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Thread: Pirates! Activity Around the world

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    Somali pirates hijacked an Iranian vessel with enriched uranium from China! See here: http://samsonblinded.org/news/somali...cal-cargo-3525

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Mysterious Cargo Aboard Iranian Ship Seized by Pirates Raises WMD Concerns

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008
    By Joseph Abrams



    File: The cargo ship MV Iran Deyanat, that was taken by Somali pirates last month.

    As Somali pirates brazenly maintain their standoff with American warships off the coast of Africa, the cargo aboard one Iranian ship they commandeered is raising concerns that it may contain materials that can be used for chemical or biological weapons.

    Some local officials suspect that instead of finding riches, the pirates encountered deadly chemical agents aboard the Iranian vessel.

    On Aug. 21, the pirates, armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, stole onto the decks of the merchant vessel Iran Deyanat.

    They ransacked the ship and searched the containers. But in the days following the hijacking, a number of them fell ill and died, suffering skin burns and hair loss, according to reports.

    The pirates were sickened because of their contact with the seized cargo, according to Hassan Osman, the Somali minister of Minerals and Oil, who met with the pirates to facilitate negotiations.

    "That ship is unusual," Osman told the Long War Journal, an online news source that covers the War on Terror. "It is not carrying a normal shipment."

    The pirates reportedly were in talks to sell the ship back to Iran, but the deal fell through when the pirates were poisoned by the cargo, according to Andrew Mwangura, director of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Program.

    "Yes, some of them have died," he told the Long War Journal. "Our sources say [the ship] contains chemicals, dangerous chemicals."

    Iran has called the allegations a "sheer lie," and said that the ship "had no dangerous consignment on board," according to Iranian news source Press TV. Iran says the merchant vessel was shipping iron ore from a port in China to Amsterdam.

    The ship's contents are still unclear, but the reported deaths and skin abrasions have raised concerns that it could be more than meets the eye.

    The massive shipping company that controls the vessel, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL), was recently designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury over nuclear proliferation concerns.

    IRISL, which is accused of falsifying documents to facilitate the shipment of weapons and chemicals for use in Iran's missile program, is blocked from moving money through U.S. banks as well as from carrying food and medical supplies as part of U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

    "IRISL's actions are part of a broader pattern of deception and fabrication that Iran uses to advance its nuclear and missile programs," said Stuart Levey, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

    The U.S. government has made no accusation against IRISL regarding the Iran Denayat; the State Department would not comment on reports of its suspicious cargo.

    "I don't have any information on that case," said State Department spokesman Curtis Cooper. "We're aware that there are currently 12 other hijacked ships off the Somali coast. This is obviously something that is disturbing."

    Experts on Somalia are dubious of claims made by the country's provisional government, whose president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, reportedly has family ties to the pirates.

    "I'm not saying it's impossible that this has happened, but I'd take anything they say with a great deal of salt," said J. Peter Pham, director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University. "They have made fanciful claims before in the hopes of attracting U.S. and other international attention."

    Pham said that the 14 provisional governments that have ruled Somalia since 1991 have all relied on foreign aid for support and profit and could be trying to attract attention by inflating the current crisis.

    "Would it be beyond them to raise the specter of WMDs in order to attract resources and international assistance? The only source of revenue for this government is foreign aid," he told FOXNews.com.

    Chemical experts say the reports sound inconsistent with chemical poisoning, but may reflect the effects of exposure to radiation.

    "It's baffling," said Jonathan Tucker, a senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. "I'm not aware of any chemical agent that produces loss of hair within a few days. That's more suggestive of high levels of radioactive waste."

    Tucker, a chemical and biological weapons expert, said that Chinese companies have been implicated in selling Iran so-called dual-use chemicals, legal ingredients that can be processed into chemical weapons.

    The U.S. government says that Iran maintains facilities to process those chemicals as part of a chemical and biological weapons program. "Iran continues to seek dual-use technologies that could be used for biological warfare," said Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell in testimony before Congress in February.

    But while Iran has purchased and shipped such chemicals in the past, it remains unclear whether the Iran Deyanat contains any illegal chemicals or harmful agents.

    "A number of Chinese companies have been implicated in this illicit trade, but I've never heard of extremely toxic chemicals being shipped," Tucker told FOXNews.com. "It's very rare it's very unlikely that a country would ship manufactured weapons from one country to another."

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,430681,00.html

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Quote Originally Posted by tranquill View Post
    Somali pirates hijacked an Iranian vessel with enriched uranium from China! See here: http://samsonblinded.org/news/somali...cal-cargo-3525
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...?section=world

    EU moves against Somali pirates

    By Africa correspondent Andrew Geoghegan
    Posted Fri Oct 3, 2008 7:11am AEST


    The European Union (EU) is planning to launch an anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia where a stand-off continues between several warships and pirates who have hijacked a ship.


