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Piracy News & Commentary

To Repeat (While Stomping Foot) One More Time...

Again, commentators are making much of Somali pirate "swarm" tactics, and appear to be surprised by them. Let me repeat: tactics will evolve! Possible future tactics include the ability to breach citadels; the use (with dire consequences for Somali pirates) of heavier weapons; better communication and coordination among Somali pirates, making swarm tactics more  Read More 
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Miscellaneous Updates and News

In "The Truth About Somali Piracy", novelist Nuruddin Farah, while not condoning Somali pirate violence, does a disservice I think by perpetuating as an apology the likely truth that Somali piracy began in response to "pirate" fishing vessels which pillaged its unprotected seas. Unfortunately, if Somali piracy  Read More 
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Piracy Suppression Act of 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 
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Yachtswoman Rescued

Spanish forces, including the amphibious warship SPS Galicia, as well as one of its helicopters and a boarding team, today attacked a pirate skiff in the Gulf of Aden, capturing seven pirates and rescuing Frenchwoman Evelyne Colombo. Her husband and sailing companion, Christian Colombo, was killed in the original pirate attack, and his body thrown overboard. The pair were sailing  Read More 
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Recent Somali Piracy News

Somali pirates recently released seven Danish citizens--a family of five plus two crew--captured February 24, 2011, after payment of a three million dollar ransom. A rescue attempt by Puntland forces in March failed when the rescuers were ambushed en route. Again, private sailing yachts are strongly advised to avoid the region: even with armed security aboard,  Read More 
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Recent Pirate Attacks

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 
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Danger to Yachts

Blog post of the new Warning Notice issued by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) on the dangers to yachts transitting through waters prone to attacks by Somali pirates. Yacht owners and crews must understand that sailing vessels lack the speed, maneuverability, and physical protection to defend against pirate attack. Even with a well-armed professional defense force, yachts remain  Read More 
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Death Penalty

Three of the alleged pirates captured by Navy SEALs when they stormed the S/V Quest will face the death penalty if convicted in the murders of four Americans: Scott Adam, Jean Adam, Phyllis Macay and Robert Riggle. Eleven of the pirates have already pleaded guilty to charges of piracy, and face  Read More 
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Arrest of Non-Somalis

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 
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State Department on Piracy

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.
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