Somali pirates hijack 3 more ships

Discussion in 'Politics' started by JDL, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. JDL


    MOMBASA, Kenya – Undeterred by U.S. and French hostage rescues that killed five bandits, Somali pirates brazenly hijacked three more ships in the Gulf of Aden, the waterway at the center of the world's fight against piracy.

    Pirates have vowed to retaliate for the killing of their colleagues — and the top U.S. military officer said Tuesday he takes those comments seriously.

    But Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told ABC's "Good Morning America" that "we're very well prepared to deal with anything like that."

    The latest trophy for the pirates was the M.V. Irene E.M., a Greek-managed bulk carrier sailing from the Middle East to South Asia, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.

    The Irene was attacked and seized in the middle of the night Tuesday — a rare tactic for the pirates.

    U.S. Navy Lt. Nathan Christensen, spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said the Irene was flagged in the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and carried 23 Filipino crew. Choong reported a crew of 21, and there was no immediate way to reconcile the figures.

    A maritime security contractor, speaking on condition of anonymity because it is a sensitive security issue, said the ship put out a distress signal "to say they had a suspicious vessel approaching. That rapidly turned into an attack and then a hijacking."

    "They tried to call in support on the emergency channels, but they never got any response," the contractor said.

    On Monday, Somali pirates also seized two Egyptian fishing boats in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's northern coast, according to Egypt's Foreign Ministry, which said the boats carried 18 to 24 Egyptians total.

    A flotilla of warships from nearly a dozen countries has patrolled the Gulf of Aden and nearby Indian Ocean waters for months. They have halted several attacks on ships this year, but say the area is so vast they can't stop all hijackings.

    Choong said pirate attacks this year had risen to 77, with 18 of those ships hijacked and 16 vessels with 285 crew still in pirates' hands. Each boat carries the potential of a million-dollar ransom.

    The latest seizures come after Navy SEAL snipers rescued American ship captain Richard Phillips on Sunday by killing three young pirates who held him captive in a drifting lifeboat for five days. A fourth pirate surrendered after seeking medical attention for a wound he received in trying to take over Phillips' vessel, the Maersk Alabama.

    Phillips is aboard a Navy vessel at an undisclosed location, Christensen said Tuesday. He was initially taken aboard the Norfolk, Va.-based USS Bainbridge and then flown to the San Diego-based USS Boxer for a medical exam.

    In Washington, President Barack Obama appeared to move the piracy issue higher on his agenda, vowing the United States would work with nations around the world to fight the problem.

    "I want to be very clear that we are resolved to halt the rise of piracy in that region and to achieve that goal, we're going to have to continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks," Obama said at a news conference Monday.

    The 19 crew members of the Alabama celebrated their skipper's freedom with beer and an evening barbecue Monday in the Kenyan port of Mombasa, said crewman Ken Quinn.

    The vessel's chief mate was among those urging strong U.S. action against piracy.

    "It's time for us to step in and put an end to this crisis," Shane Murphy said. "It's a crisis. Wake up."

    The U.S. is considering new options to fight piracy, including adding Navy gunships along the Somali coastline and launching a campaign to disable pirate "mother ships," according to military officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no decisions have been made yet.

    In Burlington, Vt., Phillips' wife, Andrea Phillips thanked Obama, who approved the dramatic sniper operation.

    "With Richard saved, you all just gave me the best Easter ever," she said in a statement.

    The four pirates that attacked the Alabama were between 17 and 19 years old, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

    "Untrained teenagers with heavy weapons," Gates told students and faculty at the Marine Corps War College. "Everybody in the room knows the consequences of that."

    U.S. officials were now considering whether to bring the fourth pirate, who surrendered shortly before the sniper shootings, to the United States or possibly turn him over to Kenya. Both piracy and hostage-taking carry life prison sentences under U.S. law.

    The French navy late Monday handed over the bodies of two Somali pirates killed in a hostage rescue operation last week to authorities in Somali's semiautonomous northern region of Puntland and locals buried the bodies.
  2. so any american found will be beheaded without trial or ransom.

    Obama...some things, money cannot buy.
  3. americans treat everyone like shit, including eachother
  4. JDL


  5. Pirating ships is good business I guess

    I wonder how much money they make a year?

    This should be taught to MBA students as a case study except the ones already got a job in Goldman Sachs. They will learn on the job practicing anyway.

  6. JDL


    they said the pirates made between 20-80 mill last year.
  7. Let's hope the French and American rescues don't become a case of stirring up the hornet's nest. The Somalis should realize that if we go to war with them, the outcome will favor the U.S, unlike last time.
  8. Simple solution. Enforce a no-sail zone around Somalia (set up a perimeter). Use satellites, ships, etc. Use the kind of technology they were going to use on the US-Mexico border instead of fences. Heck, use blimps armed with missiles, similar to the Predator. Pick the smallest possible choke point that allows access to the Suez Canal from other parts of Asia.

    On the west, is the Somali coast. On the east, is the safe passage area with this perimeter in between. No one crosses this line. Especially in rubber boats!!!

    Anyone passing through without proper authorization gets sunk. No questions asked.

    But I also like the convoy idea someone said.
  9. 20-80 Mil a year?

    They should come and recruit in ivy league schools, lots of talent

    Benefits are better than in Goldman Sachs, at least they don't have to put up with gold diggers in wall street.

  10. Simpler solution...carpet bomb the entire Somali coast until these savages get it through their heads that we're willing to kill every god damn one of them if that's what it takes.
    #10     Apr 14, 2009