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Thread: Pirates! Activity Around the world

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Quote Originally Posted by vector7 View Post
    What took the Obama Administration five days the Russians did it in one.
    What, NO Miranda Rights and Civilian Trials with ACLU Lawyers?

    Not even prisoners?

    Yeah, they got prosecuted alright.

    Pirates released after assault operation near Gulf of Aden apparently perished

    12:1611/05/2010

    The Somali pirates who were captured in an assault operation after hijacking a Russian tanker near the Gulf of Aden and then released by Russian military officials have not reached the coast and have apparently perished, a top-ranking source in Russia's Defense Ministry told journalists on Tuesday.

    Russia's Moscow University tanker was hijacked last week near the Gulf of Aden. Ten pirates were captured and one was killed in the assault operation.

    The captured pirates were initially to be sent to Moscow for prosecution, but Russian military officials then made the decision to release them, citing the absence of a legal base to carry out prosecution procedures against pirates.

    The pirate's boat reportedly disappeared from radars an hour after they had been released by the Russian military.

    MOSCOW, May 11 (RIA Novosti)

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Ok Pirates...back on your boat you go. Hurry on up now *glances nervously at watch* we've taken the liberty of topping off the tanks and we put a few extra fuel containers on the deck, just in case...you know...you run out before you get back to shore.

    Ok, See you now...*WAVE* Do Svidaniya!

    THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN. FLANK SPEED, OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF THE PIRATE BOAT!

    We need to be over the horizon in 57 minutes...don't want to be anywhere near that boat just in case anyone is watching.
    Last edited by Malsua; May 12th, 2010 at 00:47.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    /chuckles.

    Was playing World of Warcraft last night and reading TAA on my second screen and saw this. Was on the headset with some of the family chatting about the dungeon we were in and had to read that article to them.

    Everyone was saying, "Wow, I wonder what happened to those POOR pirates?"

    ROTFLMAO!
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Africa, Military News, Real Time News, Russia, piracy » Pirates 'have all died,' Russia says, after decrying 'imperfections' in international law

    By Associated Press

    May 11, 2010, 3:43PM

    View full sizeAssociated PressIn this photo from April 21, 2009, in the port of Mombasa, Kenya, a French commando escorts a pirate off the French frigate Nivose, which was serving in the international fleet trying to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden.MANSUR MIROVALEV, Associated Press Writer

    MOSCOW, Russia — Following high level complaints about "imperfections" in international law, Russia announced Tuesday that captured Somali pirates "have all died." A Russian official claimed that 10 pirates seized by Russian special forces aboard an oil tanker last week were quickly freed but then died on their way back to the Somali coast.


    The unidentified high-ranking Defense Ministry official did not elaborate on how the pirates died, deepening a mystery that has prompted speculation the pirates were executed by commandos who had freed a Russian oil tanker seized in waters 500 miles (800 kilometers) east of Somalia's coast.


    The official told Russian news agencies the pirates' boat disappeared from Russian radar about an hour after their release.


    "They could not reach the coast and, apparently, have all died," the official said.
    The Defense Ministry could not be reached despite repeated phone calls Tuesday to the press office and the cell phones of spokesmen.


    Russian officials have said one of the 11 pirates was killed during a gunbattle when the Russian special forces stormed the tanker on Thursday. The others, some said to have been wounded, were brought aboard a Russian destroyer.
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    Officials initially said they would be taken to Russia for trial, but the Defense Ministry said Friday they'd been released because of "imperfections" in international law. The statement was met with skepticism, especially in light of a comment made by the Russian president.


    'Do what our forefathers did'


    "We'll have to do what our forefathers did when they met the pirates" until the international community comes up with a legal way of prosecuting them, Dmitry Medvedev said on the day the ship was stormed.


    The international community has had difficulty formulating an accepted policy for trying suspected pirates.


    Somalia's ambassador to Russia, Mohammed Handule, told journalists that his government could not identify or locate the pirates. They were believed to be Somalis, but their nationality has never been confirmed.
    He said they "will face trial if we find them alive."


