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Piracy News & Commentary

Somali Pirate Stock Exchange

Recommended reading: Reuters article on a pirate cooperative in Haradheere, which functions as a sort of stock exchange for funding acts of piracy. As many as seventy-two “maritime companies” now exist in the city; ten have so far had successful returns. My thanks  Read More 
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Bravo Zulu to the Maersk Alabama's Crew

A well-deserved BZ to the crew of the Maersk Alabama, and in particular to the defense force that repelled the pirate attack on the ship this past week. To date, no ship with armed defenders has been captured by pirates, yet many shipping companies, insurance companies, maritime organizations, and governments remain opposed  Read More 
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"Panic Rooms"

Regarding the recently noted potential dangers associated with the use of "panic rooms" aboard ships under pirate attack (a mariner was recently murdered by pirates when he refused to open the "panic room" hatch or door), all defensive measures, lethal and non-lethal, carry a measure of risk. "Panic rooms" are no exception, and indeed,  Read More 
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Pirates Threaten to Murder Hostages

According to Lloyd's List and other news feeds, including that of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pirates holding the Panamax* bulk carrier De Xin Hai have threatened to kill the hostages if any attempt is made to rescue them. The Chinese foreign minister has stated that a rescue attempt  Read More 
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Pirates Repulsed by Armed Guards

A few days ago, French soldiers stationed aboard two French tuna trawlers near the Seychelles fended off a pirate attack. Neither soldiers nor trawler crew were injured in the brief firefight. Other forces pursued the pirates and captured eleven of them. If your French is good, read the Le Figaro article  Read More 
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More Hungry Young Fools With Guns

After the release of the Turkish bulk carrier Horizon I and her crew of twenty-three, owing to the payment of a $1.7 ransom ($1.5 million in some reports), a separate gang of pirates attempted to rob those who had captured and ransomed the ship. According to Garowe Online, a Somali news agency, fighting broke  Read More 
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Hungry Young Fools With Guns

Five Somali pirates were captured after mistakenly attacking a French warship, the Somme, with small arms at night, roughly 270 nautical miles offshore. Pirates have been ranging farther and farther to sea in the search for prey, and an increase in night attacks has been predicted. Even so, it takes more than daring  Read More 
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US Counter-Piracy Initiatives

Secretary of State Clinton has announced a four part plan to combat Somali piracy. First, the US will “help the Somalis assist us in cracking down on pirate bases and in decreasing incentives for young Somali men to engage in piracy.” Second, via the International Contact Group on Piracy, the US will press for  Read More 
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Notes and Observations on Recent Somali Piracy

Predictions and Outcomes. Many analysts had predicted that the US would not use force to resolve the Maersk Alabama hostage situation, arguing that hostage rescues are risky, both for hostages and for rescuers. And they are. However, many analysts forget about two critical elements of tactics: the seizing of opportunity,  Read More 
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Somali Piracy Finally a US Issue

The recent pirate attack on the US-flagged Maersk Alabama--whose captain and crew courageously resisted the pirates--has finally brought the issue of Somali piracy to the forefront in the US. The attention is well-deserved, for Somali piracy has become a significant threat to the shipping along one of the great world  Read More 
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