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Thread: Pirates! Activity Around the world

  1. #161
    Super Moderator and PHILanthropist Extraordinaire Phil Fiord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Hmm. I took a cap of the odd area I found and saved it. I have no way to link it here, I don't think.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    I see a bunch of skiffs on the picture.
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    Super Moderator and PHILanthropist Extraordinaire Phil Fiord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world



    Ok added an album t my acct here. Sadly the quality is poor. I do have a better copy saved. Thoughts?

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    look out near center. That is larger. That area is known for yachts and such taken there., so larger than a sea skiff.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world



    closer up

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Handfull of skiffs on the shore, one is anchored out in the lagoon there. Best estimate for me is that the one anchored out is probably about 20-25 feet long the ones ashore are probably flat bottomed skiffs and are aroun 13 feet (kind of a standard length) - maybe closer to 10.

    The left hand shows 100' as the range there.

    Yeah using a ruler here, I say that anchored boat is about 12 meters or so. That would be around 40 feet. So that's a bit bigger boat.

    The one taken the other day was a 50' if I remember right.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    44 feet as I recall for the Dutch craft. This would not be it as the image is more than likely taken prior, but the point is, the greater area of Alula is active as a small craft pirate haven.

    Another find. More likely skiffs, but they are in various stages of beaching and such.


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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    From what I see as a logical view, this Alula area, or east of it anyway, is indeed a small more shallow craft drop zone. It has many sand bars and shallow water areas to thwart those who are unfamiliar or in a larger craft pursuing.

    Sadly, these images do not get close enough to see people. Amazing in a way. IN most of the world Google has mapped to the point of being intrusive to some, yet a hot bed like this is barely close enough to detect a small water craft zoomed in max. My own house is so detailed on there you can see my cars and RV and even a person if we had been outside at the time. Sheesh.

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    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    If you try to find my house on Google maps/earth, you'll see trees. heh.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Thanks Peterle, at work here I don't have access to a lot of things I have at home, including and especially google earth. It too, is blocked. I dont know why, but it is.

    Phil those are boats that have been run ashore so they don't drift off. They could be fishing vessels.
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Agreed, fishing vessels are a likely item there, but I stand by the point of it being a prime location for small craft logistic in a pirate arena.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Mal,

    I dunno, but maybe being close to DC has something to do with it.

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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Asia & Pacific

    Indian navy captures 61 pirates in Arabian Sea


    Published March 14, 2011
    | Associated Press

    AP
    March 13: In this photo released by the Government of India Press Information Bureau, Indian naval officers distribute food to the captured pirates aboard an Indian naval ship in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Kochi, India.



    NEW DELHI – The Indian navy captured 61 pirates who jumped into the Arabian Sea to flee a gunfight and fire on the hijacked ship from which they had staged several attacks, a navy statement said Monday.


    Two Indian navy ships also rescued 13 crew members from the fishing boat Sunday night, nearly 695 miles (1,100 kilometers) off Kochi in southern India, the statement said.


    The pirates had hijacked the Mozambique-flagged Vega 5 in December and had used it as a mother ship — a base from which they staged several attacks in the vast waters between East Africa and India.


    A patrol aircraft spotted the mother ship Friday while responding to another vessel reporting a pirate attack, the Indian navy said. The pirates aborted the hijacking attempt and tried to escape in the mother ship.


    When the Indian ships closed in Sunday night, the pirates fired on them. The hijacked vessel caught fire when the Indian navy returned fire, the navy said.



    The pirates as well as the crew members jumped into the sea from the burning vessel, but were taken out by Indian sailors, the statement said.


    The pirates were carrying about 80 to 90 small arms or rifles and a few heavier weapons, likely rocket-propelled grenades, it said. The statement did not describe any casualties among the navy, the fishermen or the pirates in Sunday's clash.


    The navy was checking whether the pirates were from Somalia or Yemen. They were being taken to Mumbai, India's financial capital, to be prosecuted for attacking the Indian ships.


    Piracy has plagued the shipping industry off East Africa for years, but violence and ransom demands have escalated in recent months. Pirates held some 30 ships and more than 660 hostages as of February.


    The owner of a Bangladeshi-flagged ship that was held for more than three months said that the vessel and 26 crew members were released Monday.


    Mehrul Kabir declined to say whether any ransom was paid for the release of the M.V. Jahan Moni, which was seized off the Indian coast while transporting nickel ore from Indonesia to Greece, but the media in Bangladesh reported the pirates were paid $4.2 million.


    "All the crew members on board are safe," Kabir told reporters in Dhaka.


    The Indian navy's third anti-piracy operation this year followed the capture of 28 Somali pirates last month and another 15 in January. Both groups also are to be prosecuted in Mumbai.


    Indian warships have been escorting merchant ships as part of international anti-piracy surveillance in the area since 2008.


    Several nations, including the United States, are prosecuting pirate suspects their militaries captured but other suspects have been released as countries weigh legal issues and other factors.


    The prosecutions, the growth of criminal gangs participating in piracy and the ever-increasing ransoms have heightened confrontations.
    Five Puntland security forces and two pirates were killed earlier this month during a failed attempt to rescue Danish captives taken from their hijacked yacht to a pirate stronghold in the semiautonomous northern region of Somalia.