    The multimillion dollar business of pirate attacks has continued to climb despite the presence of about 35 international warships patrolling the waters off Somalia. The impoverished nation is caught up in an Islamic insurgency and has not had a functioning government since 1991.


    In two other piracy-related developments on Tuesday:


    — EU Naval Force Lt. Cmdr. Carl Sjostrand said pirates hijacked a Bulgarian chemical tanker off the coast of Somalia with 15 Bulgarian crew aboard. When it was taken over, the Pangea was in the Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor, a region off East Africa that is patrolled by warships. Sjostrand said only 17 minutes elapsed between when the Pangea raised an alarm and when the pirates attacked.


    — The spokesman for the European Union's anti-piracy force, Cmdr. John Harbour, said pirates released a cargo vessel they had held for more than a month. Harbour said the pirates left the vessel early Tuesday, three days after they had received a ransom. The refrigerated cargo vessel is sailing north, he said.


    Harbour said the crew of 23 Sri Lankans, one Filipino and one Syrian is safe and well. Somali pirates hijacked the Talca on March 23 about 120 miles (190 kilometers) off the coast of Oman.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    I agree with the Russians on this.

    Kill them. Flat out, kill them.

    If they attempt piracy, or succeed, just kill them. They won't do it again.

    If my ship is ever attacked, there will be a God-Awful fight. I might die, but I WILL take the bastards with me. Don't screw with my ship and crew. In international waters, there is no one going to help you, or me.

    I'll help myself to survival, thank you very much.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    ... A Russian official claimed that 10 pirates seized by Russian special forces aboard an oil tanker last week were quickly freed but then died on their way back to the Somali coast. ...

    OMG. I hate to LOL at real life deaths, but I did. So Russian. Admitting they captured them alive, then without specifically saying so, stating international law sucks and they "oops" seemed to have died. So sad.

    The lawlessness of the Somali coast as it is now... live by the sword, die by the sword. The pirates know the consiquences they risk.

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    SOMALIA: Russia executed all Somali pirates – spokesman

    Page last updated May 12, 2010



    BOSASSO (Somalilandpress) — A pirate spokesman, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted Somalilandpress today said at least ten of his men were executed by the Russian navy after the troopers stormed MV Moscow University.

    “The Russians commandos stormed the ship before sunrise, starting a firefight with our men, onboard they injured three of them and one was killed,” he said.

    He dismissed the Russian navy statement that the men were released because of “the absence of a legal base to carry out prosecution procedures against pirates”.

    “The Russians never released the young men instead they shot them point-blank range then loaded their lifeless bodies back on the boat,” he added.

    The spokesman condemned the action of the Russian navy “our men never hurt their hostages, we simply want foreign ships to stop overfishing in our waters, if they are not happy to respect our-fishermen and their livelihood, we have no choice but to take hostage to compensate for the losses,” he cited.

    “We condemn the action of the Russians, it’s driven by racism and hate for black people and Africa, it’s the face of the new Russia. In future, if we capture Russians they will meet the same fate as those they executed,” he added.

    Meanwhile, many Somalis were angered by Somalia’s ambassador to Moscow, Mohamed Handule’s statement, who backed the Russian navy denying that the Russian destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov has not acted inappropriately. They requested an investigation and the immediate replacement of Mr. Handule.

    “Not one Somali or the government of our country sees Russia has being guilty in this,” Mr. Handule told ITAR-TASS news agency.

    On the 6th May, eleven Somali pirates hijacked the Liberian-flagged Russian oil tanker, MV Moscow University, carrying 86,000 tonnes of crude oil worth $US52 million in the Gulf of Aden. The anti-submarine destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov was notified and dispatched a helicopter which disrupted the pirates while commandos on speed boats stormed the tanker. The Russians have killed all eleven pirates and have destroyed their boats according to the pirate spokesman.

