consistent with its stated purpose of protecting global shipping, especially for oil.

If this can’t be accomplished, then someone in Washington should be asking what is the purpose for all these hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the Pentagon.

49 comments to Ahoy There! Piracy is the newest security threat

  • Anonymous

    Way back around 1800, the new United States got a bit tangled up with the pirates on the north African coast. This whole episode has been cited by neocons as a justification for the war on terror – though really it gets back more to ‘let’s make some money with all nations’ kind of philosophy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War

    The Pasha of Tripoli tried to hold Thomas Jefferson to a $225,000 ransom to get safe passage in the area. You’d think the Saudi owners of this craft today would have a little pull with the back channel wheeler-dealers needed to cut an arrangement.

    They were able to blockade much of the Barbary Coast for a time. (IIRC Barbary is the root of ‘barbarian’ and so might be a perjorative?)

    The first US Marines managed to recapture and destroy the USS Philadelphia, as well as the city of Tripoli. Which is why it’s in their song.

    Until 1798 the Knights of Malta gave those corsairs a good thrashin… It sounds like an interesting geographical/historical period that I’ve never really studied.


    Hongpong.com

  • geraldatwork

    The solution is easy and quite cheap. Just have each ship hide a couple of dozen heavily armed Marines aboard and as the Pirate ship, boat actually, approaches blow them out of the water. Having 10 rotating crews of 25 Marines 250 in total would stop the Pirates after they keep having their boats sunk and members killed. After a while they wouldn’t know which ships had Marines or not.

  • justadood

    I don’t see the Marines going into Mogadishu (again), as they did in Tripoli.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Obama administration chooses to handle this issue (I don’t really see it as a ‘threat’ yet) going forward.
    My gut-level response is to go overkill….put the ‘Iwo Jima’ off the coast of Somalia, with SEAL teams on-board, as a rapid-reaction force to head over, and physically remove the problem (in other words, blow the @#%@%-s away). I’m not inclined to mercy towards pirates, and view them similarly to plane hijackers of the ’70′s and ’80′s. As muslims, especially muslims following Sharia, they should be well aware of the penalty for Theft….and so should not be surprised if people come after them guns blazing…

    Let’s see what happens….

    -5.75,-4.05
    “God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.” — Robin Williams

  • Escher Sketch

    it comes from Hellenic thought as the blanket pejorative term for non-Greek-speaking peoples. Hellenes thought the spoken sounds of non-Greek languages sounded like “bar bar bar bar” (if we hadn’t had the term lying around already, and had been required to create one to express our unfortunately entirely similar assumptions, we probably would have created something like “blahblahblah-ians”).

    Origin of the term

    The word “barbarian” comes into English from Medieval Latin barbarinus, from Latin barbaria, from Latin barbarus, from the ancient Greek word βάρβαρος (bárbaros). The word is onomatopeic, the bar-bar representing the impression of random hubbub produced by hearing a spoken language that one cannot understand, similar to blah blah, babble or rhubarb in modern English. Related imitative forms are found in other Indo-European languages, such as Sanskrit barbara-, “stammering” or “curly-haired.”
    Depending on its use, the term “barbarian” either described a foreign individual or tribe whose first language was not Greek or a Greek individual or tribe speaking Greek crudely. The term is also historically used to describe the Vikings[2] and Goths; it is a common label for the “Normans” during their invasion of England and for the Goths during the Gothic revolt that put an end to the Roman Empire in 470 A.D. and began the so-called Dark Ages.
    The Greeks used the term as they encountered scores of different foreign cultures, including the Egyptians, Persians, Indians, Celts, Germans, Phoenicians, Etruscans, and Carthaginians. However in certain occasions, the term was also used by Greeks, especially Athenians to deride other Greek tribes and states (such as Macedonians, Epirotes, Eleans and Aeolic-speakers) in a pejorative and politically motivated manner.[3] Of course, the term also carried a cultural dimension to its dual meaning.[4][5] The verb barbarizein in ancient Greek meant imitating the linguistic sounds non-Greeks made or making grammatical errors in Greek.

