Piracy and kidnapping in Somalia
January 25th, 2012
02:33 PM ET

Piracy and kidnapping in Somalia

By CNN's Tim Lister and Zain Verjee

Over the past several years, the pirates of Somalia have enjoyed what might be called a following wind. They operate in a country where government authority is weak and in many areas non-existent. They have the longest coastline of any African country to exploit (3,300 kms), and some of the world’s busiest sea-lanes within easy reach. They have a ready pool of recruits, desperate for a share of the millions that they garner from ransoming merchant ships and their crews. And they have had the time and space to get better at piracy, obtaining faster boats and establishing onshore bases – mostly in northern Somalia.

But piracy in Somalia, and the associated abductions, just may have seen its heyday. In the view of John Steed, former head of the UN Counter Piracy unit, Tuesday’s rescue is “potentially a turning point. The international community is saying enough is enough, and the Somali government and regional administration realize that piracy is preventing them from receiving the aid and support their people need.”

Tim Hart of Maritime and Underwater Security Consultants, which is based in the U.K., concurs. “This U.S. Special Forces operation will send a clear message to pirate gangs that states are prepared to take a more robust approach to their actions,” he told CNN.

But that also brings a new element of risk, he says. “When hostages are held onshore, pirates will move captives frequently, sometimes daily, fearing such a raid. The gangs will be concerned of similar attacks and will guard their hostages more closely and aggressively.”

The number of successful hijacks has declined in the past year. In 2010 47 ships were hijacked; last year the figure was 25, according to the EU Naval Force, which co-ordinates naval patrols in the region. This year there have been nine attempted attacks but no seizures.

Maritime sources say that decline is partly because foreign navies patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa have been more aggressive.

In addition, merchant vessels sailing in the area are taking tougher on board security measures, like hiring armed guards, putting razor wire around decks and building strong-rooms on board where the crew can shelter from the pirates after immobilizing their vessel. And recently weather conditions have been rough, so pirates in their small skiffs have not been able to capture large valuable vessels.

Even so, EUNAVFOR estimates that in 2011 alone there were some 30 ransoms paid, totaling $147 million.

It’s not clear that the gunmen who seized the two aid workers on October 24th last year were connected to any pirate groups. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday: “We don't have any firm indication that there was a connection to piracy although piracy is nothing more than a crime.”

The pair were seized in the town of Galkayo, some 200 kilometers from the coast, as they traveled in a convoy to the local airport. The members of pirate gangs and groups of roving bandits may well be interchangeable, according to experts in the region – and as piracy has become riskier, abductions of aid workers and foreign journalists may be a lucrative alternative.

Candyce Kelshall, a fellow at Buckingham University Center for Security and Intelligence Studies says of Tuesday’s rescue that it represents “an escalation in the unfolding drama of Somalia.

“A change in tactics to land-based kidnapping means we will see more incidents of this nature,” she told CNN.

Only last weekend, an American writer was abducted, reportedly as he traveled between Galkayo and Hobye.

John Steed says that there are about thirty hostages still being held in isolation in Somalia. "They have no governments, no big companies, no rescue operation" to rescue them. Steed points out that while vessels are released when a ransom is paid, pirates sometimes keep the hostages and try to extort more money for their release.

According to EUNAVFOR, about 155 people are being held against their will aboard five ships. The average number of days they’ve been held is 178. But the 24 crew members of the M/V Iceberg have been held for nearly two years.

It is possible, according to some maritime security experts, that some of the pirates’ hostages could be moved from sea to land.

What seems less likely – though cannot be ruled out – is that the kidnappers in this latest case had links to militant Islamist groups. This part of Somalia, on the border with the self-declared “country” of Puntland, is not a stronghold of al Qaeda affiliate of Shabaab, though elsewhere in Somalia criminal gangs are rumored to have “bought” foreign hostages from Shabaab factions. Another Pentagon official, George Little, says of Tuesday’s targets: “They were not Al Shabab. They were suspected criminals."