    There are reports, Somali pirates still hold 23 foreign ships and 384 sailors in Somalia. Meanwhile, a conference co-sponsored by the United Nation and the Turkish government designed to address the piracy, stability and Somalia’s security will be hosted in Istanbul from 21st-23rd of May.

    Photo: AFP/Pierre Verdy

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    LOL

    Sorry.

    I say the Russians were RIGHT to do what they did.

    This is EXACTLY what should be happening. The Russians however will gain silent respect from every other country, and we will continue to pussyfoot around about this situation.

    Instead of stopping these pirates cold... we let people remain hostage for days or weeks. And so do the British.

    Then again, the Russians aren't civilized are they?>

    This needs to be a LESSON for the United States of America.

    We can be as civilized as we wish - but knowing full well the Russians will simply execute those they deem criminals (or enemies) means that we Americans WILL be fighting them at some point and we will LOSE unless we do the same thing.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Here's a NEW One..





    Mexican Pirates Prey on Boaters on Texas Lake


    Updated: 57 minutes ago



    Mara Gay Contributor
    AOL News
    (May 28) -- Texas' Falcon Lake is best known for its sport fishing, but lately it's the armed Mexican pirates that have attracted quite a bit of attention.

    In recent weeks, groups of men with assault rifles and high-powered machine guns have boarded leisure boats demanding drugs and cash, leading authorities to believe that drug cartels are operating on the popular bass-fishing lake on the Mexican border.

    "It's piracy," Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez told ABC. "It may not be on the high seas, but they are taking advantage of people on this lake by threatening and robbing them."

    The lake has been the site of three armed robberies since April 30, and the Texas Department of Public Safety has issued a bulletin urging fishermen to remain in U.S. waters.

    "The robbers are believed to be members of a drug trafficking organization," the warning read. The Texas agency added that fishermen "could be in danger if they cross into Mexican waters."







    In the first incident, on April 30, five American fishermen were exploring the small town of Old Guerrero on the Mexican side of the lake when, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, four "heavily tattooed" men who identified themselves as federal police but wore no uniforms boarded their boat and asked, "Where are the drugs?" No one was harmed, but the pirates got away with $200 in cash.

    Tom Bendele, owner of a Falcon Lake tackle shop, said the men who had been robbed told him the pirates bore tattoos that may mark them as members of the Zeta cartel.

    "They boarded the boat at gunpoint," Bendele told ABC. "They were all wearing black, and [my friends] told me one had Z's tattooed around his neck, [and] the others had Z's tattooed on their wrists."

    On May 6, another American boat was attacked by armed men, who demanded cash from the fishermen at gunpoint. Two other reports of pirates on the lake are being investigated as well.

    Texas sport fisherman Richard Drake said the pirates tried to attack him during a bass-fishing tournament. He described the frightening ordeal in an interview with San Antonio news station KENS5 on May 21.

    "I saw 'em, and I saw they were machine guns. They were that close, they were 15 yards away from me," he said. "I was scared." Drake said the pirates chased him across the lake but eventually gave up as he neared the U.S. shore.

    Texas authorities say they can do nothing to help boaters who cross the border to the Mexican side of the lake and find themselves in hot water.

    "It is unsafe in Mexico. Don't go to Mexico," Game Warden Capt. Fernando Cervantes told KENS5. "We cannot cross over onto that side. If a boat goes across, that's it. We stop there at the line."
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    5 Somalis face piracy charges in Dutch trial

    The Associated Press

    Thursday, May 27, 2010 | 12:23 a.m.

    Europe's first trial of alleged Somali pirates opened Tuesday with conflicting accounts from the five suspects, a notable lack of physical evidence and a shortage of witnesses, in a case that illustrates the difficulty of prosecuting piracy cases and why so many captured sea bandits are let go.

    And with one emotional outburst, one suspect also brought to light the core problem in trying to rein in the rampant piracy afflicting the Somali coast: poverty and the absence of any authority.

