Worst Alibi Ever

I mean seriously, who doesn’t fish with automatic weapons and rocket launchers?

Somali Pirate Suspects Say They Were Fishing For Sharks

Trial began Tuesday for five suspected Somali pirates, aged between 25 and 45, on charges of attacking a vessel sailing under a Netherlands Antilles flag. The accused men say they were simply fishing for sharks and not responsible for the hijacking.

The trial, which is the first-ever European trial of suspected Somali pirates, surrounds the attacking of the Turkish freighter Samanyolu in January 2009.

Prosecutors said the men used rocket launchers and assault rifles to attack the vessel and the crew took refuge. Prosecutors’ account match up with what the vessel’s machinist said in a prepared statement.

The accused, who are facing jail terms of up to 12 years for the attack, told a Dutch court that they are innocent of the charges and were fishing for sharks in the Gulf of Aden, a stretch of sea off the coast of Somalia that has become rife with piracy.

“The intention was to fish,” defendant Farah Ahmed Yusuf, 25, told the Rotterdam district court, claiming that when their ship broke down they tried to get help from the passing Samanyolu.

See also:
‘Pirates’ claim they were just fishing for sharks… with rocket launchers
Dutch to hold first European Somali pirate trial
Somali pirates’ trial begins in the Netherlands
Dutch court scene for piracy trial
The Netherlands starts first trial of pirates in Europe
First European trial of Somali pirate suspects opens
First European trial of Somali pirate suspects opens
First European trial of Somali pirate suspects opens
Prosecutors demand 7-year sentences for piracy
First European Pirate Trial to Start
Dutch trial of five Somali pirates starts
Somalis deny piracy in landmark European trial
Suspected pirates on trial

These heavily armed “fisherman” are damn lucky they’re being tried in the Netherlands and only facing 12 years in prison. Some jurisdictions still deal with captured pirates the old fashioned way.

/Yemen court sentences six Somali pirates to death

Pirates Versus Putin

******************************UPDATE******************************

The pirates lose.

Russian special forces storm oil tanker from helicopter, free crew and arrest Somali pirates

Russian special forces rappelled onto a disabled oil tanker taken over by Somali pirates and freed 23 Russian sailors early Thursday, the commander of the EU Naval Force said. Ten pirates were arrested and one was killed.

The raid on the Liberian-flagged ship Moscow University came 24 hours after pirates had taken the ship over and the crew locked itself in a safe room. The vessel is carrying 86,000 tons of crude oil worth about $50 million.

The special forces had been aboard the Russian anti-submarine destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, which rushed to the scene after Wednesday’s seajacking. A helicopter was dispatched to investigate and was fired on by the pirates, EU Naval Force said. The Russian warship returned fire on the pirates, it said.

Special forces troops on the helicopter rappelled down to the Moscow University, Rear Adm. Jan Thornqvist, force commander of the EU Naval Force, told an Associated Press reporter aboard the warship Carlskrona, which on Thursday was 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of Thursday’s rescue and was sailing toward Somali waters.

Ten pirates were detained and one pirate was killed, the Russian state news agency ITAR-Tass cited Vladimir Markin as saying. Markin is the spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee. There are wounded pirates, he said without giving details.

Russian officials were preparing for the pirates to be delivered to Moscow to face criminal charges, Markin said.

See also:
Russian warship wins shootout with Somali pirates, rescues sailors
Russian marines free captured tanker off Somalia
Russian special forces storm oil tanker, free ship
Russian Destroyer Frees Hijacked Oil Tanker
Russian navy retakes oil tanker
Hijacked Russian oil tanker freed off Yemeni coast, crew unhurt

What’d I say? The Russians play for keeps.

/the pirates should have taken my advice and gotten the hell out of Dodge while they still had the chance

******************************END UPDATE******************************

I’m guessing this probably won’t end well for the pirates. The Russians aren’t particularly known for their sense of humor.

Somali pirates seize Russian tanker in Gulf of Aden

Somali pirates on Wednesday attacked and seized the Russian tanker Moskovsky Universitet in the Gulf of Aden, a Navy source said.