    The hijacking of a freighter carrying military equipment off the coast of Somalia a week ago has highlighted the danger shipping faces in that area.


    Pirates are demanding a $20 million ransom for the Ukranian ship Faina, which is carrying 33 Russian tanks.


    Somali pirates regularly target freighters that use the shipping lanes between the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.


    The European Union has resolved to take military action against the pirates.
    At least nine EU countries will join an air and sea operation, which aims to safeguard one the world's key trading routes.
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    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle4870660.ece

    October 3, 2008
    Euro taskforce declares war on Somali pirates

    Michael Evans, Rob Crilly and David Charter



    An international armada was preparing to head towards the Somali coast yesterday as the stand-off with pirates holding a Ukrainian ship to ransom threatened to escalate.


    Amid warnings that an effective blockade by the pirates could spark a famine in the Horn of Africa, European Union defence ministers meeting in Paris agreed to set up a naval taskforce to tackle the threat.


    Two Royal Navy frigates, HMS Chatham and HMS Lancaster, are already in the region and could join the proposed fleet.


    The pirates who seized the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina were in defiant mood yesterday, vowing to fight if there was an attempt to rescue the crew of 20. They also said that they were only prepared to hand over the cargo of tanks and weapons in return for a ransom of £11 million.


    “Anyone who tries to attack us or deceive us will face bad repercussions,” Sugule Ali, a spokesman for the pirates, told the Associated Press in a satellite telephone interview. The vessel is surrounded by half a dozen American warships but no moves have been made to board it.


    US military sources said that there was no international legal mandate to take such action, although steps were under way to seek approval from the United Nations.


    The World Food Programme says that security against pirates is needed urgently if Somalia is to receive supplies to avert a famine on the scale of the 1980s.


    “Plans to beef up the EU's anti-piracy taskforce with several frigates which can escort boats carrying food cannot come too soon,” Peter Goossens, of the World Food Programme for the east African country, said.


    The British Ministry of Defence insisted that when the EU force, consisting of ships from ten countries, was established it was not intended to become involved in the MV Faina incident.


    The MV Faina, which was captured on September 25, is anchored off the coast of Somalia near the port of Hobyo. The Times learnt that pick-up trucks were seen leaving the Somali capital, Mogadishu, at the weekend in an apparent attempt to unload the arsenal aboard the ship.


    The thought of the arms going to Islamist militia may have helped to galvanise Western powers to get tough with the pirates, who have made Somali waters the world's most dangerous.


    Bruno Schiemsky, a Somali analyst, said: “The hijacking of this latest Ukrainian vessel has implications for the overall security situation across the entire Horn of Africa.”
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    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b203625c-8...0779fd18c.html

    Pirates in shoot-out aboard arms ship

    By Barney Jopson in Nairobi and Robert Wright in London
    Published: October 1 2008 03:00 | Last updated: October 1 2008 03:00



    The pirates who seized a ship carrying military hardware off Somalia turned on each other yesterday as three were shot dead in a dispute over what to do with their hijacked cargo.


    The outbreak of infighting aboard the Ukrainian vessel was seen by analysts as a reflection of the bloody factionalism ashore, which has fuelled piracy and kept Somalia a failed state. The recent upsurge in pirate attacks has recalled the world's attention to the country's woes, in particular frequent clashes with insurgents that have left 8,000 dead and 1m displaced since the start of 2007.


    Piracy is threatening 20,000 annual ship movements through the Gulf of Aden, which gives access to the Red Sea and Suez Canal. That raises concern that vessels bound for Europe from the Middle East and Asia might be forced to divert around the Cape of Good Hope, which they did at great cost from 1967 to 1975 when the Arab-Israeli conflict closed the canal.


    In the most brazen recent attack, dozens of heavily armed men in speedboats hijacked the Ukrainian ship last Thursday. It was carrying weapons including 33 Russian-made T-72 tanks, which were destined for Kenya and then for possible onward shipment to southern Sudan. The pirates have demanded a ransom of $20m (€14m, £11m).


    Pottengal Mukundan, director of the International Maritime Bureau, which monitors piracy globally, said there was little prospect of ship owners ceasing to pay the ransoms that are encouraging pirates. "You cannot really stop a ship owner from paying, because there's no alternative," he said. "What does he do? Does he abandon his crew in these difficult circumstances?"


    Malaysia's state-controlled shipowner MISC Bhd said yesterday it had paid an unspecified ransom to secure the release of two tankers held by Somali pirates.


    For a third day yesterday the pirates on the Ukrainian vessel - anchored a few miles offshore - remained cornered by several warships from a US-led task force patrolling off Somalia.