    Wiki: “Barbarian


    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Escher Sketch

    would prefer such an initiative to be administered by the UN, a vastly more appropriate body for the task of keeping international sea lanes open.


    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • JustPlainDave

    …and one with [perhaps] some substance:

    1. I think you mean longer than the Chrysler Building is tall. Image formed in my mind otherwise is alarming. :O

    2. I don’t think you mean 60 knots. I’d venture to say that there’s no merchant ship that does 60 knots. [Okay, except for some of the go boats, but that's a pretty atypical class of "merchandise", if you take my meaning.] Principle holds true, however.

    3. SNMG2 [Standing NATO Maritime Group 2] is operating off Somalia right now and my understanding is that the EU is in the process of setting something up.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • Joes Bar and Grill

    The Sirius Star is three times the size of an aircraft carrier.

    Clearly harder to defend, in spite of that fact…

  • tjfxh

    Go Pirates!

    But that’s chump change. Now if you want to hear about some real piracy:

    Naomi Klein: Bailout is ‘multi-trillion-dollar crime scene’
    David Edwards and Muriel Kane

  • Jeff Wegerson

    wikipedia:

    It was coined during the time when Great Britain was colonizing areas of the globe inhabited by native tribes that practiced what seemed to the foreigners mysterious and puzzling rituals which were then called “Mumbo Jumbo”, after a supposed idol. One of the sources for the English usage is the Vachel Lindsay poem The Congo, which contains the phrase “Mumbo-Jumbo, God of the Congo”. Some believe mumbo jumbo is a translation of the Swahili greeting “Mambo Jambo”

  • Escher Sketch

    the moment that someone stands off your bow, just out of range of the fire hoses, with an RPG pointed at your bridge.


    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Escher Sketch

    Like continuing to call First Nations folks “Indians” because of Europeans’ problems with geography.

    Gosh, why would *anyone* have a problem being continually referred to by a name that represents nothing more than my ancestors’ errors in geography? :D


    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • canuck

    unless the pirates look like they’re in range and about to board. Beats arming ships and escorting them. MV Becrux plies those waters frequently.

    I do expect they have other weapons on board, but so far haven’t found the need to use them. There is NOT any weaponry visible on the ship. You’d have to watch the drill the crews go through. There was absolutely no talk of wanting to be escorted or having heavier armaments during the video.

    Seemed like a viable alternative!

  • Numerian

    I’m referring to the Bloomberg article:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=apQtgn7.FWe0&refer=home

    I interpreted that to mean as tall as, but it does make more sense to mean as long as.

    Either way, when the tanker is filled with crude oil its deck must lie very close to the surface of the water, so it couldn’t be too hard to fire up grappling ladders.

    The 60 knots quote comes from another article, but I assume no supertanker could go at such a speed, so I referred only to cargo ships and freighters. I remember seeing a program on these LVCCs which said they are so massive that directional changes have to take into account the earth’s gravity.

  • canuck

    article, it appeared Sirius Star was anchored at the time of the pirate takeover, making it more vulnerable. A ship of this size takes a very long time to get underway.

  • Tina

    BBC

    LIVE Piracy Map
    click on balloons to see reports, or use sidebar for reports

  • mcgrande

    and air cover will deter or destroy them. Eliminate their port facilities via airstrike.

  • JustPlainDave

    …the fastest cargo vessels in the world are a series of fast sealift ships used for rapid movements of military equipment. Apparently they top out at 33 knots. Not at all my area of expertise, so YYMV, take with salt, caveat emptor etc.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • JustPlainDave

    As in, maybe just a stretch of beach.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • Stirling Newberry

    just plain stinks right now.