He earlier said the incident had occurred around 8.00 a.m. Moscow time [04:00 GMT], when the tanker was en route from the Red Sea to China. The pirates attacked the Russian vessel 350 miles east of the Gulf of Aden. There are 23 people on board, all of them Russian citizens.

He added that a Russian warship, the RFS Marshal Shaposhnikov, was on its way to help the tanker but would be unable to reach it until Wednesday night, most likely “between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Thursday.”

The captain of the tanker, which is carrying 86,000 tons of crude oil, managed to get in touch with the Russian warship by phone and call for help.

The captain said two small boats with armed men on board had made an attempt to approach the tanker and fired automatic weapons.

The Liberian-flagged tanker exercised a series of maneuvers to avoid seizure but subsequently succumbed.

The Navy source did not say exactly where the Pacific Fleet’s Udaloy-class guided-missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov was at the moment.

The Marshal Shaposhnikov, a large anti-submarine ship, has two helicopters and an infantry unit on board.

See also:
Somali Pirates Seize State-Owned Tanker
Pirates hijack Russian tanker
Russia sends warship after tanker is hijacked by Somali pirates
Somali pirates hijack Russian China-bound oil tanker
Warship ordered to chase Somali pirates after Russian tanker is hijacked
Somali pirates board oil tanker; warship en route
Somali Pirates Hijack Russian Oil Tanker
Somali pirates seize Russian tanker
Russia confirms oil tanker captured by Somali pirates
Somali pirates hijack Russian oil tanker: EU navy
Udaloy class destroyer

/if I were the pirates, I’d be abandoning ship before the Marshal Shaposhnikov gets there, it doesn’t look too friendly

L16, You Sank My Mothership!

Score one for NATO.

NATO warship sinks pirate ship off Somalia

A NATO destroyer has sunk a pirate mothership in the Indian Ocean off the Somali coast after allowing the crew to leave, the alliance said Monday.

Shona Lowe, an anti-piracy spokeswoman, said the HDMS Absalon — the Danish flagship of the three-vessel NATO flotilla in the region — disrupted a pirate operation by “scuttling” one of the large boats used by Somali gangs to transport attack teams to piracy hunting areas far off the coast.

The mothership was fired on and sunk after its crew members were transferred to a smaller boat in tow, which was allowed to return to the mainland, she said.

“NATO is not in the business of firing at skiffs with pirates in them,” Lowe said in an interview from NATO’s naval headquarters in Northwood, near London.

Lowe said no further details were immediately available.

The action occurred Sunday in the Indian Ocean, rather than the adjacent Gulf of Aden where most pirate attacks take place.

See also:
NATO Warship Sinks Somali Pirate Mothership
NATO Sinks Pirate Mother Ship Off Somalia
NATO Disrupts Piracy in the Somali Basin
NATO warship sinks pirate ship off Somalia
Danish NATO destroyer sinks pirate mothership off Somalia
Pirate ship sunk
Absalon Class Combat / Flexible Support Ship, Denmark
Absalon Class Combat / Flexible Support Ship, Denmark
HDMS Absalon (L16)

/it’s nice that NATO is fighting back and sinking pirate ships, but they really need to develop rules of engagement that allow them to detain the actual pirates, rather than just keep releasing them, free to plunder another day

Investing In Piracy

Not getting enough return on your traditional Wall Street bond, stock, and options investments?

Somali sea gangs lure investors at pirate lair

In Somalia’s main pirate lair of Haradheere, the sea gangs have set up a cooperative to fund their hijackings offshore, a sort of stock exchange meets criminal syndicate.

Heavily armed pirates from the lawless Horn of Africa nation have terrorised shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and strategic Gulf of Aden, which links Europe to Asia through the Red Sea.

The gangs have made tens of millions of dollars from ransoms and a deployment by foreign navies in the area has only appeared to drive the attackers to hunt further from shore.

It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and other nations — and now the gangs in Haradheere have set up an exchange to manage their investments.

One wealthy former pirate named Mohammed took Reuters around the small facility and said it had proved to be an important way for the pirates to win support from the local community for their operations, despite the dangers involved.