Many of those who first became pirates in 2005-06 used to be fishermen. In the absence of any protection of Somali waters, their fishing grounds – rich in tuna and mackerel – were swamped by foreign trawlers that vacuumed up stocks, leaving the men of towns like Hobyo and Eyl without a livelihood.. A United Nations report estimated that nearly $100 million in potential seafood revenue was plundered in 2005.

One local fisherman from Bossaso claimed last year that some foreign trawlers sprayed local boats with boiling water from cannons. Other fishermen have themselves become victims of the pirates, having their gear and boats stolen; or they have been mistaken for pirates and been fired at by guards on board merchant ships. In the end, many came to the conclusion that belonging to gangs hijacking bulk carriers and tankers was a much more lucrative business, and no more dangerous than going fishing.

Steed says the proceeds of piracy have not helped the region. They are "creating a false economy,” he says, which will not bring long-term jobs.

But if you are a Somali being showered with $100 bills for releasing a hijacked ship, a long-term job may not be your top priority.

CNN's Emily Smith contributed to this report


Filed under: Al-Shabaab • Piracy • Somalia
soundoff (124 Responses)
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    April 5, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
  9. lowell

    As an AMERICA, I only care about AMERICA. Case closed. Africa is irrelevant to me. I am an AMERICAN.

    January 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
    • Ed

      Then get your ass out of Africa! (And Afghanistan and Iraq and Pakistan and the Philippines and... )

      January 29, 2012 at 3:09 am | Reply
  10. gerald

    Black People are always judged by the worst of us. White People are usually judged by their best examples and the evil,corrupt,and incompetent amongst them are hidden from view. they do this to create an aura of superiority. People are People. Some Good Some Bad Some Genius Some Inept. This is how it has always been and always will be.

    January 27, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Ray

      Naaaa.. It just feels that way.. If you think about it the media shows white people in a bad light to. Madoff, Enron, .. Right.. Those two things caused more damage and were more horrible than what these guys are doing.. Madoff alone stole over fifty billion while he was already super rich, with no remorse at all.... Not to excuse these people but.. You are sitting in a famine watching billions of dollars float buy and.. You and your family are starving to death... In a place where aid workers are attacked, supplies, food and medicine are stolen, and the government can not or will not help.. Hummm.. That country is a real mess, right. This is beyond race, right.. Most people in africa are great people, i know, i help them and know them.. Madoff, enron, those people are evil, these people.. They are just.. Unlucky..

      January 28, 2012 at 4:23 am | Reply
      • lowell

        You're a jackass. Crime is ALWAYS wrong

        January 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  11. taskmaster

    Instead of sending old ships to the scrap yard why not load them with garbage and explosives and install a remote control device . Then when the pirates board the ship you can get rid of all the trash at one time.

    January 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
    • buckydeerling

      Read a book, pollution and a lack of environmental protection is why Somalia is in chaos. Now you want to continue to poison their water?

      May 8, 2012 at 7:34 am | Reply
  12. taskmaster

    You cannot help a country that does NOT want help.We tried to help before and what were the results? We were supposed to stop the killing and torture in Libya but the killing and torture goes on. All we are doing is giving handouts to people who hate us.Until Islam is destroyed nothing will change.

    January 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  13. Geoffrey Hamilton

    Just start shipping death row convicts on derelict boats loaded with toxic waste, its a win-win for everybody. They get to steal boats, we get to dump dangerous stuff.

    January 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  14. crappy name

    Here is a suggestion, Don't want to get kidnapped? Stay the *uck out of Somalia, dumbarses.

    January 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  15. Jim

    Civilized people have only two duties to barbarians: to either elevate them, or destroy them.

    January 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • Barry G.

      Remember that the Ancient Romans considered themselves superior to the rest of the world, despite the vice, corruption, violence, and injustice of Rome.

