Piracy Update, July 6, 2011

This is coming relatively soon after the last update, but there have been several interesting developments:

As a result of a pirate attack, a 144,000 ton Very Large Crude Carrier has been set afire and abandoned in the Gulf of Aden, 20 miles south of Yemen. The crew of 26 was rescued by the cruiser USS Philippine Sea. This occurred in the area most heavily patrolled by counter piracy forces.

Britain like the Netherlands is considering allowing their merchant ships to arm themselves.

There is a prediction that the pirates will start using heavier weapons. This sort of escalation has been predicted in the past, we’ll see.

Information dissemination has provided a grim and thought provoking post on the future of Africa and Al-Qaeda that touches on piracy, Somalia, and Al Shabaab. It provides a lot of background for USCG efforts in Nigeria, Yemen, and Djibouti and African Partnership station in general.

ADDENDUM:

The UN has informed Reuters there is a financial link between some pirate organizations and Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, Al Shabaab. Not that the terrorist group is engaged in piracy itself, but rather it seems to be “taxing” Somalia’s most profitable industry. This may be viewed as making it illegal to pay ransom. Comment here and here.

 

9 thoughts on “Piracy Update, July 6, 2011

  1. Did some checking earlier, the 900 foot ship is being towed by two tugs.
    Search the ship’s name and you find the smoke billowing out of the crew quarters.
    Oil tanker catches fire after pirate RPG attack
    msnbc.com – ‎16 hours ago‎
    DUBAI/LONDON — Pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade at an oil tanker Wednesday off the Yemeni coast, starting a fire aboard the vessel.
    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43659196/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/

  2. I had to add an addendum because of what I considered important news:
    The UN has informed Reuters there is a financial link between some pirate organizations and Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, Al Shabaab. Not that the terrorist group is engaged in piracy itself, but rather it seems to be “taxing” Somalia’s most profitable industry. This may be viewed as making it illegal to pay ransom.
    See above for links.

    • I would note the following from the Reuters article:

      “Steed acknowledged he had no proof of an operational relationship between the pirates and the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels who control much of southern and central Somalia and parts of the capital Mogadishu.”

      Lots of people with no direct knowledge of what is happening in the HOA love to opine about the situation there……

      • The admission was that there was no knowledge of Al Shabaab participating in piracy, rather the statement was that pirates operating out of Al Shabaab held territory, where they are the defacto government, are force to yield a cut of their take, effectively paying “taxes” to the group. Apparently this is heard from both pirates and Al Shabaab. From the examples given, sounds like their tax rates are lower than those in the US.

      • I realize that it is “heard” that Al Shabab is taxing pirate operations. Without hard evidence, that is usually called “hearsay.”

      • Isn’t lack of evidence and heresay what this site is known for though? Straphangers and groupees posting about things they “think” are going on in the CG. 😉

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