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.
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.