    Weeks earlier, four Americans on a hijacked yacht were killed by pirates under circumstances that are still unclear. A U.S. Navy destroyer was shadowing the captured boat at the time, and 15 pirate suspects were taken into custody after the gunfire.



    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03...#ixzz1GZx0vH7K
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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    Russia jails six pirates in M/V Arctic Sea hijacking case

    Source: (AHN) Reporter: AHN Staff
    Location: Moscow, Russian Federation Published: March 25, 2011 08:01 am EDT
    Topics: Crime, Law And Justice, Punishment
    Russia’s regional court has sentenced six people, who were convicted or hijacking a cargo ship in the Arctic ocean, up to 12 years in prison.
    After leaving Finland in July 2009, the vessel mysteriously disappeared in the English Channel, sparking a global search.


    Eventually, the Maltese-flagged ship, which was destined to Algeria, was eventually discovered in the Cape Verde islands.


    The vessel was carrying timber but its sudden disappearance sparked speculations about smuggling illegal Russian arms and other missiles to Iran or Syria.


    Among the six men is one Russian national, one Latvian and one Estonian, while nationalities and identities of three others remained unknown.



    Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/brief...#ixzz1HcJm4Vww
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    21 April 2011 Last updated at 05:51 ET

    Warship deployed to Arabian Sea as ships 'hijacked'

    Between them the vessels are believed to be carrying 41 crew members
    Continue reading the main story PIRACY CRISIS





    Two cargo ships are suspected to have been hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea, officials say.


    A South Korean warship is racing towards the scene where the 75,000-tonne Hanjin Tianjin lost contact after emitting a distress call.


    An Italian vessel, the Rosalia D'Amato, is confirmed to have been seized about 650km (400 miles) off Oman's coast.


    Piracy in the region is flourishing despite efforts by patrolling multinational forces.


    It hit an all-time high in the first three months of 2011 with 142 attacks across the world, the International Maritime Bureau said in a report this month.


    Contact lost

    The Hanjin Tianjin sent an emergency message at 0500 Thursday Korean time (2015 Wednesday GMT), when it was about 400km (250 miles) east of the Yemeni island of Socotra, said Seoul-based Hanjin Shipping in a statement.


    The vessel was carrying a crew of 14 South Koreans and six Indonesians and was reportedly en route to Singapore from Europe.


    Government officials said they believed it had been hijacked.



    A South Korean destroyer, the Choi Young, which is part of international naval forces attempting to police shipping in the area, has been dispatched, officials said.


    The Rosalia D'Amato - an Italian cargo ship of about the same size as the Hanjin Tianjin - is confirmed to have been seized.


    Carlo Miccio of Perseveranza, the Naples-base company which operates the ship, told agencies he had spoken to the captain who had told him the crew of 21 - including six Italians - were "okay, relatively speaking".


    "He was trying to give me more information but the pirates understood what he was doing and they cut the line," he told AFP news agency.


    Mr Miccio said tracking equipment showed the ship - which was on its way from Brazil to Iran with a cargo of soybeans - was "almost stationary".


    There had been no demand for ransom as yet, he said.


    'Mother ship' attacked

    International naval forces have been battling the pirates, many of whom are based in lawless Somalia.


    Witnesses and pirates near the Somali town of Hobyo have told AFP of an attack on a suspected pirate "mother ship" just off the coast.


    At least four people died and six were wounded in the attack, which took place at about 1900 local time (1700 GMT) on Wednesday, they said.
    A pirate and rights group told the agency helicopters were used in the assault.


    The pirate said the boat was being used to ferry supplies to a hijacked vessel in the vicinity.

    More on This Story

    PIRACY CRISIS

    BACKGROUND




    VIDEO AND AUDIO






    From other news sites


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    Default Re: Pirates! Activity Around the world

    May 30, 2011
    Jihad and the Jolly Roger: Piracy, Terrorism & Transnational Crime

    A Memorial Day Tribute to Merchant Mariners
    Dr. Robin McFee
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    “If fear is cultivated, it will become stronger. If faith is cultivated, it will achieve mastery.”

    John Paul Jones, merchant mariner and Revolutionary War hero.

    Recently I had the privilege of meeting with and talking to Capt. Richard Phillips – the merchant marine captain of the Maersk Ship Alabama – the first hijacked US ship in over 200 years. His ordeal unfolded on the world stage, and became a global story as he demonstrated great courage under fire as a prisoner at the (often brutal) hands of Somali based pirates. Thankfully the United States utilized the surgical arm of ‘diplomacy’ and sent the Navy SEALS to rescue him. Throughout this article I will include thoughts and insights from my discussion with this amazing man of faith.

    As an aside, it is a fitting response sending the SEALS, considering one could argue piracy gave birth to the US Navy. So great was the burden placed upon our fledgling nation in the 18th century by Barbary Pirates (North Africa) that the great nations of the Mediterranean met to discuss ransoms and other methods to contain the problem. The Barbary nations made off like bandits if you will excuse the pun. Their pirates were profitable. Ransom, tribute, or baksheesh, it is all the same to them – the cost of doing business in the region. And a significant revenue source for North African nations. It was Thomas Jefferson, who opposed paying tribute. He wrote to President Adams “I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro’ the medium of war. Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates.” He then wrote to James Monroe “the states (Barbary Nations) must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them…every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties.” In a letter to the president of Yale College “it will be more easy to raise ships and men to fight these pirates into reason than money to bribe them.” Where is Thomas Jefferson when we need him? The current patchwork coalition is not even holding the pirates at stalemate – 2011 is starting off even better for them than 2010 which was a banner year! Jefferson was correct that a strong approach with consequences – making the act of piracy far more painful than it is worth – is the only reasonable approach.