  • Numerian

    This morning a U.K. teenager set out to break the record for youngest solo circumnavigation of the globe. At least he’ll know what parts of Africa to avoid.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/nov/16/sailing-michael-perham

  • Don

    Makes me wonder if this isn’t related to Al-Qaeda.

    Could be more effective with less backlash than killing people would.

    I did inhale.

  • Synoia

    Boats has the UN?

  • Synoia

    30 feet plus from the surface of the water.
    Supertankers: 14-18 knots laden.

  • Synoia

    Reputedly strike at night, and board over the stern. And there are no more than 3 on watch. And having done this, one does not keep watch by looking astern, as one tends to collide with things in front of one (constant bearing rule).

  • Synoia

    He’ll go south, and stay south, to pass both Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn.

    And it’ll be Southern Hemisphere summer.

  • Synoia

    While the cargo is valuable, there is both a lot of it, and it’s not that easy to unload with buckets.

    Ransom?

  • Escher Sketch

    how many troops the UN has.


    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Tina

    Somali pirates demand ransom for Sirius Star

    Times Online Nov 19

    The Somali pirates who hijacked the Saudi oil super-tanker Sirius Star have demanded a ransom, a man presented on al-Jazeera television as one of the authors of the attack said on Wednesday.

    “Negotiators are located on board the ship and on land. Once they have agreed on the ransom, it will be taken in cash to the oil tanker,” said the man identified as Farah Abd Jameh, who did not indicate the amount to be paid.

    “We assure the safety of the ship that carries the ransom. We will mechanically count the money and we have machines that can detect fake money,” the man said on an audio tape produced by the Dubai-based television network.

    The message came as two more ships were seized by Somali pirates in the past 24 hours: a Greek bulk carrier and a Thai fishing boat, despite a large international naval presence in the waters off their lawless country. An Iranian cargo ship was also hijacked earlier in the week.

    more

  • Numerian

    Maybe they only take euros. They are certainly not dumb if they have machines to detect counterfeits.

  • adrena

    have no friends but many foes … they don’t seem to care who is fighting whom on the world stage. Might we see the U.S. and Iran engage in a cooperative effort to slay this dragon?


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • Tina

    Blackwater gunboats will protect ships

    By Kim Sengupta
    Wednesday, 19 November 2008

    The American security company Blackwater is planning to cash in on the rising threat of piracy on the high seas by launching a flotilla of gunboats for hire by the shipping companies.

    The firm, which gained international notoriety when its staff killed civilians in Iraq, has already equipped one vessel, called The McArthur, which will carry up to 40 armed guards and have a landing pad for an attack helicopter.

    The McArthur, a former survey ship, arrives in the Gulf of Aden, the scene of the recent high-profile hijackings and shootouts with Somali pirates, at the end of the year. It is to be joined by three or four similar vessels over next year to form the company’s private navy.

    Blackwater, which has strong ties with the Republican administration in Washington, was the subject of investigations by the US Congress and the Iraqi government after its guards shot dead 17 people in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square last year, a massacre which led directly to changes in law regarding security contractors in Iraq.

    Several security companies are rushing to the region despite the presence of British, American, Russian and Indian naval warships, among others, sent to protect ships. For fees ranging from £8,000 to £12,000 for transits of three and five days, companies are offering teams of unarmed guards, “non-lethal deck security personnel”.

    With more than 60 ships attacked in the Gulf and ship-owners paying an estimated £75m in ransom for the return of crew and cargo, the security companies foresee a lucrative business.

    more

  • yogi-one

    That might be an area in which Blackwater could actually operate ethically. I say let them have at it, and spare our military men and women. Our military should be used only to defend our country. Let the mercenaries do the mercenary work and keep our kids out of it.

    Oh, yeah, and I want to add, this is yet another good reason to get weaned off imported ME oil.

    “For fees ranging from £8,000 to £12,000 for transits of three and five days, companies are offering teams of unarmed guards, “non-lethal deck security personnel”.

    –why the heck are they going to be unarmed? How’s that going to protect anyone?