“Four months ago, during the monsoon rains, we decided to set up this stock exchange. We started with 15 ‘maritime companies’ and now we are hosting 72. Ten of them have so far been successful at hijacking,” Mohammed said.

“The shares are open to all and everybody can take part, whether personally at sea or on land by providing cash, weapons or useful materials … we’ve made piracy a community activity.”

Haradheere, 400 km (250 miles) northeast of Mogadishu, used to be a small fishing village. Now it is a bustling town where luxury 4×4 cars owned by the pirates and those who bankroll them create honking traffic jams along its pot-holed, dusty streets.

. . .

“Piracy-related business has become the main profitable economic activity in our area and as locals we depend on their output,” said Mohamed Adam, the town’s deputy security officer.

“The district gets a percentage of every ransom from ships that have been released, and that goes on public infrastructure, including our hospital and our public schools.”

. . .

Haradheere’s “stock exchange” is open 24 hours a day and serves as a bustling focal point for the town. As well as investors, sobbing wives and mothers often turn up there seeking news of male relatives missing in action.

. . .

Piracy investor Sahra Ibrahim, a 22-year-old divorcee, was lined up with others waiting for her cut of a ransom pay-out after one of the gangs freed a Spanish tuna fishing vessel.

“I am waiting for my share after I contributed a rocket-propelled grenade for the operation,” she said, adding that she got the weapon from her ex-husband in alimony.

“I am really happy and lucky. I have made $75,000 in only 38 days since I joined the ‘company’.”

See also:
Bandit Bourse? Somali pirates hijack oil tanker, organize ‘stock market’
Pirate stock exchange helps fund hijackings
Somali pirates set up ‘stock exchange’
Avast ye! Somali pirates create exchange for stolen loot
Invest in Your Favorite Somali Pirate
Somali Pirate Haven Is the Ultimate Deregulated Free Market

Crime pays.

/until the civilived world finally gets good and tired of having its ships constantly hijacked and sends Mr Cruise Missile to pay Haradheere’s “stock exchange” a visit

Catch And Release

Seven pirates freed over legal technicality

Seven pirates who were captured after a chase by NATO, U.S. and Canadian forces have been freed because a country cannot hold and prosecute them if an attack is not against one of their own vessels, the Associated Press reports.

The release followed a dramatic, hours-long pursuit Sunday of the pirates, who were trying to hijack a Norwegian-flagged tanker in the Gulf of Aden.

NATO forces disarmed and interrogated the bandits, then freed them, citing legal issues over arresting them, the AP says. Lt Cmdr. Alexandre Santos Fernandes, a spokesman for the NATO alliance, says the pirates were released because Canadian law did not allow their prosecution if they committed no crimes against Canadians or on Canadian soil.

The United States and the Netherlands say they will seek authority for NATO to arrest pirates operating off the coast of Somalia, the Associated Press reports. In a joint news conference with the Dutch foreign minister, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the two countries will raise the issue soon with NATO. She says releasing pirates “sends the wrong signal.”

See also:
NATO frees pirate hostages, Belgian ship seized
Arrr! Pirates Freed in Legal Snafu
Pirates attack tanker; NATO frees 20 fishermen
NATO forces foil pirate attack on tanker
Clinton sees NATO release of pirates sending wrong signal
High time for piracy tribunal, experts say
Lack of legal system thwarting anti-piracy efforts

So, they’re sailing around chasing down pirates but they don’t have the authority to arrest them? Who’s brilliant idea was that? Now they’re going to seek arrest authority?

/gee, you’d think someone would have thought about this minor detail already

Back In The Saddle Again

After Sunday’s temporary setback, the Somali pirate terrorists are back at it.

Somali Pirates Seize 4 Ships in 24 Hours

Somali pirates have stepped up the seizure of ships along the coast of the lawless country. A Greek-owned vessel with 22 crew members was hijacked early Tuesday and there is word that a Togo-flagged vessel has also been seized. Monday, two Egyptian fishing vessels were hijacked, in a sign that the attacks will continue despite rescue missions by American and French forces over the weekend.