    The task force says it has deterred 12 attacks in the Gulf of Aden since the end of August. But there have been more than 50 attacks around Somalia this year and more than 20 have resulted in successful hijackings, according to the IMB.


    Twelve vessels and 259 seafarers are currently being held hostage.


    "We are covering 2.5m square miles of water. Policing all of it would take more ships than we could ever get," said Commodore Keith Winstanley, deputy commander of coalition naval forces in the Middle East. "We're not going to solve the problem. No naval force is going to solve it. The root cause of this problem rests ashore in Somalia."


    Many analysts see piracy as the seaborne manifestation of money-making banditry that thrives in Somalia, where the central government collapsed in 1991.


    Piracy was stamped out in 2006 by the Islamic Courts Union, an Islamist group that restored a semblance of order. The group was ousted by Ethiopian troops, with US backing, but the Islamists were not eliminated and, in recent months, have retaken some territory.


    Possible links between pirates and the Islamists drove the United Nations' naval response to the hijacking of the Ukrainian ship.


    Andrew Mwangura, of the East Africa Seafarers' Assistance Programme, which monitors piracy, said: "Some of the pirates are paranoid about the presence of the US navy.



    Among them there are moderates and radicals: some who want to unload the cargo and some who don't; some who want to abort the mission and some who don't."



    Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
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    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,432161,00.html

    Russia Pledges to Join Battle Against Piracy as U.S. Warships Circle Kidnapped Vessel

    Friday, October 03, 2008


    MOGADISHU, Somalia — Moscow will work with the U.S. and the European Union to fight piracy off the African coast and elsewhere, Russia's foreign minister said.


    The state-run RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Sergey Lavrov as saying Friday that Russia "aims to prevent pirates from causing mayhem."


    Lavrov called for closer cooperation with the U.S. and EU against piracy. He said Russia and other nations will act on the basis of a U.N. resolution that authorized countries to enter Somalia's territorial waters and use "all necessary means" to stop piracy.


    Somali pirates are holding a Ukrainian ship with a cargo of battle tanks and two Russian crew members aboard off Somalia's coast. Russia has dispatched a warship to the area but has not said what it will do when it gets there.


    The pirates gave no indication they planned to surrender, as six U.S. warships circled the vessel Friday with clearance from the Somali government to attack it.


    Meanwhile, activists condemned Kenya's arrest of a Kenyan maritime official on Wednesday night who had been the first to tip off media that the weapons aboard the ship hijacked nine days ago were heading to Southern Sudan. His account was later confirmed by the U.S. Navy and Western intelligence sources.


    Kenya has vehemently denied statements by the official, Andrew Mwangura, that the 33 Soviet-designed tanks and weapons onboard the MV Faina were destined for neighboring Southern Sudan. The Kenyan government insists Kenya is the final destination.

    Click here for photos.


    The allegation is highly embarrassing to Kenya, which brokered Sudan's north-south peace deal in 2005. Southern Sudan is due to have a referendum on independence in 2011. Many analysts believe the north will be reluctant to let the oil-rich south break away, risking a return to the civil war that has already claimed 2 million lives.


    The Somali government has given foreign powers the freedom to use force against the pirates holding the Faina and its 20 crew members. It is anchored near the central Somali town of Hobyo, with six American warships within 10 miles of it.


    Russia, whose warship is not expected for several days, has used commando tactics to end several hostage situations on its own soil, but dozens of hostages have died in those efforts.


    On Thursday, pirate spokesman Sugule Ali told The Associated Press via satellite telephone that the pirates were prepared to defend the ship and would not take less than their stated ransom of $20 million. It was not immediately possible to reach Ali on Friday morning.


    The American Navy warships have been tracking Faina amid fears that its weapons might fall into the hands of Al Qaeda-linked Islamic insurgents in Somalia, and this week, eight European countries have offered to form a combined anti-piracy force at the invitation of the Somali government. Some 26 ships have been hijacked off the notorious Somali coast this year already.


    In Kenya, government spokesman Alfred Mutua refused to comment on Friday about the arrest of Mwangura, who was charged with making "inflammatory statements."


    Leonard Vincent, a spokesman for Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders, said the charges against Mwangura might stop other officials coming forward with information in a country rated as one of the most corrupt in the world.


    "We think it is a dangerous precedent and a signal sent to those who have information contradicting the Kenyan government," he said. "We are not used to seeing this in Kenya, that is why we are outraged and surprised."


    Hassan Omar Hassan, a commissioner of the Kenya National Commission of Human Rights, said Mwangura told Hassan he had been warned by intelligence officials, police and local officials not to comment publicly on the weapons' destination.


    "He has caused a public relations nightmare for the government," Hassan said. "If its a matter of public interest, the public has a right to information."