  • JustPlainDave

    …I’ll tell ya, my skin’d be crawling over whether any given sortie was going to be the time that I found out that the pirates actually did know how to work a Strela.

    “The absence of any US-Iran bilateral channel…may have the perverse effect of reinforcing Iranian interest in progressing in the nuclear realm so that the US will be forced to take it seriously and engage it directly.” ~ Richard Haass

  • Ken Roberts

    Why is this news? What confirmation by independent channels? Who benefits? Thus far, beneficiaries are … long oil, oil producers, shippers and shipping insurance, mercenary services advertising.

    The original article had an error of factor of 8-10 say, 60 knots vs reality. How do we know other allegations are not off by 8-10 times?

    Sorry, this story emerged too rapidly to be genuine as presented. Maybe I’m wrong – often the case – but I will prefer to wait for “service pack 1″ re-release before installing the “VLCC piracy justifies whatever” meme.

  • Synoia

    With a weapon? No. That really would be crazy.

    Holes suddenly in the worng places, Muzzle flash an explosive combination. Crude oil has a light volitile component (part of it is the smell).

  • HongPong

    good point to be suspicious of anyone pitching Law and Order Services, but also check out the live piracy map posted above. it’s really frickin crazy!!

    Hongpong.com

  • Tina

    Somali tanker pirates ‘want $25m’

    The Sirius Star has 25 crew – who are said to be unharmed
    Pirates who hijacked a Saudi oil tanker off the Somali coast are reported to have demanded a $25m (£17m) ransom.

    The AFP news agency, quoting one of the pirates, says the owners have been set a 10-day deadline to hand over the sum.

    The Sirius Star is the biggest tanker ever hijacked, carrying a cargo of two million barrels of Saudi oil – worth more than $100m.

    “We do not want long-term discussions to resolve the matter,” the agency quoted Mohamed Said as saying.

    “The Saudis have 10 days to comply, otherwise we will take action that could be disastrous,” he added, without elaborating.

    more

  • canuck

    they don’t appear to kill.

    Weaponry on tankers on any other massive-sized ship is definitely NOT the logical choice.

    How will sending in more naval resources help identify the pirates because they blend in with the population? They don’t have any developed ports and just play things by ear.

    Interesting five-part article that I read about modern piracy:

    From the link:

    “Stopping them BEFORE they board is the key” (Powerful fire hoses do work! So does vigilance on the part of the crew for approaching boats from astern, abeam or ahead.)

    Historically, piracy was suppressed by attacking the land bases of pirates. Once the leaders of pirate communities realised that acts of piracy would be met with cannons, they quickly diverted their energies into other moneymaking channels.”

    ——

    Does make sense the suggestion that shipping companies track where their ships currently are on the oceans, using satellite technology. If I were an owner of a large shipping company, I would not be employing tactics that escalate violence, endangers the crew or the cargo its carrying. Large ships lack speed and maneuverability capability especially in tight quarters when navigating narrow passages.

    These particular pirates concentrated their attacks in identifiable regions–they appear to lack land bases, but they have to be putting all these ships and hostages in a relatively small region? Authorities need to concentrate on where those regions are. Doesn’t mean military force would get the hostages or the ships released, but it does narrow down spots where the ships and hostages are being held for possible attack AFTER the ships and hostages are safe.

    In my mind, there is parallel between hired mercenaries like Blackwater and pirates! Radar isn’t terribly effective in detecting small boats. Sailing boats often have to carry radar reflectors in the rigging in order for larger ships to see them on their screens–doubt the pirates would be that co-operative! :-) Crew eyes and binoculars, when on the water, are more effective at seeing small speed boats approaching! Night-time vigilance remains particularly problematic for large ships.

  • Tina

    well that will teach them….