Early Tuesday pirates seized the MV Irene, a Greek-flagged ship carrying 22 crew members. A U.S. Navy spokesman told the AP news agency the crew is from the Philippines.

The ship was passing through the Gulf of Aden on its way from Jordan to India when it was hijacked in a rare nighttime attack, facilitated by the light from a nearly full moon. NATO officials say a Togo-flagged ship, the MV Sea Horse has also been taken over.

A day earlier, pirates captured two Egyptian fishing boats carrying as many as 24 sailors, according to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.

The attacks suggest that the latest wave of piracy in the area is not slowing, despite the fact that five pirates were killed over the weekend when American and French special forces freed hostages in separate operations.

Pirates have vowed to continue their attacks, and there are fears that the operations may have antagonized pirates. Jama Si’ad, a pirate in the coastal town of Harardhere, a hub of pirate activity, said that pirates would retaliate against American citizens.

He said in the future, pirates would execute French and American crew members that they capture and would display their bodies to the media.

Whether such threats are more than just rhetoric remains to be seen. But on Monday, U.S. president Barack Obama said the American government is committed to combating the rise in piracy, and the U.S. military is considering options for escalating its response. However, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates noted the difficulty of the job, saying Monday that economic improvements within Somalia will ultimately be needed to stop the attacks.

For the past few months, as many as 20 warships from various countries have been patrolling the waters off the Somali coast in an attempt to deter pirate attacks. But the area is huge, and while the frequency of hijackings appeared to drop off earlier this year, the recent spate of attacks has dispelled any hopes that the threat has receded.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, more than a dozen ships, and more than 200 hostages are currently being held by Somali pirates, seeking ransom payments.

See also:
New wave of Somali pirate attacks
Somalia: Pirates Seize More Ships
Somali pirates defy warning from President Obama to seize more ships
International Maritime Bureau

Pirates attack U.S. cargo ship but fail to get aboard

The Liberty Sun, a U.S.-flagged cargo ship bound for Mombasa, Kenya, was attacked Tuesday by Somali pirates, according to a NATO source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Pirates attacked The Liberty Sun, a U.S.-flagged cargo ship, but were unable to board.

The ship was carrying U.S. food aid for African nations, the statement said.

The pirates never made it onto the ship and the vessel is now being escorted by a coalition ship, still bound for Mombasa, officials said.

See also:
American Ship Survives Somali Pirates Hijack Attempt
M/V LIBERTY SUN Crew Safe Following Attack by Pirates Off Somalia Coast
Pirates Attack U.S.-Flagged Ship Off Somali Coast in Unsuccessful New Hijacking Attempt
Pirates attack U.S.-flagged ship
Pirates attack U.S.-flagged ship, fail to get aboard

Gates: No Immediate Need to Beef Up Military Attacks on Pirates

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he doesn’t see any immediate need to bulk up the military response to piracy on the high seas. Gates adds, however, that those decisions are being made moment by moment.

/I guess we’ll just have to wait until the pirate terrorists capture more American hostages before we do anything

Day Four

Source: Pirates repel sailors attempting to reach captain

Pirates off the eastern coast of Africa fired on U.S. sailors Saturday as they tried to reach the lifeboat where an American captain is being held, a U.S. official familiar with the situation told CNN.

The gunfire forced the sailors, who did not return fire, back to the guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge, the official said.

Gee, daylight surface assault, good thinking, what genius thought of that?

FBI Begins Building Criminal Case Against Somali Pirates

FBI agents planned to interview the crew of a U.S. cargo ship Saturday as the bureau began building a criminal case against Somali pirates who attacked the ship and took the captain hostage.

The Maersk Alabama arrived safely in Kenya on Saturday, three days after Somali pirates stormed the ship, failed to hijack it, and fled in a lifeboat with the captain.

“The FBI has informed us that this ship is a crime scene,” John Reinhart, president of Maersk Shipping Line said Saturday, explaining why crew members cannot immediately leave the ship.

Thank God these people weren’t around in WWII, Iwo Jima, crime scene

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men.

/it won’t be long now before the pirate terrorists start demanding a satellite TV upgrade for their brand new 73′ houseboat, or they’ll kill Captain Phillips

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