    Mwangura also was charged with possessing four joints of marijuana on Thursday. A judge ruled he should be held for five days in prison while further investigations were made. Mutua, the Kenyan government spokesman, accused Mwangura at a televised news conference of being a go-between for the pirates.


    Those charges were not brought before a court.
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    Somali Pirates Stand Ground as Foreign Ships Surround Them

    Sunday, October 05, 2008
    AP

    U.S. Navy destroyer USS Howard, left, and the Russian missile frigate Neustrashimy responded to the Somalia coast in response to a pirate hijacking.








    MOGADISHU, Somalia — With a Russian frigate closing in and a half-dozen U.S. warships within shouting distance, the pirates holding a tanker off Somalia's coast might appear to have no other choice than to wave the white flag.

    But that's not how it works in Somalia, a failed state where a quarter of children die before they turn 5, where anybody with a gun controls the streets and where every public institution has crumbled.


    The 11-day standoff aboard the Ukrainian MV Faina raises the question: How can a bunch of criminals from one of the poorest and most wretched countries on Earth face off with some of the world's richest and well-armed superpowers?


    "They have enough guns to fight for another 20 years," Ted Dagne, a Somalia analyst in Washington, told The Associated Press. "And there is no way to win a battle when the other side is in a suicidal mind-set."


    In Somalia, pirates are better-funded, better-organized and better-armed than one might imagine in a country that has been in tatters for nearly two decades. They have the support of their communities and rogue members of the government — some pirates even promise to put ransom money toward building roads and schools.
    Related






    The strategy works well: A report Thursday by a London-based think tank said pirates have raked in up to $30 million in ransoms this year alone.


    "If we are attacked we will defend ourselves until every last one of us dies," Sugule Ali, a spokesman for the pirates aboard the Faina, said in an interview over satellite telephone from the ship, which is carrying 33 battle tanks, military weapons and 21 Ukrainian and Latvian and Russian hostages. One Russian has reportedly died, apparently of illness.


    The pirates are demanding $20 million ransom, and say they will not lower the price.
    "We only need money and if we are paid, then everything will be OK," he said. "No one can tell us what to do."


    Ali's bold words come even though his dozens of fighters are surrounded by U.S. warships and American helicopters buzz overhead. Moscow has sent a frigate, which should arrive within days.


    Jennifer Cooke of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said hostage-taking is the key to the pirates' success against any military muscle looming from the U.S. and Russia.


    "Once you have a crew at gunpoint, you can hold six U.S. naval warships at bay and they don't have a whole lot of options except to wait it out," Cooke said.


    The pirates have specifically warned against the type of raids carried out twice this year by French commandos to recover hijacked vessels. The French used night vision goggles and helicopters in operations that killed or captured several pirates, who are now standing trial in Paris.


    But the hostages are not the bandits' only card to play.


    Often dressed in military fatigues, pirates travel in open skiffs with outboard engines, working with larger mother ships that tow them far out to sea. They use satellite navigational and communications equipment and an intimate knowledge of local waters, clambering aboard commercial vessels with ladders and grappling hooks.


    They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and grenades — weaponry that is readily available throughout Somalia, where a bustling arms market operates in the center of the capital.


    They also have the support of their communities and some members of local administrations, particularly in Puntland, a semiautonomous region in northeast Somalia that is a hotbed for piracy, officials and pirates have told the AP.


    Abdulqadir Muse Yusuf, a deputy minister of ports in Puntland, acknowledged there were widespread signs that Puntland officials, lawmakers and government officials are "involved or benefiting from piracy" and said investigations were ongoing. He would not elaborate.


    Piracy has transformed the region around the town of Eyl, near where many hijacked ships are anchored brought while pirates negotiate ransoms.


    "Pirates buy new luxury cars and marry two, three, or even four women," said Mohamed, an Eyl resident who refused to give his full name for fear of reprisals from the pirates.


    "They build new homes — the demand for construction material is way up."
    He said most of the well-known pirates promise to build roads and schools in addition to homes for themselves. But for now, Mohamed says he has only seen inflation skyrocket as the money pours in.


    "One cup of tea is about $1," he said. Before the piracy skyrocketed, tea cost a few cents.


    Piracy in Somalia is nothing new, as bandits have stalked the seas for years. But this year's surge in attacks — nearly 30 so far — has prompted an unprecedented international response. The Faina has been the highest-profile attack because of its dangerous cargo. The U.S. fears the arms could end up in the hands of al-Qaida-linked militants in a country seen as a key battleground on terror.


    The United States has been leading international patrols to combat piracy along Somalia's unruly 1,880-mile coast, the longest in Africa and near key shipping routes. In June, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution that would allow countries to chase and arrest pirates after attacks increased this year.