      When the invading armies besieged the Roman Empire (Barbarians, Ostrigoths, Visigoths, Vandals, etc.), the slaves of Rome (the 99 % of their day) joined the invaders, because they felt they had been mistreated and felt no allegiance to Rome.

      And in the early to mid fifth century C.E. (viz., 410 C.E. and 476 C.E.,) Rome fell.

      Then came the Dark Ages and a thousand years of darkness: plagues, ignorance, suffering….

      January 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • buckydeerling

      If you were a poor fisherman in a fishing community making your way in the world and people came to pillage your water, dump toxic waste, eliminate your livelihood, the poison kills over a hundred people, pollutes your land through seepage, kills your agriculture, poisons your live stock, cause cancer, raise infant mortality.......would you still be the raging vagina that you are now?

      May 8, 2012 at 7:37 am | Reply
  16. john

    The world has been looking for a toxic dump.....

    January 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • Barry G.

      I believe that the decent citizens of the world have a responsibility to intervene in societies, where people are suffering because of corrupt, unjust and ruthless leaders (dictators, strong men, and thugs).

      I’d like to see the United Nations intervene more frequently and more forcefully—but not just for countries that have precious resources, such as oil and various minerals.

      After all the most precious resources in the world are the lives of humans, and protecting them and ensuring their just treatment should be a priority, for all just civilizations.

      And if Russia and China object (as they often do), we should consider expelling them from the league of just nations; and, perhaps we should consider placing them on trial for their human rights abuses—regardless of how much money we owe them.

      The civilized world should arrest punish these corrupt leaders, retrieve the vast riches they have stolen from their country and placed in bank accounts outside of the country.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • taskmaster

        We should start out by putting the corrupt leaders in Washington D.C. on trial. We should clean our own house first.

        January 27, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  17. Fred E

    Somalia under Italian colonial rule was a great place for both the black and white inhabitants. Young black Africans were given opportunities under the Italians for higher education, prosperity, and a decent future. There has NEVER been a successful rule of blacks. Rhodesia, the bread-basket of Africa has been turned into a sewer by the wise black ruler Mugabe. Somalia, the contrasts between white and black rule can be seen on numerous YouTube videos. Kenya the same. South Africa is so crime-ridden under black rule that it's uninhabitable. I am no bigot, I simply look at the facts empirically and make my judgements from what I can see. Africa under colonial rule was a safer more prosperous place than it is today. Black rule (look at Detroit under Coleman Young) leads to utter destruction.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • Lisa

      Sorry, but you are a bigot. You also don't seem to know anything about colonial rule in Africa. Sure you might say that being a white person in colonial Africa was great, but being a black person in colonial Africa meant not even being considered citizens, slavery, and servitude.

      And Mugabe isn't a bad ruler because he's black.

      You are, most definitely, a bigot. A tell tale sign of being a bigot is in fact saying, "I'm not a bigot, but..."

      January 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • Barry G.

        Most of us are in favor of self-rule.

        But I confess that I sometimes I wonder whether a group of people are better off being ruled by a powerful, just and civilized nation, or whether they’re better off being exploited and abused by some dictator or strong man, or caught in the middle of vicious and ruthless thugs and factions, who fight indefinitely.

        Think about how many women and children are refugees and are starving, suffering abuse, and suffering because of their corrupt and unjust leaders and their failed country!

        I realize that his is a complex and sensitive matter, but sometimes I wonder whether it isn’t necessary and just to intervene and provide the guidance, supervision and protection that these people desperately need.

        Don’t the weak and poor of these countries deserve such protection?

        January 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  18. Patroit

    to bad, that one of the most beautiful countries in the world has to end up like this look at the possibilities that this country could have, over 3500 km of coastline and the climate unreal. Religion what a disgrace should be band from humanity

    January 27, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • Hence21

      Agree, I'm freezing my a$$ off in Northern America, and these people have paradise and don't care

      January 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
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  20. Mr.Myxlptlkx

    I SAY WE JUST PARA-DROP A MILLION MACHETES ON THEM AND LET NATURE TAKE IT'S COURSE...