    British ship HMS Mary Rose being attacked by seven pirate ships (Barbary Corsairs) from Algiers in 1669. Barbary pirates were active for more than three centuries.

    Thomas Jefferson was correct when he warned that you just can’t do business with pirates. Unfortunately many companies and nations are doing just that. They pay ransom – modern day tribute. They stop, catch and release without punishment. Few pirates have been kept in jail and even fewer prosecuted or jailed. Such an anemic response by the Western powers once again emboldens a region of terrorists and criminals who have little respect for our resolve, let alone capabilities to keep law and order. The West for a variety of reasons has treated this as a nuisance, ignored it as the natural offspring of poverty or opted to pay its way out of the problem – especially in the early days when hostages were not murdered. That is no longer the case. As of February four American hostages were killed, murdered by Somali pirates. This should have been the game changer and the US strategy should have been one that said “OK the gloves are off” – that has not occurred.

    Since December 2008 the US National Security Council has raised the issue. In the Executive Summary of the 12/08 document “maritime piracy is a universal crime under international law which places the lives of seafarers in jeopardy and affects the shared economic interest of all nations. The United States will not tolerate a haven where pirates can act with impunity; it is therefore in our national interests to work with all States to repress piracy off the Horn of Africa.”
    The NSC goals:


    • Prevent pirate attacks by reducing the vulnerability of the maritime domain to piracy,
    • Disrupt acts of piracy consistent with international law and the rights and responsibilities of coastal and flag States, and
    • Ensure that those who commit acts of piracy are held accountable for their actions by facilitating the prosecution of suspected pirates by flag, victim and coastal States, and in appropriate cases the United States.”

    Unfortunately not much has changed since that document was printed.

    Piracy is on the rise, ransoms on the increase, murders on the high seas growing. According to international maritime authorities and resources over 601 mariners and 25 ships are being held hostage off the coast of Somalia. What are the consequences to that harboring nation? If you have to ask! There are at least 7 attack groups (think mini navies or corporations) in the Arabia Sea. 2010 saw a 10% increase over 2009 in pirate attacks according to the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre.

    Nations have yet to fully agree on a strategy. Secretary of State Clinton weighed in on this – “we have put together an international coalition, but frankly we’re not in my view getting enough out of it…many foreign naval vessels now patrolling the area were not effective. “ She continues to counsel that the issue requires a more comprehensive approach by agencies including the Defense Department.

    The maritime industry has yet to establish a set of best practices – in vessel training/preparedness let alone the overarching issue of piracy.

    Some shipping lines have hired armed security, others unarmed expertise. Some have resigned themselves to paying ransom. As Secretary Clinton recently reported – “one of our big problems is that a lot of major shipping companies in the world think it’s the price of doing business…they pay ransom and they just go on their merry way. That has been a huge problem.”

    Others are equipping their ships with countermeasures – changing the speed and freeboard of the vessels where possible to make them harder to catch and board, or placing long range acoustic devices (LRADS) which emit incredibly noisy/painful decibel level sound to ward off attackers before they can get close to the ship. It has worked in one high profile case. But as security professionals, seafarers including Capt Phillips have warned, the pirates can purchase hearing protection, and most ships with LRADs can only aim it in one direction at a time – pirates increasingly are attacking with multiple vessels from multiple directions.

    Most of these are a patch work of band aid ® approaches to a far larger problem that requires a complex, well defined and stronger response to the issue of piracy. We are deluding ourselves if we think military action is not the approach. The baby nation known as the United States created a navy to handle the problem…and it worked. There’s a lesson for our current leadership.

    “The difference between a pirate and a privateer is a thin sheet of paper”
    Quote found in the Shaw Mansion/New London Historical Society


    Clockwise from top left: Americans Jean Adams, Scott Adams, Phyllis Macay, Bob Riggle, who were murdered by Somali pirates in February 2011.

    Given Somalia has little to commend itself to the community of nations – barbaric treatment of its people at the hands of lawless warlords, disease, poverty, political corruption, no real industry, no commercial ventures, no academic, historic or cultural legacy – the only revenue sources being pursued are criminal. Sanctioned – tacitly or by affirmation – the pirates based in Somalia are effectively an industry, an economic generator, in a sense privateers of that country. And Somalia has long been a hot bed of criminal activity, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, drug, terrorist/militant/rebel training ground and place of human misery. Al Qaeda is there; to suggest otherwise is foolishness. Al Qaeda is everywhere! Either directly or as franchisees, affiliates, suppliers to, or sympathizers – AQ has allies, cells, financial interests worldwide, including inside the US. The point being – why are we handling Somalia with gentle gloves?

    Many of us in the security arena have long been concerned that the Somali pirates are or will become more entrenched with terrorists – either as a funding source, ersatz nautical FEDEX if not navy, and potential weapon for Jihad. Based out of the failed nation known as Somalia – a monument to the ineffectiveness of the United Nations – the pirates operate at will, face few consequences if caught, reap significant financial benefit for minimal investment, provide employment for impoverished people, and have turned the waterways between the East coast of Africa to the shores off of Oman into a significant danger zone for the maritime industry. One could argue that piracy is among the leading industries in Somalia – the revenue stream from ransoms is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Not bad considering the start up costs are some high speed boats, a few assault rifles, maybe an RPG or two, and young men with nothing to lose.