    But still, the attacks continue. Dagne, an analyst in Washington, said that unless the roots of the problem are solved — poverty, disease, violence — piracy will only flourish.
    "You have a population that is frustrated, alienated, angry and hopeless," Dagne said. "This generation of Somalis grew up surrounded by abject poverty and violence."
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    U.S. navy tanker under apparent pirate attack off Somalia
    Reuters ^ | Sept 24, 2008 | Stefano Ambrogi LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy said on Wednesday it appeared pirates had tried to attack one of its big military oil tankers.


    A security team aboard the vessel opened fire on two small boats near Somalia after they ignored warnings and pursued the ship, a U.S. Fifth Fleet spokesman said.


    "From all appearances it does look like it was a pirate attack and the incident is currently under investigation," he said by telephone from Bahrain.


    He said the Military Sealift Command (MSC) oil tanker, the John Lenthall, which usually carries a range of fuels for the U.S. armed forces, was transiting outside Somalia's territorial waters when the incident took place.


    (Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    HAHAHA - Wrong gaddam oil tanker, you idiots!!!

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    Opinion: Is it an Axis?

    Posted Sep 28, 2008 by


    Evidence - though odd - is arising that there are nuclear and militaristic agreements between Iran and China. Despite the weird way in which evidence came to light, the end result is the same; an alliance of nations averse to US demands is forming.

    A large number of Somali pirates who participated in the hijacking of an Iranian merchant vessel on August 21st, 2008 have died. The pirates reported both hair loss and skin burns – two symptoms of radiation exposure – and “fell gravely ill ‘within days’ of boarding” the Iranian ship.

    In an article titled “Pirates die strangely after taking Iranian ship” author Andrew Donaldson provided many details surrounding both the ship and the incident:

    “The vessel’s declared cargo consists of ‘minerals’ and ‘industrial products’. But officials involved in negotiations over the ship are convinced that it was sailing for Eritrea to deliver small arms and chemical weapons to Somalia’s Islamist rebels. (…)

    The ship set sail from Nanjing, China, at the end of July. According to its manifest, it was heading for Rotterdam where it would unload 42500 tons of iron ore and “industrial products” purchased by a German client.”
    These details were provided by sources close to the incident – namely Hassan Allore Osman, a regional minister of minerals in Somalia – and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which is run and owned by the Iranian military.

    Donaldson points out that “according to the US Treasury Department, the IRISL regularly falsifies shipping documents to hide the identity of end users, uses generic terms to describe shipments and operates under various covers to circumvent United Nations sanctions.”

    If the sources close to those that have reportedly fallen ill aren’t lying, this certainly appears to be a case of severe radiation exposure, which then raises many alarming questions.

    First and foremost, what form of nuclear material was in the cargo holds?
    Secondly, where was the Iranian vessel going? Thirdly, was it loaded in China?
    Fourth, what are the implications of trade arrangement that has China as the supplier and Iran as the distributor of nuclear material? That last one is a big and scary one.

    And with so little coverage of this story, it's hard to even begin to grapple with that question.

    One thing that can't be questioned though, is that the ties between Iran and Russia, China and Russia, and now - apparently - Iran and China are closer than ever.

    And in lieu of recent international developments – from the battle in Georgia to the economic disaster mounting on Wall Street – there is reason to believe that the alliances being forged between Iran, Russia, and China is not only a friendly union of like-minded nations, but also a coalition interested in succeeding without abiding to US demands.

    The engagement in Georgia clearly demonstrated Russia’s willingness to act without US approval (though, as written by Fareed Zakaria, this act may well be remembered as a Russian strategic blunder), and the turmoil in the US economy might hasten a steadfast bond between these nations. Even if there is a Wall Street bailout (which there likely will be in some form) – to state it bluntly – there is more reason to not have faith in the American economy than to believe in it.

    The bailout package is a band-aid covering up a gaping wound that hasn’t been sterilized, which means the same type of infection will again find its way into Wall Street. Capital can’t cure incompetence.

    And with that in mind, the main reason for China to bear American policies (economics) is significantly – though not totally – reduced. So why not pursue closer ties with the ideologically-aligned, oil rich nations of Iran and Russia. Heck, Russia is even considering the installing a currency backed by gold, meaning their money would be intrinsically valuable… Meanwhile Bush is saying “we can print unlimited money because it's really only paper”…

    Of course, the triad between Iran, Russia, and China does not amount to the apocalypse. The European Union is a great check-and-balance amalgamation that - along with individual nations like England, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia and so on - act as stabilizer in the sever hostile world of international relations.

    But the essential question left on the table is this; in a world with a weak American economy, a US army stretched thin, increasing power in China, Russia, and Iran, and an increasing military capacity in those nations, could the partnership between these three add up to an axis of opposition in the near future?