    January 27, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • Brian

      Will not work...They breed faster then they can kill each other. We are trying it in the USA with guns and they are unable to hit the broadside of a barn.....thats why they use automatics...bound to hit something or someone with that much lead flying..

      January 28, 2012 at 12:32 am | Reply
  21. BigRed

    Wait, did the writer say that much of the information for the article comes from John Steed? I thought that by now John Steed and Emma Peel would be a bit aged to be of any service to anyone.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  22. meaz23

    Newt Gingrich supports the Somalia pirates and hates Americans.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Reply
    • Read Up

      at least they don't speak the language of the ghetto (spanish).

      January 27, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  23. Pro-African

    No matter what the black man does... The white man still did more atrocious things than the black man..
    No matter what the black man does.... The white did the unquestionable Colonialism....
    No matter what the black man does....The white man enslaved the black man and treated him like an animal...
    No matter what the black man does.... The white man committed a super-holocaust in Congo...
    In my eyes, the white man is the uncivilized...

    January 26, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Reply
    • Peikoviany

      When you get the electric chair, I'll weep about the tough breaks you had, then pull the switch.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • Foo

      It's better to leave your racist commentary out of it, as there have been plenty of black-on-black atrocities that have nothing to do with light skinned individuals.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
      • Pro-African

        I feel sorry for you because you are an ignorant foo(l). Go educate yourself...And no dude I aint racist... You just cannot deny the fact that the Europeans were responsible for all the atrocities that happened in Africa... and till this day they are responsible for all the mass killings around the world by utilizing nuclear weapons etc... Dude, developed country doesn't mean a civilized country.
        And again and again, I'm going to repeat it and I am adamant about what I have said – In my eyes, the white man is the uncivilized.
        Now go and educate yourself about colonialism! No NOW not tommorow NOW!!! GOOGLE it if you have to!

        January 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
      • Peikoviany

        A man only claims personal responsibility when he becomes a person. Until then, all he can do is repeat what he's told.

        January 27, 2012 at 4:21 am |
      • bspurloc

        typical ignorant american.... dude has no idea what country Libya Egypt etc countries are in.... the pyramids werent built by slaves... the persian empire had no slaves.... etc etc etc.....
        only an ignorant american would say something like that.... buy a map and a history book son.....

        January 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
      • jim

        @Pro-African You're an idi0t! Keep your mouth shut and maybe no one will notice!

        January 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
      • Africabless

        As much as agree with you that there have been black on black atrocities. if you dig deeper those atrocities have been motivated and encouraged by other greedy individuals who happen to be white. before the white men came to Africa and showed people the value of greed, the people of the continent where chilling. you may argue that black people enslaved black people before they handed them to the whites, but why?The Europeans and now the Americas have a cynical agenda in Africa and they happen to be white and the Africans happen to be black.... so do the thinking

        January 28, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • riverhorus

      @Pro-African

      Obviously, you have never studied the history of the slave trade in Africa or you'd know more about the role of various native tribes in providing slaves for the market and you would also learn that even more blacks were shipped east into muslim countries by Arab slavers and that this practice continued long after the Atlantic slave trade had been condemned and abandoned by European countires. Indeed, some would argue that the practice has continued in some musllim countries down to the present. (See contemporary Sudan.) Look up the Arab word Abid/Abeed and see what you find.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
      • AKHIBRASS

        A few points: the Europeans demand for slavery ramped up supply. Slavery in Africa, like most of the world, was domestic and thus relatively low in demand. African leaders saw the European demand for slaves as an oppurtunity to unload pow's and criminals. In the first years of plantation slavery most slaves were men. Later, as the demand for women increased Europeans began to kidnap people because African rulers typically did not sell female slaves. Additionally, neither the Africans nor Arabs created a racist infrastructure with the purpose of oppressing an entire community of people. Most rulers in the mideast had slave mothers.And finally, there were more slaves going to the Americas than the middleast. The demand for African slaves in the Arab world was low because they imported mainly from Europe and Asia. We all know where the word slave comes from.