    Piracy off the Horn of East Africa has made a 2.5 million square mile portion of commercial waterways among the most dangerous places in the world. From the Gulf of Aden where ~12% of the world’s oil passes, to the Seychelles, Somali and East African pirates have become the scourge of the seas and made commercial shipping even more dangerous than ‘merely’ dealing with rough seas and the many other hazards associated with the maritime industry.

    Piracy is nothing new. It is one of the oldest professions – dating back to the days when man first plied the seas commercially. It is a profitable enterprise filled with adventure and fraught with varying degrees of risk. Few nations’ shipping have escaped the reach of piracy.

    Let’s be clear – piracy affects all of us. It is not a regional issue. If we enjoy relatively low cost goods, thank the shipping industry for bringing those products from the remote corners of the world to our local stores. There will be a tipping point when the magnitude of piracy is so large that we feel the ripple effects in the US.

    Add to this Mexico, the Caribbean, the California and Florida coasts - virtually all waterways face some degree of piracy – in jet set regions, pirates usually target wealthy pleasure boaters. In other areas the targets are commercial vessels with cargos ranging from weapons to raw materials. And we would do well to recognize pirates are not Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow – a bunch of lovable rogues out singing “yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me” a la Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. Pirates are part of an organized crime cartel – be it drugs or weapons or terrorists or warlords. The guys hoisting the Jolly Roger are not lone bandits. They are dangerous criminals, and employees – they live on a small percent of the take – the big dollars going to the heads of the organizations.

    Discussion

    The pirates of most concern to date are those in the East Africa/Middle East region. For a variety of reasons:

    First – the elephant in the room – the link with Jihad. Virtually nothing occurs in the Middle East without some terror faction being aware of, instigating or benefiting from it. Jihad and terrorism in that region are not easily separable.

    Initially the UN and many nations for years denied there was any connection between the pirates and Al Qaeda or other terror organizations. Perhaps the diplomats ought to leave their ivory towers and talk with people in the trenches or on the high seas such as Capt. Phillips who in a recent talk at Mystic Seaport was frank about the link between Al Qaeda and piracy in the region. He’s not alone in that assessment. Not too long ago at a security roundtable in the Middle East I met with an expert in maritime security. His take on the pirates echoed mine and others in the preparedness arena. He suggested that there are factions that financially support terror groups, while other pirates are the equivalent of FEDEX – they transport terrorists and weapons virtually unimpeded. He argues that the pirates are the underworlds own commercial shipping – either as protectors or outright haulers.

    A viable threat, and chilling reality to anyone capable of reading a map of the Gulf region, and one that many maritime security experts, terrorism preparedness folks like me, Capt Philips as well as other merchant marines I’ve spoken with have expressed – taking an oil tanker or other large vessel and using it as a floating weapon to block a narrow strait or damage military vessels, destroy a port or create an intentional environmental disaster a la Exxon Valdez. It can be done. A few years ago a Saudi oil tanker was hijacked. If a speedboat packed with nasty people and nasty stuff can damage the likes of the USS Cole, imagine what an oil tanker or LPG carrier could do in the hands of terrorists? Don’t think it can happen – too many variables, the need for intelligence, timing, daring, equipment and trained personnel which is beyond the scope of Somali Pirates? Really? Need I remind you of four airliners nearly simultaneously hijacked from different US airports, and flown into WTC 1 and 2, the Pentagon and en route to Washington DC at the hands of Jihadists.

    While the East Africa region has become increasingly dangerous because pirates over the last five years, amazingly it has only taken that long for the UN to finally get engaged. In an April 12, 2011 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) brief the UN states “UNODC will continue to build on our counter piracy successes in the region of East Africa. One of the authors of the brief opined “as I (Lynn Pascoe) saw for myself on my recent mission to East Africa, piracy is no longer loose bands of young men in fishing boats but a highly sophisticated form of transnational organized crime.” No s _ _ t Sherlock! He continues “I fully realize the complexity of the task.” He goes on to admit “pirates are professionalizing. They have access to maritime intelligence and money laundering channels. Their attacks are becoming more violent. We (the UN) also know that piracy has links to terrorism.”

    Finally the elephant in the room has been named! The link between Jihad and the Jolly Roger.

    Sophisticated transnational criminals they are indeed. At first pirates stayed within a few hundred miles from Somali and East African bases – attacking Kenyan vessels and other nearby waterways usually with speedboats outfitted with high speed motors and a variety of weapons. Then as their plundering grew more profitable, the consequences near nonexistent the pirates kept the ships they attacked. They retrofit the stolen vessel, which being larger, provides shelter, the ability to store multiple small attack boats and gives the pirates greater range to venture from their home ports. Smart, adaptive, effective bad guys! As a result of their adaptive strategy and the mostly anemic response from industrial military nations – what started as a coastal threat has now become 2300 mile coast and 2.5 million square miles of ocean under threat of piracy.

