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Piracy News & Commentary

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 were truly so motivated, Somali pirates would have limited themselves to capturing intruding fishing vessels and holding them for ransom in a sort of quasi-legal reprisal, as nations of old once did. Instead, they have headed to sea and seize upon unprotected vessels of any flag and of any sort, including small private sailing yachts. The fact is, whatever the original inspiration, Somali pirates have discovered what pirates throughout history have long known: that piracy can be a lucrative business. Mr. Farah does have a valid point regarding piracy and its history: all of the nations currently excoriating piracy once produced pirates, and often supported them.

In other news, four US citizens, including a former Navy SEAL, along with a Briton were recently detained briefly in Mozambique on suspicion of arms smuggling or having illegal ammunition. According to local authorities, the men are believed to have been en route to attack and rescue a vessel held by Somali pirates. The men work for The Greyside Group, based in Virginia. In associated news, four Britons, part of a maritime protection service, were recently released by Eritrea after six months in captivity. (BBC et al)
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