    Well, if Iranian trade ships laden with nuclear stores headed from China in the direction of Iran serve as an indicator, there is reason to believe that members of nations closely tied to the US should be weary of an alliance between Iran, China, and Russia.

    What do you think?

    Thanks for reading.
    GRMM
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    Pirates die strangely after taking Iranian ship
    Published:Sep 28, 2008


    EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: The Russian frigate Neustrashimy, which was sent to the coast of Somalia this week after a Ukrainian ship carrying arms, including 33 T-72 tanks, was also hijacked by Somali pirates Picture: AP

    ‘Our sources say it contains chemicals, dangerous chemicals’


    A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates.





    Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill “within days” of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died.


    Andrew Mwangura, the director of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme, told the Sunday Times: “We don’t know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them had died. There is something very wrong about that ship.”


    The vessel’s declared cargo consists of “minerals” and “industrial products”. But officials involved in negotiations over the ship are convinced that it was sailing for Eritrea to deliver small arms and chemical weapons to Somalia’s Islamist rebels.


    The drama over the Iran Deyanat comes as speculation grew this week about whether the South African Navy would send a vessel to join the growing multinational force in the region.


    A naval spokesman, Lieutenant-Commander Greyling van den Berg, told the Sunday Times that the navy had not been ordered by the government to become involved in “the Somali pirate issue”.


    About 22000 ships a year pass through the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden, where regional instability and “no-questions-asked” ransom payments have led to a dramatic rise in attacks on vessels by heavily armed Somali raiders in speedboats.


    The Iran Deyanat was sailing in those waters on August 21, past the Horn of Africa and about 80 nautical miles southeast of Yemen, when it was boarded by about 40 pirates armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. They were alleged members of a crime syndicate said to be based at Eyl, a small fishing village in northern Somalia.



    The ship is owned and operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, or IRISL, a state-owned company run by the Iranian military.


    According to the US Treasury Department, the IRISL regularly falsifies shipping documents to hide the identity of end users, uses generic terms to describe shipments and operates under various covers to circumvent United Nations sanctions.


    The ship set sail from Nanjing, China, at the end of July. According to its manifest, it was heading for Rotterdam where it would unload 42500 tons of iron ore and “industrial products” purchased by a German client.



    At Eyl, the ship was secured by more pirates — about 50 on board, and another 50 on shore.


    But within days those who had boarded the ship developed mysterious health trouble.


    This was also confirmed by Hassan Allore Osman, minister of minerals and oil in Puntland, an autonomous region of Somalia.
    He headed a delegation sent to Eyl when news of the toxic cargo and illnesses surfaced.


    He told one news publication, The Long War Journal, that during the six days he had negotiated with the pirates, a number of them had become sick and died.


    “That ship is unusual,” he was quoted as saying. “It is not carrying a normal shipment.”



    The pirates did reveal that they had tried to inspect the ship’s cargo containers when some of them fell sick — but the containers were locked.


    Osman’s delegation spoke to the ship’s captain and its engineer by cellphone, demanding to know more about the cargo.


    Initially it was claimed the cargo contained “crude oil”; later it was said to be “minerals”.


    And Mwangura has added: “Our sources say it contains chemicals, dangerous chemicals.”


    But IRISL has denied that — and threatened legal action against Mwangura. The company has reportedly paid the pirates 200000 — the first of several “ransom instalments”, but that, too, has been denied.






    --oO Article End Oo--
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    Iran Deyanat - Iran


    The 1983-built, 44,468 dwt, bulk carrier Iran Deyanat is seen in this photograph while she was anchored near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on April 27th, 1992. She sailed originally as Odinlock (94). Photograph by Rick Garcia




    Homepage Email
    Posted: April 28, 2002 Last Revised: April 28, 2002
    Photo by : Rick Garcia - Copyright © - 1992, 2002
    Site updated and maintained by Jeff Cameron


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    About that Iranian ship... no one is talking much about this.

    Here's someone on FR working the issue and what he had to say:

    I’m working on that this morning. I believe it is still anchored off the coast of Somalia in the hands of the pirates. I can tell you that something is really wrong here. The Russian warship, Peter the Great, is high-tailing it to the area and may well already be there. Supposedly to deal with the hijacking of the Faina on sept 24. Noboby (no govt, no major news media) is even mentioning the Deneyat. Interestingly, on sept 23, one day BEFORE the Faina was hijacked, Russia announced it was headed there!
    http://www.lloydslist.com/ll/news/ru...0017573576.htm
    I am beginning to be convinced that it is being used for cover. That the real crisis is the Deneyat. I read on one blog that the ship might be full of radioactive sand and massive explosives. That the intention was for it to continue up the Suez canal to a position downwind from Israel and then be blown up. This would have served as a dirty bomb attack on Israel.
    http://shiratdevorah.blogspot.com/20...irty-bomb.html


    7 posted on Monday, October 06, 2008 5:12:49 AM by 1curiousmind (October surprise - WW3?)
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    FOXnews reported this morning that 27 ships have been hijacked this year by pirates off the coast of Africa.