    "If our children are hungry, who is responsible?" shouted Sayid Ali Garaar, 39. "You sleep in your house, I am in prison. I have no country, no family, nothing," he added, wiping tears from his eyes.

    "I got into this situation because I am prepared to do anything," he said, speaking to the court via a translator.

    The case, held in a top security courtroom in this Dutch port city, was a landmark in the fight against the escalating incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, which prompted navies around the world to join in a task force to protect one of the world's busiest sea lanes for merchant ships and oil tankers.

    Hundreds of pirates have been detained and several have been brought to Europe since the international armada was mobilized, but the majority have been released at sea because of the cost and difficulty of bringing them to trial.

    Other European countries will be watching the Dutch case closely to weigh the merits of bringing piracy suspects to trial.

    The trial is scheduled to last up to five days, and a verdict is expected next month. The pirates face a maximum 12-year sentence if convicted.

    Dutch prosecutors charged the suspects with the 17th-century crime of "sea robbery," though they were allegedly armed with modern weapons _ AK47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades _ when they attacked a freighter in January 2009 that flew the flag of the Dutch Antilles.

    The trial opened with conflicting statements from the suspects on what they were doing at the time of the alleged attack, and the lack of evidence because their skiff was sunk by Danish marines who came to the freighter's rescue.

    Also, court-appointed defense attorneys said they had only been able to interview one crew member of the attacked ship because they are at sea most of the year and Danish marines who flew over the pirates' skiff said they saw no weapons on board.

    Whatever the outcome in the Netherlands, the case is not expected to stop the piracy problem.

    "Such trials will not end piracy," said the spokesman for the European Union's anti-piracy force, Cmdr. Anders Kallin. "To end piracy you need to have a solution on shore. The problem is in Somalia. And we don't have permission to go there."

    But he said taking pirates to court demonstrates they can be held responsible for their crimes.

    "It will show them that there is a big risk in going out to sea to hijack ships," he said.

    Two of the Somalis on trial in Rotterdam said they were fishing, while another said he was traveling to family to ask for money. Some said they were carrying AK47s and others said they were unarmed.

    Two of the men admitted being pirates, but said they changed their minds when their skiff ran out of food, water and fuel.

    "I went to sea to hijack a ship," said 33-year-old Abdirisaq Abdulahi Hirsi. "But I decided against it."

    The one element they all agreed on was that they were asking the container ship for food and fuel, not attacking it.

    In written testimony, the ship's crew said they used flares to hold off the attackers, who sped their skiff toward them firing volleys from automatic weapons and at least one round from a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

    Danish marines who flew over the pirates' skiff in a helicopter said they saw no weapons on board but that the small boat was carrying a ladder with hooks at one end used for boarding ships. The helicopter pilot said there was no doubt that it was an act of piracy.

    After the Danish helicopter fired warning shots at the skiff, four of the pirates jumped overboard. The fifth also leapt into the water a short time later. All five were then picked up by a Danish navy boat. They were later handed to Dutch authorities for trial because the Samanyulo was sailing under a Dutch Antilles flag.

    In Europe, piracy suspects are being held in France, Spain and the Netherlands, but the Dutch are the first to put any on trial.

    Last week, a Somali man pleaded guilty in a New York court to hijacking the U.S.-flagged ship Maersk Alabama on April 8, 2009, and kidnapping its captain. He faces a minimum 27 years in prison. Sentencing was set for Oct. 19.

    Besides the U.S. case, Kenya and the Seychelles have been the only countries prosecuting suspected pirates, but Kenya halted its trials, citing the high cost of imprisoning suspects and bringing them to court. Last week, however, Kenya announced it will resume taking piracy suspects from the international fleet for trial.

    Kenya has convicted 18 Somalis of piracy since 2007, including eight who were sentenced in March to 20 years imprisonment, and more than 100 others on trial, said Keriako Tobiko, Kenya's director of Public Prosecutions.

    In Seychelles, 40 suspected Somali pirates are on trial, but none has yet been convicted, said president's office press secretary Srdjana Janosevic.