    UN imposes fresh sanctions on Somalia after piracy talks
    15-nation Security Council agrees to freeze pirates’ assets

    * Xan Rice in Nairobi, Matthew Weaver and agencies
    * guardian.co.uk, Thursday November 20 2008 15.44 GMT
    * Article history

    The United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed fresh sanctions on Somalia today amid calls for armed peacekeepers to be sent to the Horn of Africa.

    The diplomatic initiative came as Arab countries held a crisis meeting on how to tackle piracy, as the gang who hijacked a Saudi supertanker demanded a $25m ransom to be paid within 10 days.

    The 15-nation Security Council in New York adopted a British plan for enhanced sanctions aimed at freezing the assets of those involved in piracy and undermining Somalia’s weakened national government. There has been a UN arms embargo against Somalia since 1992.

    more

  • Escher Sketch

    - eom


    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Tina

    21 Nov 2008 10:04:12 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    (Adds quotes, details)

    MOGADISHU, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Heavily armed Islamists went to Haradheere port on Friday in search of the pirate group behind the seizure of a Saudi Arabian supertanker that was the world’s biggest hijack, a local elder said.

    “The Islamists say they will attack the pirates for hijacking a Muslim ship,” the elder, who asked not to be named, told Reuters by telephone from Haradheere.

    The Sirius Star — with its $100 million oil cargo and 25-man crew from the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Poland and Britain — is believed anchored offshore near Haradheere, which is about half-way up Somalia’s long coastline.

    “The Islamists arrived searching for the pirates and the whereabouts of the Saudi ship,” the elder said. “I saw four cars full of Islamists driving in the town from corner-to-corner.”

    Islamist leaders, fighting a two-year insurgency against the government and its Ethiopian military allies, deny allegations they collude with pirates and insist they will stamp down on them if they win power.

    Some analysts, however, say Islamist militants are benefiting from the spoils of piracy and arms shipments facilitated by the sea gangs. Analysts also accuse government figures of collaboration with pirates.

  • Numerian

    This reminds me of Tim Rickard’s comic strip “Brewster Rockit”, in which the ship is named R.U. Sirius. A lot more appropriate than Sirius Star.

  • canuck

    these Islamist militants currently searching for pirates and Sirius Star, share Captain Brewster’s qualities of being “brave, honest, wholesome and outrageously inept”?

    I’m hearing the pirates are building luxury housing with their new-found wealth. Why not just bomb these dwellings into oblivion, preferably when the pirates are at home counting their loot?

    Logic tells me these pirates time left on this planet is growing exponentially to the negative!

  • Tina

    22 Nov 2008 13:19:55 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    By Abdi Sheikh

    MOGADISHU, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Islamist militants in Somalia took steps on Saturday to attack pirates behind the world’s biggest hijack and rescue the captured Saudi Arabian supertanker, an Islamist spokesman said.

    The Sirius Star is carrying $100 million worth of oil and a 25-man crew from the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Poland and Britain. It is thought to be anchored offshore near Haradheere, about half-way up Somalia’s long coastline.

    One faction of the Islamists has vowed to attack the gang holding the tanker, in retaliation for them seizing a “Muslim” vessel.

    “We have arranged our fighters,” Islamist spokesman Abdirahim Isse Adow told Reuters on Saturday. “The first step is to cut off pirates inland from those on the Saudi ship by restricting their supplies and cutting their communications.”

    But the militants — who have been battling Somalia’s Western-backed government for nearly two years and have slowly advanced on the capital Mogadishu — are split.

    Haradheere residents said another group of Islamists had arrived in the town, apparently with less noble intentions.

    “A group of Islamists met some of the pirates here and asked for a share of the ransom,” one local man, who gave his name as Farah, told Reuters by telephone.

    “The pirates promised them something after the ransom was paid. But there is no deal so far.”

    more


    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau

  • adrena

    Asad ‘Booyah’ Abdulahi, 42, describes himself as a pirate boss, capturing ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Here he tells his story

    I am 42 years old and have nine children. I am a boss with boats operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

    I finished high school and wanted to go to university but there was no money. So I became a fisherman in Eyl in Puntland like my father, even though I still dreamed of working for a company. That never happened as the Somali government was destroyed [in 1991] and the country became unstable.