    Big ships. not little boats.
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    The American Elephant Gored by the Horn of Africa

    06/10/2008By Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

    The American elephant, symbol of the Republican Party, received a painful stab in its side from the sharp Horn of Africa. The piracy acts off the Somali coasts are the natural outcome of the reckless and ill-planned American intervention in Somalia on the pretext of fighting terror (and making the world safer). And here are now the countries of the world whose ships used to sail through the Horn of Africa fearing no one but God and the sharks are now the target of the biggest piracy in history.

    Though the benefiting countries knew that piracy was taking place off the troubled Somali coasts, yet they did not care much, first, because they considered them some kind of hooliganism by the gangs of a hungry people where there is no state and no order and, secondly, because they paid sums of money which were not large compared to insuring commercial ships carrying goods worth hundreds of millions of dollars until statistics showed that the monies paid to the Somali pirates during one year reached $30 million. But the Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and heavy weapons inflamed the issue of piracy in the Horn of Africa because the prey this time is valuable and fat and therefore the ransom for this ship alone equals the pirates' income in a whole year. The American elephant is being gored these days by the Horn of Africa, suffocated by the Taliban's Afghan turban, restrained by the Iraqi headdress, muzzled by the Iranian carpet, and provoked by the recovering Russian bear and is almost being swept up by the American financial crisis.

    The United States is now begging Taliban, which the world expected it to be crushed forever, to sit at the negotiations table with the collapsing Karzai Government. Taliban is rejecting the negotiations offer except under its conditions and agendas. Somalia, where the Islamic Courts imposed control after 20 years of anarchy, the United States intervened to crush it as it crushed its sister Taliban only to return as a major player on the Somali stage and with a more dangerous role. We do not rule out the likelihood of the Ukrainian ship and its ransom ending up as a cool booty in the "terrorists'" hands. Had the United States tried to coexist with the moderate voices in the Somali factions and in the Taliban movement, it would have spared itself and the world this chaos in which these two countries are living. As for Iraq, though the United States did deliver strong blows to Al-Qaeda organization and those moving in its orbit, yet they do not seem to be fatal blows and we do not know if this organization is bending its head these days before the American storm only to raise it again as the "Islamic Courts" had done in Somalia and Taliban in Afghanistan? These dangerous crises which the Republican elephant has failed to tackle do not make us feel optimistic that the coming Democratic donkey can solve them no matter how much is said about its patience and perseverance.

    Is this American failure to deal with the chronic crises an early sign of the start of the countdown for loosening the grip around the world and the beginning of the end of America's global hegemony? It appears to be so.

    Here is North Korea, which bent before the American storm and threats and announced it was abandoning and dismantling its nuclear program, announcing these days it is backing down on this announcement. Russia exploited America's quandaries in the international crises to announce its arrival in strength through the Georgian door. Iran is meanwhile continuing to implement cleverly its nuclear program knowing it is safe from the wounded American giant. The world's move from unipolar hegemony to competition from other powers is in the interest of world peace because the world was safer during the Cold War between the West and east than it is now in the age of unipolar dominance. Ask the official spokesman of the Somali pirates who is speaking from aboard the hijacked Ukrainian ship, sitting with one leg over the other and blowing smoke from his cigarette as he waits for the $30 million ransom and mocking America and the world that has become safer!

    http://aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=2&id=14311

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    This was posted this morning... details are sketchy at best.

    Last night an American, the captain of the vessel Chill, Ken Peters, was killed by pirates at Isla Borracha near Puerto La Cruz. Ken and his wife Cathy were anchored with another boat I'Lean, Steve & Gloria Davis aboard. They were departing Puerto La Cruz from Bahía Redonda Marina headed west and stopped for the night to clean the boat bottoms and prepare for the voyage west.

    About 5:30 PM they were approached by 3 men in a piñero who asked for water. When one of the crew came back up from below with water, they shot Ken with pistols, and attempted to kill Steve. Details are not precise, but Steve apparently then shot at the pirates with a shotgun and killed one and injured another of the bandits. Ken was killed in the exchange and Steve injured but not badly.

    The Guarda Costa was called and responded and the 2 sailboats returned to PLC last night late. The widow, Cathy Peters, sailed her boat back with the help of a friend and guarded by a soldier. Steve sailed his boat back and the police recovered the body of Ken from I'Lean. It is expected that the body will be cremated here in Puerto La Cruz. It is especially horrible as Cathy just returned from the US having just buried her mother. The whole community here is in a state of shock and grief. A large scale exodus of cruisers is probable. We plan to depart in a few days, as was our plan previously.