    The UN is correct about the tools available to pirates. Technology and intelligence networks for starters. The good guys aren’t the only ones with spies, surveillance and an international law enforcement/info sharing organization such as INTERPOL. The bad guys are well connected – thank you facebook, satellite phones, state sponsors of terrorism that share their intelligence apparatus (Iran), a powerful underground of cartels, warlords and the black-market.

    Secondly - Trading safety for security.

    Most ships use AIS (automatic information system) which allows real time mapping of ships traffic. Since I’ve spent more time flying planes and sailing local waters than navigating ocean waterways, I got a quick tutorial from Capt Phillips on some of the risks merchant mariners face from the very technologies designed to protect them from collisions at sea, or being lost to contact. Today between radar and AIS, a smart pirate using a large ‘mother ship’ can venture thousands of miles from Somalia, picking and choosing which vessel to attack. AIS allows tracking vessels. Oh if only the Titanic had this! But while it allows the rescue folks to know where you are, it also allows the pirates to know who, what and where you are – name, speed, heading, cargo, location. Don’t believe me? Do an Internet search and with a few keystrokes you can find out what ships are off the coast of California, what general cargo type, and where they are at the moment. Other locations are available worldwide! Most block law enforcement or military but if you know how to navigate the AIS and other maritime searches, you can get by that, too. As a result, some captains in the East Africa region are turning their AIS off.

    The UN document talks about promoting more interaction with member states. That will require more teeth and less talk. One of the creations to address the piracy issue is a “Piracy Call Center” – to the uninitiated it would seem to be “a nautical 911” – call for help and a warship shows up chasing away the bad guys. Not the case at all. And there is nothing a nautical 911, yet. Hopefully that will change, but hope is not a strategy.

    Captain Phillips told the audience that there is a “Piracy Center” basically a clearing house – staffed by 3 Britts housed in the UAE. As his ship is being stalked by pirates, he contacts this “Center” and, well, the rest is history. As he recalls, there is no cavalry. No one is coming to rescue you. You call in, tell your story and are largely on your own.

    To backtrack a bit – Capt Phillips has the instincts for security and preparedness in an industry that has yet to fully realize an appropriate adaptation or strategy against 21st century Somali pirates. From the moment he took command of the Alabama, he implemented security drills, piracy evasion exercises, and safe room protocols. He understood the concept “not if, but when” - a mindset we would do well in the US to reclaim, given our current state of “911 Amnesia” the capture of OBL notwithstanding. By the time the pirates were upon his vessel, his crew, now well practiced, were able to run the ship from a secure location. That notwithstanding, he sacrificed himself, and taking the ships lifeboat, got the pirates away from Alabama. In typically humble fashion – the Captain resists the concept of self sacrifice and claims it was a practical solution. I call it courage – even if it is his job to do so.

    The UN rightly talks about increasing Somalian infrastructure, especially legal, judiciary and law enforcement. And they spend a fair amount of time in the brief talking about their “successes.” How they can say that with a straight face given 2010 piracy has net over $200 million, with some ships resulting in over $10 million in ransom a piece, is beyond me. Yes the UN has increased Somalias legal capacity. Wow, I’m sure that will scare the pirates. Ask Capt Phillips and the hundreds of other ships’ captains who have been capture by or had to evade pirates if they think the UN has been successful? They will tell you what anyone doing a Google ® search will tell you – the pirates are ahead in the 3rd period and it will take some fancy offense to change the score. So if the UN thinks building a jail and sending law books to Somaliland, and helping with legislative reform are the answers…the UN demonstrates it is still in “fantasyland,” and their preference for diplomacy over reality.

    No one can argue Somalia needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up and top down. Somalia is not a country, should not be treated as a sovereign nation; it is a criminal enterprise, human rights disaster and cesspool of human misery of epic proportions. Terrorists who have committed deadly acts against the West emerged from Somalia. Weapons, drugs, kidnapping and piracy are their exports and industry. Piracy is the tip of the iceberg in that region, a symptom of a greater disease. If one of the most powerful nations in the world sending its vaunted military – the US military - into Somalia, resulted in a serious humiliation, can one expect diplomats and lawyers to have greater success? It is not a zero sum game. Humanitarian, diplomatic, legal and yes military measures must all be on the table and simultaneously. Unfortunately the strategy against piracy and Somalia is “catch and release.”


    According to Fox and ABC news reports – in 2010 over 1100 mariners were captured by pirates from 52 ships. The average hostage spends about 7 months in brutal pirate captivity. Capt Phillips in his book “A Captain’s Duty” refers to being assaulted by the terrorists. His captivity did not include a parrot, music and a cameo from Keith Richards. Most navies, including our own, will only deal with pirates and dole out consequences when their respective nations’ ships or interests are involved. For example, a Danish frigate captured a mother ship and freed the fishing vessel crew that had been held hostage, even used for slave labor. The 2 attack boats were sunk. But the pirates were set free. Capture, hold, return to native countries for prosecution is tantamount to letting the students run the after school detention program. Once returned to Kenya or Somalia, the pirates buy their freedom…justice NOT served!

    Commerce

    The products that we enjoy are often transited through this region. If hoisting the Jolly Roger continues to be a profitable industry unabated – pirates will continue their practice of attacking farther from their home bases. And the farther out into the shipping lanes, the more diverse the cargo. We all will be paying a surcharge as shipping companies pass along to the consumers their piracy costs – increased insurance or ransom, security costs. Add to this the human toll; the maritime industry, the number of US merchant marines working around the world is staggering; they are our friends and neighbors. They signed on for weather and sea risks, not piracy. We have an obligation as a nation to recreate a form of Pax Romana – and protect our citizens abroad – certainly our flagged ships abroad.

