A BZ to Puntland forces who rescued 22 hostages aboard the MV Iceberg 1. The ship was captured by Somali pirates almost three years ago.
Piracy News & Commentary
September 26, 2012
Good article on the present state of Somali piracy: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/party-somali-pirates-attacks-17320672. It's still too soon to tell if the scourge of Somali piracy is nearly over--it may have a brief respite, and there's always the unlikely chance of a significant increase in tactical ability--but at least time has proved Read More
December 16, 2011
As I noted more than a year ago in Pirate Hunting and years ago in notes and blogs, armed guards remain the most viable interim solution to Somali piracy. Both governments and shipping companies to a large degree have accepted this as inevitable.
December 16, 2011
Mohamud Hirs Issa Ali, a former Somali police officer who became the commander of a band of nineteen pirates, was convicted in Virginia of piracy and for his role in the murder of four U.S. citizens aboard the yacht Quest. He was sentenced to life in prison. A former electrician, Jilian Read More
October 2, 2011
This week the Spanish government approved the use of heavy machineguns by private security forces against Somali pirates. Some analysts have been quick to condemn this act as leading to a possible arms race at sea. The machineguns--often described in commentary as "heavy weapons," leaving an impression of more powerful arms--fire a 12.7x99mm NATO, that is, the .50 BMG round. In other words, Read More
September 14, 2011
This week the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved House Bill H. R. 2839, the Piracy Suppression Act of 2011. The bill, introduced by Representatives Lobiondo and Mica, provides that the U.S. may seek reimbursement from foreign-flagged vessels aided by the U.S. Navy or other U.S. military forces against pirate attack, except in defined Read More
September 10, 2011
Recent concerns have been brought forward regarding the possibility of a change in Somali pirate attacks, particularly in the Red Sea. Swarm attacks are not recent, having been noted with concern in the past. However, some analysts are concerned that the increase in armed protection aboard commercial shipping may be forcing pirates to change Read More
June 20, 2011
Somali authorities have arrested, convicted, and imprisoned three Britons, two Kenyans, and one American for their involvement in delivering ransom funds to Somali pirates. Strictly speaking, the payment of pirate ransoms is unlawful in Somalia, and this is the first time Somali authorities have convicted Westerners with piracy-related crimes. The British government is reviewing Read More
June 16, 2011
Testimony by Andrew J. Shapiro,Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade of the House Foreign affairs Committee, Washington, DC, June 15, 2011 can be found here.
June 13, 2011
As expected--in spite of the weak arguments thrown up by some analysts--many seafaring nations, shipping companies, and maritime governing bodies are approving the use of armed security--private or military--aboard merchant shipping. This was, as I have repeatedly pointed out here and in print, the only viable interim solution to the problem of Somali piracy. Read More