        January 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
      • Stevosummer

        All this racial crap on here about how the white man is bringing the black man down...we are still on this topic?? Last I checked it was 2012 and we have a black president...oh but you guys thought just because a Black president got elected life was gonna get easy..wrong. People make their own problems in the world and then typically put it on other people. Blaming the white man for the worlds problems is like saying smoking a certain brand of cigarettes gave you cancer. When in truth they are all cigarettes and will kill you. We are all human man in general, doesnt matter if he is white, black, asian, arab, indian, native american or whatever they all have the potetntial to have greed and be violent. Everyone wants to get on the screw the US bus too, well I think its funny that when things go bad the rest of the world calls for the US to get involved. Thing is not everyone here wants to get involved or wants violence. If I had my way I would just say we worry about ourselves. However we try to help the world with its problems, yes sometimes it results in war. Lets look at who we are dealing with though Iran..hmm their leaders seem to be good upstanding citizens that really care about their people right???

        January 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • just the facts

      One of the few places left where slavery still exists is Africa. In Africa it is black on black slavery. Slavery needs to be wiped out no matter who the slavers are. Calling it a white on black issue is a thing of the past and does not help solve the current problem in Africa.

      January 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Reply
      • AKHIBRASS

        Thats not true. Sex slavery, the most prominent type today, is more prevalent in Europe and Asia

        January 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
      • bspurloc

        yeah cuz sexy slavery in South African etc is the root of aids spreading

        January 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Tewrobert

      Hey dummmmy, I think all the slave owners are dead........You need to keep showing your ASSS so more people can see you what you are :)
      Oh and one more thing......Your people sold your ancestors for peanuts........OK? and the biggest slave owner in America was a Black man in Texas..........Do you have any idea how childish you look?

      January 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
      • AKHIBRASS

        That makes no sense, how can one own oneself. Use common sense. Africans did not sell their kin or countymen into slavery. The Yoruba were no more related to the Fulani than an Englishman is related to a Slovak.

        January 26, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Marine5484

      The last time I checked it was the warring African tribes that sold their prisoners to the white man

      January 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • pat carr

      "You just cannot deny the fact that the Europeans were responsible for all the atrocities that happened in Africa"

      Yes you can, because it isn't true. You're a racist tool with a limited world view and no doubt a limited IQ.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply
      • AKHIBRASS

        Not all but a significant number. Thats just an unfortunate fact.

        January 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • pat carr

      "And again and again, I'm going to repeat it and I am adamant about what I have said – In my eyes, the white man is the uncivilized."

      be adamant all you want, because it is you that is a f00l. What about all the black on black crime? oh yeah that's the white man's fault too eh? Rap music that talks about n**g and b*** all the time? the white man's fault? you utter f00l

      January 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Reply
      • AKHIBRASS

        Well, whitemen largely owned the record labels that produced and sold the records. As such they had control ove the types of rap music on the airwaves. Btw, they owned the radio stations as well.

        January 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
      • Fred Phred

        Yes but

        1) They didnt write the music. No white man forced them to use derogatory words – they are a reflection of your culture.
        2) Had they not given rappers a chance, you'd be on here claiming whitey was keeping them down. So which is it?

        It must be nice to play both sides of the fence. It's the 21st century. Grow up.

        January 27, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • isobela

      Somalia is uncivilized. North Korea is civilized.
      Both places are cesspools. Case closed.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
    • AKHIBRASS

      All this is true but it doesnt absolve Africans of their own crimes. Modern African leaderz have done their share to make life a hell for other Africans.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Reply
    • Floatinonvans

      I can't believe the ignorance of this Pro African fella.