    Earlier this month, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said there were 406 pirate attacks in 2009, 100 more than in 2008. Most were off the coast of East Africa, which saw a sevenfold increase between 2005 and 2009, he said.

    Pirates are believed to be holding more than 400 seamen hostage.

    ____

    Associated Press Writer Malkhadir M. Muhumed in Nairobi, Kenya, contributed to this story.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Australian navy stops Somali pirates

    May 28, 2010 - 7:39PM



    AAP

    An Australian naval vessel has stopped a boatload of pirates believed to have been plotting attacks on merchant ships off the east coast of Africa.


    The HMAS Parramatta was patrolling a shipping lane in the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia, on May 25 when it intercepted a skiff carrying a group of suspected pirates.


    The area is well known for attacks by Somali pirates, defence officials said.


    When first sighted, the suspected pirates were throwing items overboard, including some weapons.


    "Given their location and that their behaviour was typical of pirates in this region, it appeared that they were loitering with the intent to carry out an attack," Parramatta's operating officer Lieutenant Tony Nagle said in a statement on Friday.


    Australian crew boarded the boat, but found no additional weapons.
    They seized any items that could have been used in a piracy attack, and then left the vessel with enough supplies to make its way safely back to Somalia.


    The Parramatta is on anti-piracy deployment in the Middle East until September.
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    Marines Seize Ship From Pirates
    September 10, 2010

    U.S. Marines rescued a hijacked German-owned cargo ship off the coast of Yemen on Thursday, boarding the vessel as dawn broke and apprehending nine pirates without firing a shot.

    Two dozen Marine commandos took control of the Magellan Star, a container ship en route from Spain to Vietnam, by swarming the decks and surrounding the armed pirates before they had time to react, U.S. military officials said. The pirates, all Somali nationals, will remain in custody of the U.S. Navy until officials can decide whether they should be prosecuted or released.

    "The pirates were definitely overmatched," Vice Adm. Mark I. Fox , commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, said in a telephone interview.

    The rescue occurred less than 24 hours after pirates had captured the ship, the latest in a wave of maritime hijackings in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, which contain some of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

    The Marines were aided by the Magellan Star's wily 11-man crew, who had avoided being taken hostage by barricading themselves in a safe room as the pirates boarded the ship. The crew also killed the ship's engine, leaving the vessel to float dead in the water until help could arrive.

    Frustrated, the pirates grabbed an emergency phone in the control room and called the ship's owner in Dortmund, Germany, demanding to know the crew's whereabouts and how to restart the engine.

    "We said, 'Oh, the crew is on holiday,' " said Holger Roemer, an executive with Dr. Peters Group, the German firm that owns the vessel. "We also told them the engine was having trouble. They were very sour and told us a lot of not-very-nice words and hung up."

    As the pirates stewed, the Marine commandos - assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Maritime Raid Force and serving in the region as part of an international anti-piracy task force - prepared to intervene.

    By early Thursday, the pirates found themselves surrounded by two U.S. warships, the Dubuque and the Princeton, as well as a Turkish frigate on patrol for the anti-piracy task force. Navy helicopters also hovered around the hijacked container ship, but the pirates - defiantly waving AK-47s - refused to surrender, Marine and Navy officials said.

    About 5 a.m., the platoon of Marine commandos climbed on board the Magellan Star from boarding craft that had pulled alongside the ship. They subdued the pirates within minutes. Neither side fired any shots, the Marines said.

    "It was a combination of speed and overwhelming force," Lt. Col. Joseph R. Clearfield, commanding officer of the Marines who boarded the ship, told reporters in a conference call. "At that point, I think they realized that resistance was futile."

    It took longer to convince the barricaded crew that friendly forces had arrived. Hearing the commotion on the decks and fearing that the pirates were coming for them, crew members responded by retreating deeper into a warren of safe rooms inside the ship.

    Marines, armed with blow torches and saws, finally cut a platter-size hole through a wall of the crew's hiding place. Marine Capt. Alexander Martin stuck a bullhorn through and announced, in English and Russian, that the pirates had been subdued.