    Conclusion

    As we celebrate Memorial Day Weekend, and reflect upon our many blessings as a nation – blessings that were and are continuously the result of sacrifice, largely born by the men and women in uniform, serving our country, let’s not forget a group of people for whom the United States owes a great debt of gratitude, but remain unsung heroes – the Merchant Marine. In times of war they were the ones who delivered the soldiers and weapons to far off battlefields, and in times of peace they are the critical conduit of products and materials vital to our commercial interests and essential to our daily lives. The shelves in our stores would be woefully bare were it not for shipping, and the merchant marine is the critical lynchpin in that trade. As General MacArthur stated many years ago “they (Merchant Marine) brought us our lifeblood and paid for it with their own.” Most people don’t realize the first ship to go down on December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor) was a commercial ship – the SS Cynthia, and that during World War II the merchant marine suffered more casualties than any other service, with a fatality rate of 1 in 26 merchant sailors. Sadly this group which brought the tanks and warriors to Normandy and other places has yet to be fully recognized for their contribution – from gratitude to GI Bill protections. Well today they are fighting yet another war – piracy on the high seas.

    2011 already is outpacing 2010 and 2009 in terms of plunder – the pirates are still winning. They are adapting, getting more sophisticated, are bolder, better armed and facing few serious threats.

    Expect the unexpected. Whenever I hear an expert say something can’t be done, I worry! Not because of the threat as much as the preparedness folks! If you only look at your playbook, you will be surprised when the other team does an end run and scores! Sun Tzu cautioned to know your opponent as well as yourself. Without such insight you cannot expect to win many battles.

    It is not a matter of if but when Al Qaeda or one of its affiliates commandeers an oil tanker – turning it into a multimillion gallon weapon against a seaport, other ships, or to clog up a narrow strait. Somali Piracy puts into specific relief the reality that we live in a borderless world. Some might ask, did I mean lawless world. Jihad has a new flag…The Jolly Roger! Piracy, smuggling, weapons and money – a lethal combination, especially when it is may be guided by Al Qaeda and/or develop ties with other dangerous players around the world. Consider for a moment the risk from capturing a boat full of fuel oil and introducing it to a set of explosive triggers? Not possible to create a floating bomb? Hmmm, sounds like the same folks who thought airliners as weapons were an unrealistic scenario, too.

    Somalia is a failed nation – a hotbed of corruption, violence, poverty, disease and breeding ground for terrorists, pirates, warlords and weapons dealers. The United Nations, ever so preoccupied with process but never quite there on outcomes, is busy building a jail or two and sending law books to poor regions…too busy to actually wake up the Security Council and put some muscle into the problem…not that it would have the stomach to do it or the ability to send more than a group of “Barney Fifes” to clean up the mess. So once again the responsibility will rest upon the Freedom Trio – the US, British, French – to solve that which the UN ought to be doing.

    Suggested Strategies

    Some would argue just pay up and move along. It is the cost of doing business. And some companies are doing just that. Others would argue to just blow the pirates out of the water and call it a day.

    A more moderated approach may be required. The following are some suggestions by maritime attorneys, security and seafarers:

    Change the legal approaches to piracy

    o Try pirates in nations other than their country of origin (something that the UN is opposed to – they think returning Somali pirates to Somalia is a good idea)
    o Allow prosecution in domestic courts for violators of laws regarding piracy

    Coalition of Nations that will uphold the following

    o Allow Navy captains to seek out, capture and/or destroy mother ships
    o Blockade pirate bases off the Coast of Africa
    o Allow military action to prevent pirates from returning home, and/or raiding pirate bases
    o Closer integration of Navies w/commercial vessels
    o Piracy 911 Response Team

    Develop best practices in protective/defensive strategies

    o Make Piracy Preparedness Drills mandatory – universal standards/benchmarks
    o Use of armed security and/or escort vessels

    While there remains controversy on many of the following suggestions, they are all worth considering.

    Moreover, as a nation, we must decide if it is acceptable for our merchant marine to have a target painted on their vessels, their uniforms? Going out to sea is a dangerous enough enterprise…”iron men in wooden ships” is an apt description of those who made and make their living on the water. We have one of the most vaunted navies in the world – and as a nation that increasingly must rely upon trade and imports for our daily commerce and the transportation means to get these onto our shores, including the petroleum we so vitally require….it is high tide and high time we get aggressive with the pirates. Somalia is not a country – it is a criminal enterprise. So let’s stop treating it as a sovereign entity and stop permitting the use of her shores as safe havens for marauders and murderers who use the seas as an industry of death and disruption.

    Piracy, like other human travails can never be completely stopped. Most of us – either because of our professions or the luck of the draw – will face challenges; some we think are beyond our capability to handle. Although this article is about piracy and terrorism – arenas those of us in the preparedness business focus on a daily basis, some more global truths are put into specific relief, based upon my conversation with Capt. Phillips other FSM writers and my own perspective, and well spoken in the book “A Captain’s Duty” - In his book he writes “The thing I saw the clearest was the lesson I learned on the lifeboat: we are stronger than we think we are. … what happens when things are taken away from you? Your freedom, your dignity, even things we take for granted…..even your life? You find that you are a larger and a stronger personality than you ever imagined you were. That your strength and your faith don’t depend on how secure you are. They’re independent of those things.