      January 27, 2012 at 3:41 am | Reply
    • Jerry

      You are aware, aren't you, that the majority of slaves brought out of Africa were not, in fact, hunted down and captured by White men but were, rather, purchased by White men from other Black men? When tribes went into battle against other tribes in the area around the Gulf of Guinea the POWs became slaves of their captors. Black slavery existed in Africa independently of the White man and if you try to push all the blame for slavery onto the White man and refuse to acknowledge that the Black man was just as complicit you prove yourself to be nothing more than a whining racist and a fool.

      January 27, 2012 at 6:26 am | Reply
    • Riley T.C.

      You are a racist making comments like that. See what you are and take a long look in the mirror. If you keep making reference to color and slavery you will continue to be mentally chained by the limitations of your beliefs. As soon as the world removes color from the equation, and places character there instead, the world will be a better place. Although your character needs some improvement.

      January 27, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
      • Read Up

        Every civilization in History endured slavery at one point....some just use it as a crutch for generations.

        January 27, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Read Up

      STFU you ignorant rascist baffoon! You give all black men a bad rap. Read your history, 400 years ago north Africa was full of White European slaves taken captive on the open sea. The difference is something was done about it and no one is crying about it now. Get on with your life dude.

      January 27, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
    • Read Up

      Ok...whatever. so is that your excuse for why Africa is so messed up? Nice try.

      January 27, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
    • Mr.Myxlptlkx

      ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! I WISH WE COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND PUT ALL THE AFRICANS BACK IN AFRICA! THEN, THE CRIME RATE IN AMERICA WOULD DROP BY 80%, AND NEARLY EVERYONE IN AFRICA WOULD BE DEAD FROM CIVIL WAR...

      January 27, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • asian

      Mao Ze-Dont killed betweon 49 and 78 million chinese. Pol Pot kill nearly 2million. Kim Il Sun killed 1.6 Hideki Tojo killed 5mil Menghistu killed 1.5 Jean Kambanda killed 800k Sadam husain killed 600k Fumimaro Kono killed 500k Mullah Omar 400k Yahya Khan 300k Foday Sankoh 200k Ho Chi Min 200k

      All of which were not European.. Its easy to blame Europe for all your problems. Only if you could read would you know that white people are not the only color of people that kill mass amounts. Everyone does..

      January 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • bspurloc

      so the North African countries didnt have slaves? U know Egypt etc? or r u too ignorant to know Egypt is in Africa.... Libya? where is that Australia? The persian empire had no slaves?

      January 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • wabco

      The black man can not even run his own country. War and coruption and every woman with 15 kids to feed will not rise up and be a nice place to live. Even when the white man try and help them they will always take as much as they can get and be mad at the white man for having more than the black man. Not hard to tell who is going down hill in that shit hol country of africa.

      January 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Reply
    • Pro-Good Side

      No matter what the white man does... The Black man does it worse.
      No matter what the white man does... The Black Man polluted our lands and we needed to EXTERMINATE them.
      No matter what the white man does... The black man raped our women and needed to be put down.
      No matter what the white man does... The black man can't be civilised enough to get past primal actions such as abductions and robbing the local liquer store

      Sincerly,
      The Doctor

      April 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  24. Cutty

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqeKHssJ9v0&w=640&h=390]

    January 26, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  25. My name is Jose Jimenez

    Close the borders and sterilize the population.

    January 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  26. Peikoviany

    The name "Somalia" in the local Arabic means "cesspool", and it is a land that has never known indoor plumbing. There was a documentary about Somalia on al-Qaeda TV called "Now THAT'S Barbaric", in which even Jihadis are urged to pray with their backs to a wall, for fear of being stabbed.

    January 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • WokkaWokka

      THere won't be a permanent turning point until the economic drivers of piracy are resolved.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
      • Peikoviany

        America has had organized crime during times of plenty. Not every man is a criminal.