    The crew - mostly Filipinos but led by Polish and Ukrainian officers - was still skeptical, so Sgt. Max Chesmore tore off a U.S. flag patch that was attached to his uniform and shoved it through the hole.

    "Once we showed them the American flag, their disposition turned from scared, unsure of what was happening, to very happy," said Staff Sgt. Thomas Hartrick, another of the commandos.

    The operation was the second time that U.S. forces have saved a hijacked crew from pirates in the region.

    In April 2009, Navy SEALs rescued the captain of the Maersk Alabama , a U.S.-flagged vessel, after Somali pirates had grabbed the ship in the Indian Ocean. In that case, Navy sharpshooters killed three pirates who were holding the captain hostage in a lifeboat.

    U.S. officials now face the challenge of deciding what to do with the pirates.

    War-torn Somalia lacks a functioning central government, so sending the pirates home would mean they would likely go free.

    In the past, the anti-piracy task force has sent captured Somali buccaneers to Kenya and the Seychelles, the only countries in the region who have agreed to prosecute for prosecution. But on other occasions, foreign navies have been stuck holding pirates for months when no country has been willing to take them.

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    US Judge Throws Out Piracy Charges Against 6 Somalis Accused Of Attacking Navy Assault Ship
    August 17, 2010

    A judge on Tuesday dismissed piracy charges against six Somali men accused of attacking a Navy ship off the coast of Africa, concluding the U.S. government failed to make the case their alleged actions amounted to piracy.

    The dismissal of the piracy count by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson tosses the most serious charge against the men, but leaves intact seven other charges related to the alleged April 10 attack on the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden. A piracy conviction carries a mandatory life term.

    Defense attorneys argued last month that the Ashland defendants did not meet the U.S. legal definition of piracy because they did not take command of and rob the amphibious dock landing ship.

    Jackson agreed in his ruling, finding that the government "failed to establish that any unauthorized acts of violence or aggression committed on the high seas constitutes piracy as defined by the law of nations."

    Jackson, who issued the ruling from Norfolk, wrote that the government was attempting to use "an enormously broad standard under a novel construction of the statute" that would contradict a nearly 200-year-old Supreme Court decision, United States v. Smith.

    The six are accused of attacking the Ashland in a skiff, though they claim they were ferrying refugees. The Ashland is 610 feet long and designed to carry hovercraft and other vehicles for amphibious assaults. The skiff was destroyed by one of the ship's 25mm cannons. One occupant of the skiff was killed and several others were injured.

    Attorneys for five other Somali defendants accused in a similar attack on the USS Nicholas are also seeking dismissal of the piracy count, citing similar arguments. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9 before a different judge in Norfolk.

    The Justice Department said it was reviewing Jackson's ruling. "We will obviously be moving forward with the prosecution of the case — and we will consider any options we may have with today's ruling," a spokesman said in a statement.

    "The bottom line is there's no piracy because there was no robbery at sea," said Robert Rigney, who is representing Mohammed Abdi Jamah.

    The government cited vague international in its attempt to shore up the argument, he said.

    "Piracy under the law of nations doesn't give you a real interpretation of what piracy is," he said. Rigney expects the government to appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.

    At a hearing late last month, Jackson signaled that he was skeptical of the government's piracy accusation, repeatedly questioning prosecutors on what actions constituted piracy.

    In his ruling, Jackson said the U.S. definition of piracy has remained consistent through the years, while international definitions are still subject to dispute among experts.

    "Given the flexible manner in which international sources treat the definition of piracy, and that these sources inherently conflict with Supreme Court precedent, the court's reliance on these international sources as authoritative would not meet constitutional muster and must therefore be rejected," he wrote.

    "The Smith definition of piracy as sea robbery, on the other hand, is clear and authoritative," he wrote.

    The five Somali men being prosecuted separately are accused in an alleged assault on the frigate USS Nicholas on April 1, west of the Seychelles. Both Virginia-based ships were part of an international flotilla patrolling pirate-infested waters.