    Memorial Day is a time to recognize people who served their nation (uniformed and merchant marine), went to a dangerous place because they were told to do so in order to protect the United States, and paid for our blessings with their lives. Yes, they likely were “stronger than they thought they were” and that their “strength and faith don’t depend on how secure they were” or were not. And today there are men and women across the globe who are a split second away from dying for the U.S., and being remembered in next years’ ceremonies. Faith and courage go hand in hand – whether in uniform, in the merchant marines or in our daily lives.

    Jihad and the Jolly Roger

    Today, piracy involves the region between East Africa and Oman. It is a growing problem. How far remains to be seen. So far Al Qaeda has not been the major player. But it is a player. Terrorism benefits from the pirate industry – funding, transportation, and as a weapon. Our ports are not secure or armed enough to counter a major threat. Our ships remain vulnerable. The shipping lanes pass through narrow waterways that could easily be occluded by a well planned attack. Our merchant mariners are the commercial lifeline between the United States and our global partners. They are our neighbors when not out to sea. Mostly unarmed and unprotected – 1000’s of miles from immediate aid or rescue. It is time that we change the game plan and adapt our current maritime strategy to meet the challenges of 21st century maritime risks – for the sake of commerce, homeland security and because it is the right thing to do.

    FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Robin McFee is a physician and medical toxicologist. A nationally recognized expert in WMD preparedness, she is a consultant to government agencies, corporations and the media. Dr. McFee is the former director and cofounder of the Center for Bioterrorism Preparedness (CB PREP) and was bioweapons - WMD adviser to the Regional Domestic Security Task Force Region 7 after 911, as well as advisor on avian and swine flu preparedness to numerous agencies and organizations. Dr. McFee is a member of the Global Terrorism, Political Instability and International Crime Council of ASIS International, and member of the US Counterterrorism Advisory Team. She has delivered over 400 invited lectures since 9-11, authored more than 100 articles on terrorism, health care and preparedness, and coauthored two books: Toxico-Terrorism by McGraw Hill and The Handbook of Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Agents, published by Informa/CRC Press.
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    Pirates are the opposite to this. They go for loot other people worked long and hard for. Pirates do not hesitate to kill. They beat their victims, make them cripples, torture them, rape women and shoot children.

    They are a special sort of criminals because they have no honour, no codex, no dignity and no ideology. A sailor wrote: Pirates are the pest of the sea. --
    Klaus Hympendahl


    With this remark, I take it there should be NO compunction for anyone to NOT defend themselves and their crew against these vile maggots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post


    Pirates should not be considered to be like the Disney movies. (paraphrased)

    Pirates are the opposite to this. They go for loot other people worked long and hard for. Pirates do not hesitate to kill. They beat their victims, make them cripples, torture them, rape women and shoot children.

    They are a special sort of criminals because they have no honour, no codex, no dignity and no ideology. A sailor wrote: Pirates are the pest of the sea. --
    Klaus Hympendahl


    With this remark, I take it there should be NO compunction for anyone to NOT defend themselves and their crew against these vile maggots.
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    Another battle of Kalinga needed to change the mind set?

    By Shamim-ur-Rahman | DAWN.COM Yesterday


    This picture released by the Ansar Burney Trust shows the released crew members of MV Suez after 10 months of captivity in Somalia. – PPI Photo