        January 27, 2012 at 4:24 am |
      • wabco

        The black man will never rise up in the world because every woman needs to feed the 14-20 kids she has.

        January 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  27. Roger L. Phillips

    I agree this represents a growing trend of escalating violence on land. EUNAVFOR is considering changing its rules of engagement to attack pirate bases on land. I also agree that there should be a distinction made between pirates at sea and organized crime on land. This has important legal consequences: http://piracy-law.com/2012/01/26/the-legality-of-the-seal-team-6-rescue-in-somalia/

    January 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  28. RDFinOP

    You folks all seem to be missing the fact that foreign fishing trawlers have moved into Somali waters and wiped out the fish stocks. By all means, stomp hard on piracy but Somalia needs coastal protection and can't provide it for itself. The international community needs a formal invitation from whatever passes for a Somali government to step in and protect it's coastal sovereignty. When the fishing stocks come back, the Somalis will have a livelihood.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • Chinatown

      It's useless trying to explain to the American public what causes this type of stuff......it's easier to just say, "Those pirates hate us for our freedoms" and other such nonsense, the public eats that stuff right up

      January 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Reply
      • chena

        ...you butt-faced baboon....this is lawlessness...they are kidnappers, pirates, criminals!!!!...you cannot 'reason' with them, you cannot 'educate' them out of their chosen lifestyle, you cannot 'buy' them out of the mess they have created for themselves....they are not out to create a country or a better society....they are out only for themselves...not for their family, or their town, or their country......sink their ship/boat/skiff, miles out to sea....just let them 'disappear'....word will get around soon enough....

        January 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • toad

        everybodys dumb except you ?

        January 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  29. BSH

    The self-declared "country" of Puntland? Sheesh, if they've declared independence and set up a government, they should be recognized. They're doing better than the former Republic of Somalia, which never had any national history but was instead a created state after the demise of the colonial era.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  30. JP

    The solution is simple..the us and other nations have the resources and weapons to wipe these criminals out...The US ha stakena stand it is time for the other countries to stop the appeasement and start the eradication. Target their cities and camps and bomb them unceasingly, use high tech drones to locate their moving bands and send fighter jets to blast them...When they are found on the seas do not capture and release them, kill them dunp these pigs intot he ocean and sink their boats...let their useless flesh feed the sea life

    January 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • sandy fogeltanz

      Amen!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • comm0nsense

      Hey dumbazz, why not just use the money we would spend on bombing them on rebuilding their local economy. Unless you are going to kill every last Somali (and citizens of all poor countries), the fundamental issue still remains. Asking China to stop supplying every detector with unlimited weaponry would also be helpful. What you are suggesting is extremely shallow minded and criminal. You would do the same if you were in their shoe and have to feed your kids.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
      • wabco

        Why should we use our money and dump into a sewage of coruption- war- over population country like that. When they get there population under controll then we can send money. Not when they breed like rats and then yell that they can not feed the 15 kids they have.

        January 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • pat carr

      the typical response of bloodthirsty american idiots "kill them! blow them up! destroy them!". yes piracy needs to be stopped but what about the factors behind it?

      January 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
      • wabco

        The factors behind it is OVERPOPULATION They can not FEED there 20 kids each woman has. No wonder the country is a dump of poverty and coruption.

        January 27, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  31. Marshall Folsh

    The US and its Allies should just blast any vessel out of the water that leaves the Somali coastline using drone strikes. That would put an end to this high seas treachery and send the correct message that these types of actions will not be tolerated.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  32. Cadre

    I say shoot dem Somalis in da head wit velcro darts and snatch dem in da water!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  33. bruce rosner

    You should point out that kidnapping aid workers, tourists or visitors is not a financial windfall. To put it bluntly human captives are not worth much compared to a ship' and cargo. Kidnappings may be of political benefit but unless the captives or their families are wealthy thay are hardly lucrative.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  34. Adolescent Humor

    "But piracy in Somalia..."