    All 11 Somali defendants have pleaded not guilty and are being held until trials this fall. The remaining charges carry terms of 10, 20 and 30 years.

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    Ok... Note to self. Don't take alleged pirates into custody for trial. Send them to Davy Jones' locker.
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    Those five Somali pirates that fired on the USS Nicholas last April just were convicted of piracy and are facing mandatory life sentencing.
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    24 November 2010 Last updated at 12:43 ET

    Somali pirates convicted of attacking US Navy ship


    The men were mostly impoverished fishermen in their 20s


    Five young Somali men face life in prison after being convicted of piracy in the April attack on a US Navy ship.


    Prosecutors said the men attacked the USS Nicholas after mistaking it for a merchant ship and were out for as much as $40,000 (£24,800) in ransom money.


    But the men's lawyers maintained the five only fired their weapons to attract attention and get help.


    The verdict is the first in a piracy case in the US in nearly 200 years. The men face a mandatory life sentence.


    The five men were convicted of piracy, attacking to plunder a maritime vessel, and assault with a dangerous weapon.


    They were arrested in April, along with six others who were captured a few days later in waters near Djibouti after allegedly shooting at the USS Ashland, an amphibious vessel.


    Lawyers for the men said they were fishermen who had been forced by pirates to attack the ship.


    Anti-piracy mission

    The trial took place in Norfolk in the US state of Virginia, one of the largest naval bases in the world and home port to the USS Nicholas.


    The crew of five young defendants, mostly fishermen in their mid-20s, had set sail from Somalia in March in search of a merchant vessel to plunder, according to documents filed in the federal court.


    Their ship carried food and fuel and had two smaller skiffs tied to it, which prosecutors say were to serve as attack craft. The men were armed with assault weapons and a rocket-propelled grenade, prosecutors said.


    One of the defendants, Mohammed Mohdin Hassan, told investigators he had been promised $30,000 (£18,552) for a successful mission, according to court documents.


    About eight days later, on the high seas and under cover of night, Hasan, Gabul Abdullahi Ali and Abdi Wali Dire boarded one of the attack craft and set out to attack what they believed was a merchant ship, prosecutors said.


    In fact, the ship was the Nicholas, which had been deployed to the east coast of Africa on an anti-piracy mission.


    Hasan and Dire brought the attack skiff close to the Nicholas and opened fire, prosecutors said. The Nicholas returned fire and gave chase, capturing the defendants and taking them aboard the ship and destroying their skiff.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Those Russians don't fool around with pirates. Video from LiveLeak of the Marshal Shaposhnikov engaging a pirate ship with its AK-630.


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    I'd like to hear the background story.

    Did they sink both the pirate vessel AND the victim?!?!??!
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    Holy crap. They didn't just try to give it a disabling shot, they went for the kill from the get go. They dumped 8-9 strafes into it AFTER a direct hit with explosion and a fire started.
    Last edited by Toad; December 28th, 2010 at 21:24.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Pirates hijack 4 Americans; US mulls responses

    Published February 18, 2011

    | Associated Press


    MOGADISHU, Somalia – An American couple that has sailed the world with a yacht full of Bibles was hijacked by Somali pirates, and the U.S. said Saturday it is assessing possible options.

    Pirates say the yacht will make landfall in Somalia on Sunday, which would reduce the chances of a fast rescue dramatically. A British sailing couple hijacked by pirates was held hostage in a stiflingly hot Somali region for more than a year.

    Pirates hijacked the yacht Quest on Friday, two days after a Somali pirate was sentenced to 33 years in prison by a New York court for the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama. That case ended in a spectacular rescue when Navy sharpshooters killed two pirates holding the ship's captain, Richard Phillips.

    The Quest is the home of Jean and Scott Adam, a couple from California who has been sailing around the world since December 2004, according to a website the Adams keep. Two other Americans were also believed to be on board.