    At sea foreign fishing vessels often confronted us. Some had no licence, others had permission from the Puntland authorities but did not want us there to compete. They would destroy our boats and force us to flee for our lives.

    I started to hijack these fishing boats in 1998. I did not have any special training but was not afraid. For our first captured ship we got $300,000. With the money we bought AK-47s and small speedboats. I don’t know exactly how many ships I have captured since then but I think it is about 60. Sometimes when we are going to hijack a ship we face rough winds, and some of us get sick and some die.

    We give priority to ships from Europe because we get bigger ransoms. To get their attention we shoot near the ship. If it does not stop we use a rope ladder to get on board. We count the crew and find out their nationalities. After checking the cargo we ask the captain to phone the owner and say that have seized the ship and will keep it until the ransom is paid.

    We make friends with the hostages, telling them that we only want money, not to kill them. Sometimes we even eat rice, fish, pasta with them. When the money is delivered to our ship we count the dollars and let the hostages go.

    Then our friends come to welcome us back in Eyl and we go to Garowe in Land Cruisers. We split the money. For example, if we get $1.8m, we would send $380,000 to the investment man who gives us cash to fund the missions, and then divide the rest between us.

    Our community thinks we are pirates getting illegal money. But we consider ourselves heroes running away from poverty. We don’t see the hijacking as a criminal act but as a road tax because we have no central government to control our sea. With foreign warships now on patrol we have difficulties.

    But we are getting new boats and weapons. We will not stop until we have a central government that can control our sea.
    Source


    Tolerating prostitution is tolerating abuse and torture of women and children.

  • canuck

    Great Game of Hunting Pirates

    (snip)

    One, the international community should appreciate that the piracy in Somalia has its origin among disgruntled fishermen who had to compete with illegal poaching by foreign commercial vessels in its tuna-rich coastal waters.

    The disgruntled local fishermen, who lost out, soon organized to attack foreign fishing vessels and demand compensation. Their campaign succeeded and prompted many young men to “hang up their fishing nets in favor of AK-47s”.

    Stuhldreher suggested, “Making the coastal areas lucrative for local fishermen again could encourage pirates to return to legitimate livelihoods.” Therefore, she wrote, “A fishery protection force will eliminate the pirates’ source of legitimacy.” This could be done under the auspices of the UN or African Union or a “coalition of the willing”.

    (snip)

    Ideally, the international community should also commence a reconciliation process involving the residual elements of the ICU.

    (snip)

    The Indian Ocean is becoming a new theater in the Great Game. It seems a matter of time before China appears.

    (snip)

    Admiral Mehta has a worthy example in front of him, provided he can coax his reluctant country to flex its muscles in Africa for the first time in its ancient history. His best argument would be that unless he took an early lead, Ching-Ho might reappear in the Indian Ocean. But then there is an inherent risk insofar as the pirates who disappeared into the mist on Tuesday evening might also return looking for the INS Tabar.

  • Tina

    By Robert Wright in London and Agencies

    Published: November 24 2008 01:54 | Last updated: November 24 2008 01:54

    Pirates holding the Sirius Star, the vast crude oil tanker seized a week ago, have moved the vessel because of the risk of Islamist attacks from groups opposed to piracy, according to news agency reports.

    Bloomberg reported that the vessel had already been moved from Haradhere, north of Mogadishu, while Agence France Presse reported they were preparing to move it. It is unclear where the vessel is heading.

    Bloomberg reported there had also been threats from the Islamic Courts’ Union, which briefly ruled nearly all of Somalia in 2006.

    There were no pirate attacks when the ICU controlled Haradhere, Eyl and other coastal towns used as bases for pirates, who have staged 95 attacks and seized 39 vessels this year.

    more


    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau

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