    January 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  35. Thomas

    Drone them.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  36. Relictus

    Somalia has pirates because the international community allows this to occur. Hold Somalia accountable for their pirates, as a people. They have no government – their problem, not ours.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • roger

      that should be obvious to all...somewould be victims shoot back at whoever is shooting at them so it is best to not hang around pirates. If citizens outnumber the prates then subdue them, if not then sorry for the collateral damage to the minority.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  37. No Mercy

    Eradicate all the pirates using a genetically engineered virus – the virus would be designed to only attack adult males with high levels of aggression.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      I think that Somalia would be a beautiful place. Were it covered in 18 to 24" of black glass.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  38. Andrew

    The statement, "is preventing them from receiving the aid and support their people need," is incomplete. "so they can skim their cuts off the top" needs to be added.

    January 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  39. Michelle

    I think the world and NATO should investigate how certain African countries as well as Mexico and Honduras are all of a sudden so easliy lawless. What circumstance(s) is allowing criminals to be in charge and run rampant? How can it be changed.......

    January 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • EnoughZnough

      Simple, they out-number the good people! If our justice system keeps lacking we WILL have the same thing here.

      January 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • roger

      then there is Haiti, but it isnt an african country

      January 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
      • Ed

        Yeah it is. Demographically at least. An African country in the Caribbean.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • HRPuckinfutz

      Poverty is the cause. When people are destitute, they will do whatever is necessary to survive. The planet is overpopulated and under fed. People are hungry and homeless, and their numbers are growing. Things will only get worse.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Jon Durham

      As if the US is not run by lawless criminals?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • wabco

      Well the problem is over population. Mexico and african countrys have about 15-20 kids each woman that they can not feed so they have to get the money some way.

      January 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  40. cynicalme

    Somalia is just another imploding third-world Islamic cesspool. Somalia and Islam deserve each other.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • labandme

      I agree 100%. The problem too is our liberal do-gooders letting them immigrate here. What possible advantage to our country is there letting these people in?

      January 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
      • LadyCuriouser

        I wish someone would've said that when your ancestors arrived.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
      • HRPuckinfutz

        Exactly what was said about the Irish in the 1800's when millions of them illegally emigrated to the United States.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  41. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    Policy Research group Strategic Review (see my link below) says

    "Off the Somali coast, pirates, terrorists and Pakistan army mercenaries make a Molotov cocktail."!

    January 26, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
  42. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    Check this out:

    Somali Piracy & Jihadist link:

    policyresearchgroup. com/regional_weekly/hot_topics/579. html

    January 26, 2012 at 10:26 am | Reply
  43. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    The inaction from the world community on this scourage against mankind is just inexusable.

    Also, it's a well known fact that Al-Qaeda, and several other Islamic radical groups are using piracy and drug trafficking as a route to finance worldwide Jihad with terrorist supporting Pakistan providing the training.

    The US is deeply aware of this nexus knowing fully well that the pirates often release any Pakistanis nabbed immediately.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  44. JEN

    WOW, IT TAKES THEM THAT LONG TO DO THEIR JOB. THEY SHOULD ELECT A PRESIDENT.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • EnoughZnough

      They should! All of the thugs pictured in the middle boat look like they are just as qualified as OUR current pres is, LOL!

      January 26, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
      • Lefty2guns

        Your comment about our Commander in Chief is inappropriate and shameful. Go sit in the corner!

        January 26, 2012 at 11:43 am |
      • Michael Bennane

        agree....have you no shame??????????????????????

        January 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
      • nevermind

        thats not TRUE!, those guys in the boat have more business experience than our dear reader.
        they just arent very good at it., but, at least they are trying

        January 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • Avenger2012

        You S-Hole! Go jump in the boat with the pirates, and attack the U.S. Fleet!
        Good Riddance!

        January 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • katchaser

        as qualified as your parents too

        January 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm |

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