    The pirates are unlikely to hurt the four Americans because they won't win any ransom money if they do, said Graeme Gibbon-Brooks, the head of Dryad Maritime Intelligence. He argued that the pirates would be wise to abandon the yacht because the hijacking threatens their business model, which relies on ransoms from large shipping and insurance companies.

    "They risk the collapse of their business model if they change their status quo and the American government deems that they pose an immediate threat to the safety of American citizens," he said. "They've made a mistake and it's in the Somalis' business interest to get off the yacht as soon as possible."

    The U.S. military was monitoring the situation. Matt Goshko, a spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, which oversees Somalia, said reports indicate there are four U.S. citizens aboard the Quest.

    "All relevant U.S. agencies are monitoring the situation, working to develop further information, assess options and possible responses," Goshko said.

    Pirates have increased attacks off the coast of East Africa in recent years despite an international flotilla of warships dedicated to protecting vessels and stopping the pirate assaults. Multimillion dollar ransoms are fueling the trade, and the prices for releasing a ship and hostages have risen sharply.

    Pirates currently hold 30 ships and more than 660 hostages, not counting the attack against the Quest.

    After the Maersk Alabama was hijacked in April 2009, Navy sharpshooters fired on pirates holding Phillips, killing two of them. The only pirate to survive was Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse, who was sentenced to 33 years in prison this week.

    The best-known case of Westerners being held hostage in Somalia was that of Paul and Rachel Chandler, a British couple held for 388 days. The two, who were captured while sailing in their private yacht, were released in November.

    A Somali pirate who gave his name as Bile Hussein said Saturday pirates from the Bari area of Somalia's northern region of Puntland captured the yacht. Hussein said the yacht was expected to arrive in Somalia on Sunday "if no problems happen on their way."

    The Adams website chronicles the couple's travels over the last seven years, from El Salvador and Panama in 2005 to Fiji in 2007 and Singapore and Cambodia last year. They most recently sailed from Thailand to Sri Lanka and India and were on their way to Oman when captured. Djibouti — the tiny East African country north of Somalia — had been next on their list. A satellite tracking system the couple uses showed them docked in Mumbai, India on Feb. 1.

    "Djibouti is a big refueling stop. I have NO idea what will happen in these ports, but perhaps we'll do some local touring," the couple's website says.

    The Adams — who are members of the Marina del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, California — run a Bible ministry, according to their website, and have been distributing Bibles to schools and churches in remote villages in areas including the Fiji Islands, Alaska, New Zealand, Central America and French Polynesia.

    The Adams carry both Catholic and Protestant versions of the Bible, and at several different reading levels. The couple stamps the bibles with "A GIFT from your friends in the United States. Quest Bible Ministry. NOT FOR SALE," after discovering a teacher who they gave Bibles to sold them.

    The pirates from Puntland are not hardline Islamists and the fact the Adams carry Bibles is not likely to be a problem. Pirates in Puntland are known to spend their ransom spoils on alcohol, drugs and prostitutes.

    But the prison sentence given to Muse this week could have implications for the four American hostages. Pirates have turned increasingly violent in their attacks, and naval officials say pirates have begun systematically torturing hostages and using them as human shields.

    Earlier this week a pirate told an Associated Press reporter in Somalia that pirates would target Americans in retaliation for the sentencing. The pirate, who identified himself by the name Hassan, said Americans would suffer "regrettable consequences."

    Pirates have recently tied hostages upside down and dragged them in the sea, locked them in freezers, beaten them and used plastic ties around their genitals, the commander of the European Union anti-piracy force, Maj. Gen. Buster Howes told AP this month.

    The security minister in Puntland condemned the hijacking and called for an urgent rescue operations and for the pirates to be dealt with "relentlessly and mercilessly."

    "We are not capable of stopping piracy. They have expertise and can reach far beyond Somali coastlines. Puntland will do its bests to track them down," Gen. Yusuf Ahmed Khary said.

    ___

    Straziuso reported from Nairobi, Kenya.
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