    The home coming journey of the 22 crew members of MV Suez, after their freedom from 10 months in captivity of Somali pirates, is in its final lap after the conclusion of Pakistan Navy’s operation for evacuating to safety a foreign flag merchant vessel in distant waters.
    Four Pakistanis, 11 Egyptians, six Indians and a Sri Lankan are on board frigate PNS Zulfiquar which is expected to anchor here on Thursday.
    The whole episode has generated a feeling of goodwill among the people of the countries to whom the crew members belong. While all arrangements for a red carpet welcome have been finalised, relatives of freed Indian, Egyptian and Sri Lankan crew members are eager to receive their dear ones without further delay and were contacting Pakistani authorities to make their reunion a reality.
    The authorities here too were keen to make it possible at the earliest and use this opportunity to facilitate the bilateral negotiations with India and for removing impediments to peace initiatives. It has provided yet another opportunity to the leaders of Indian and Pakistan to build collaborative friendly relations for the betterment of their people languishing much below poverty level.
    This was despite the fact that five Pakistani hostages freed from Somali pirates by the Indian Navy were languishing in the Indian prison since March.
    Release of MV Suez hostages was made possible due to efforts of the Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, social worker Ansar Burney, and others who played vital role in raising funds for securing their release. It was done through behind the scene interaction with the captors. They got involved with the owner of the ship because the Captain and three other members of the crew were Pakistanis and their family members were exerting pressure for their release. But in the process, the effort was not only confined to getting the Pakistanis released. A plan was worked out to ensure release of others as well. In this process contributions were made. But at the last moment, an Indian donor backed out, jeapordising the whole operation. The effort nevertheless continued for the sake of humanity. Many Indians have welcomed Pakistan and its Navy’s role.
    When the hostages were finally freed and allowed to proceed towards Salalalh, the Omani port, Master of the vessel sent distress signals following which Naval Chief directed PNS Babar, which was on anti-piracy task in the Gulf of Aden area, to provide it necessary security. It was unusual because the vessel was Panama registered.
    As the time passed and the sea became rough MV Suez exhausted fuel and started crumbling. This caused the crew members to be evacuated from the sinking ship to PNS Babar that had provided safe passage to the merchant ship at the request of its Captain. PNS Babar was in the area as part of its task with Coalition task force 151 in the Gulf of Aden area in anti-piracy activity. Transfer of the crew from MV Suez to PNS Babar was completed by Sunday evening. The crew members were then transferred to PNS Zulfiqar which was especially dispatched on the orders of the Naval Chief Admiral Noman Bashir to bring the freed crew members to Pakistan.
    But the journey to freedom was not without operational hick ups. While PNS Babar was providing close support to MV Suez before it broke down, Indian Navy ship Godavri arrived in the vicinity and tried to hamper the humanitarian operation of the PN ship. Godavari also tried to contact master of MV Suez to offer support which was declined by the Captain. The Indian Navy‘s maneuvers were dictated by its thinking of being the dominant force in these waters where other littoral states must accept its position. It was certainly not reflective of co-operative action with other states equally affected by the menace of piracy.
    Some Indian analysts are of the view that perhaps the delay in the rescue of the six Indian seamen who were caught up on board MV Suez, captained by a Pakistani officer, had led to an “unfortunate war of words” between India and Pakistan. They nevertheless maintained that Pakistani authorities have to be “generously” thanked by the Indian people for their help in getting the Indian hostages released with the help of a Pakistani humanitarian relief organization. It is heartening to note that many Indians have been vocal in praise for Pakistani effort while expressing their views on the social network.
    Analysts have rightly expressed concern over tactical response to hostage situations. The time international community has taken in developing such a tactical response was not satisfactory while it was becoming clear that without co-operation among the navies of affected countries any tactical response is bound to remain unsatisfactory.
    While Pakistan is part of the American led coalition force at sea, there was nevertheless the need for setting up a structured co-operative mechanism involving navies of the littoral states for strengthening preventive patrolling and for evolving a mechanism for mutual assistance in dealing with hostage situations. But unfortunately the Indian belief that Indian Ocean should be treated as its domain, its contentious relationship with Pakistan, and its willingness to become part of the American-led strategy to contain China, was working against the cooperative effort.
    The lesson drawn from this episode is that we need a collaborative action against pirates without remaining glued to nationalistic rituals to serve the teaming millions living much below poverty level in South Asia. Good neighbourly relations based on aspirations of the people across political divide should be the basis of agenda for war against terrorism and extremism, be that on land or at sea. We need to change the present thinking mode. We don’t need another battle of Kalinga to change the mind set.
    The writer is a senior correspondent at Dawn.
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    m.v. Suez crew, including Indians, reach Karachi

    PTI Share · print · T+



    PTI Six Indian sailors, who were part of the 22-member crew of m.v. Suez vessel that was recently freed by Somali pirates, on Thursday reached Karachi harbour and would be sent back to India soon.

    Six Indian sailors, who were part of the 22-member crew of m.v. Suez vessel that was recently freed by Somali pirates, on Thursday reached Karachi harbour and would be sent back to India soon.
    Pakistan naval ship PNS Zulfiqar carrying the 22-member crew of m.v. Suez, including six Indians, reached at Karachi harbour amidst an emotional welcome.
    Suhail Izaz Khan, Counsellor from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, received the sailors.
    Somali pirates released the crew of the Egyptian-owned ship, who were held by the pirates for about 10 months, after huge ransom was paid to them.
    “Our gesture is the message of love. I hope that India too will reciprocate with love because Indian sailors have been also saved. I use to hear their families through media, I even talked to some of them. They were really upset,” Sindh Governor Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan said.
    In India, family members of the released sailors expressed their joy at hearing the reports of their dear ones reaching Karachi.
    “I am very happy to hear the news. In the last one week, there had been problems with the ship. I last spoke to my husband when he was getting on to the Pakistani ship as m.v. Suez was sinking,” an overjoyed Madhu Sharma, wife of sailor N.K. Sharma, said.
    Shamsher Singh, father of another sailor Satnam Singh said he had lost hope for the return of his son.
    “I had lost hope completely. But After I spoke to Ansar Burney in April, my hope was rekindled,” he said.
    Burney, Pakistani human rights activist and former federal minister, was instrumental in getting the hostages released.
    Burney thanked all those who were involved in the operation to rescue the sailors.
    The Pakistan Navy had launched the Operation Umeed-e-Nuh (New Hope) to rescue the crew after m.v. Suez captain Wasi Hasan requested the evacuation of his crew to save their lives.
    The release of crew members was immediately mired in controversy, with both India and Pakistani accusing each other of indulging in risky and dangerous manoeuvres when the freed merchant vessel was being escorted.
    The crew, including 11 Egyptians, four Pakistanis and one Sri Lankan, were shifted to Pakistani warship PNS Babar after the m.v. Suez ran out of fuel and started sinking.
    The crew was then transferred to another warship, PNS Zulfiqar, for the voyage to Pakistan.
    The m.v. Suez, owned by an Egyptian company, had been first boarded by Somali pirates in August last year
    Keywords: Indian sailors, m.v. Suez, Somali pirates, Indian High Commission
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