    It is difficult to understand these things from incomplete reports and I won't second guess Steve his decision, but violence is not the answer to violence. To those of us who sail the world, the question is: How could any ordinary peaceful cruiser be prepared for such an unprovoked confrontation? Do we need to keep automatic weapons in the cockpit on lock and load?
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    Due to a botched edit, the account was left a bit garbled. I clarified it as details became available but it caused some confusion. It has been a day of raw emotional thunderstorms here in Bahía Redonda Marina. We are thankful that not all of our friends died, for sure. But 2 people died last night and there is no celebrating even the death of the Venzuelan perpetrator. If we are all to go off and practice at the firing range and purchase advanced weapons systems before we go off cruising then I will happily depart the scene in favor of life in some more peaceful retirement community. We must look at the causes and conditions for such violence. Carrying that around with us does no good. Venezuelans are often armed in their homes and cars and boats. They still are robbed, often! If you want to make your boat a prime target in this area just let it be known that you have guns, drugs, or money on board. The thieves will come calling for sure. I still wait for that answer, How can peaceful mariners travel the sea prepared for such wanton violence and unprovoked aggression?
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    Libertatem Prius!


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    From Times Online

    November 12, 2008
    Royal Navy in firefight with Somali pirates


    (MoD) The Royal Navy described the boarding as 'compliant'

    Michael Evans, Defence Editor and Rob Crilly

    Pirates caught redhanded by one of Her Majesty’s warships after trying to hijack a cargo ship off Somalia made the grave mistake of opening fire on two Royal Navy assault craft packed with commandos armed with machineguns and SA80 rifles.

    In the ensuing gunfight, two Somali pirates in a Yemeni-registered fishing dhow were killed, and a third pirate, believed to be a Yemeni, suffered injuries and subsequently died. It was the first time the Royal Navy had been engaged in a fatal shoot-out on the high seas in living memory.

    By the time the Royal Marines boarded the pirates’ vessel, the enemy had lost the will to fight and surrendered quietly. The Royal Navy described the boarding as “compliant”.

    Yesterday’s dramatic confrontation, the latest in a series of piracy incidents in the Gulf of Aden in recent months, took place 60 miles south of the Yemeni coast and involved the Royal Navy Type 22 frigate, HMS Cumberland, which has a Royal Marine unit on board, on short-notice standby to engage in “non-compliant boardings”.

    HMS Cumberland, on anti-piracy partol as part of a Nato maritime force, detected the dhow which was towing a skiff, and identified it as a vessel which had been involved in an attack on the Danish-registered MV Powerful earlier yesterday. The pirates had opened fire on the cargo boat with assault rifles.

    Under rules of engagement which allows the Royal Navy to intervene when pirates are positively identified, the commandos were dispatched from the frigate in rigid-raider craft and sped towards the pirates’ dhow. The Ministry of Defence said the Marines circled the pirates’ boat to try and persuade them to stop.

    As they approached, however, several of the pirates, a mixed crew of Somalis and Yemenis, swung their assault rifles in their direction and opened fire. The MoD said the Royal Marines returned fire “in self defence”, and then boarded the dhow — a stolen Yemeni-registered fishing vessel.

    The commandos found guns and other “paraphernalia” on board the dhow and a handful of terrified pirates. The MoD said it was unclear whether the Yemeni who died had been shot by the Marines or was wounded from a previous incident involving the pirates.

    The gun battle was in stark contrast to the Royal Navy’s last encounter with a boatful of armed men - when crew members of HMS Cornwall, also a Type 22 frigate, patrolling in the Gulf in rigid raiders, were surrounded by heavily armed Iranian Revolutionary Guards in March last year. Eight sailors, including a woman, Leading Seaman Faye Turney, and seven Marines were taken hostage without a shot being fired, and detained for 13 days. The Commons Defence Committee described the incident as “a national embarrassment”.

    Yesterday’s battle signalled a new policy of maximum robustness for the Royal Navy on the high seas. Captain Mike Davis-Marks, a senior spokesman for the Navy, said: “This is bound to have an impact on pirates who for the last two years have been getting away with seizing vessels and receiving large ransoms. Now suddenly there’s the threat of death and this may force them to think again, but they are determined people, so we’ll have to see.”

    The Russians claimed a helicopter based on their own frigate Neustrashimy had also taken part in yesterday’s battle, though the Royal Navy knew nothing about it. The Royal Marine commandos who boarded the pirates’ dhow were supported by a Lynx helicopter from HMS Cumberland, the MoD said.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5141745.ece

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