Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pirates attack the Maersk Alabama... again

Wow, someone clearly didn't get (or couldn't read) the memo about not attacking the Maersk Alabama. Not deeply surprising if you think about it 1) undereducation and lack of communication 2) you're thousands of leagues away from any other targets and you think, what the hell, why don't I attack this ship.

But! The long and short of it is that another group of pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama again and were deterred by the ship's security measures.
A security team on board the Maersk Alabama responded with small-arms fire, long-range acoustical devices painful to the human ear and evasive maneuvers to thwart the attack, the Navy said in a statement.
Interesting stuff. This editorial caught my eye in the shuffle of google news, it's worth a read.

Monday, November 16, 2009

British Couple... still captured by pirates

Despite earlier reports that the pirates holding British Couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, their captors have lately threatened their lives if their demands are not met.On October 30:
A British woman who is being held by Somali pirates with her husband after their yacht was hijacked said in a phone call broadcast Friday that the couple were "bearing up" and she described her captors as "very hospitable."

Rachel Chandler told her brother, Stephen Collett, in a telephone call broadcast by ITV News that she is fine.

"They tell us that we're safe and we shouldn't worry and that if we want anything they will provide it in terms of food and water and everything like that," she said, according to a transcript. "They are very hospitable people so don't worry ... Physically we're fine, physically we're healthy."

The BBC says the pirates have called the broadcaster to demand $7 million in return for releasing the couple.

By November 8:

The pirates appeared to have been angered by a lack of communication from either the Foreign Office or the Chandlers’ family. “I’m waiting for a response from the family, but no one is making any calls to us,” Omer said.

The threats against the Chandlers indicated mounting anger among the pirates, who have generally treated their hostages well. However, the majority of their targets have been well- insured commercial vessels.

The hostages are generally kept aboard their ships for months until a ransom is paid, often running into millions of dollars.

According to Somali sources, the Chandlers have fallen foul of an internecine feud.

They are being held by an inexperienced gang who did not realise how difficult it would be to defend a small yacht and so abandoned it.

The pirates have spoken to many news outlets, including the BBC and Fox News. Most recently the event has been in the news because a British Ship may have allowed the couple to be captured by their inaction.

A Royal Navy ship withheld fire as it watched Somali pirates kidnap a British couple on the high seas, British authorities said Friday.

Previously the British Defense Ministry said it could not rescue Paul and Rachel Chandler on Oct. 23 because the couple was already on the pirates' ship and their yacht abandoned when the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Wave Knight arrived at the scene, The Times of London reported.

But a ministry spokesman confirmed Friday the Wave Knight arrived as the couple was being transferred from their yacht to the pirate's ship 50 feet away. The crew was ordered not to intervene because the pirates were carrying AK-47 assault rifles and there was fear a gun battle would result in the hostages being killed.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pirates in the News: November 14, 2009

A judge in Spain is considering a swap of pirates for hostages:
In a tradeoff with Somali Pirates , a Spanish judge would consider sending two pirate suspects held in Madrid back to Africa, as demanded by the outlaws holding a Spanish fishing boat and its crew off the Somali coast.

Judge Santiago Pedraz would consider such a move if he’s asked by prosecutors or by lawyers at Spain’s justice ministry, reports CNN on its website. The two pirate suspects — captured by the Spanish military were transferred to Madrid.
Spain has also called for a blockade against pirates, refusing to negotiate for over 35 Spanish Sailors held by pirates in Somalia. This could also aid aid organizations who are constantly harried by the violence in these areas.

Spain wants a European Union naval taskforce to blockade three ports in Somalia, known to be used by pirates.

Defence minister Carme Chacon will call for the international force to change its tactics at a meeting next week, Spanish radio reported.

Gunmen in Somalia killed a local judge

Mr Aware was also a member of Puntland's Supreme Judicial Council which supervises the judiciary and nominates senior judicial officials.

"He sentenced hundreds of pirates, people-smugglers and members of al-Shabab during his work in Bossaso," said a cousin, Abdulahi Jama.

"These gangs hate him for his justice. We suspect one of them may have something to do with his assassination."

Also on Wednesday evening masked gunmen killed a Puntland lawmaker as he was heading to his house.

The French Navy caught another 12 pirates off the Somalia yesterday.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pirates on Social Media- If 1ml people join....

Yesterday, October 31, 2009, this group showed up on my Facebook feed, in the hour that I had joined it, it had not only gone from 900,000 to 1 million, but well over the limit set to ensure that the group's owner's girlfriend would accept in order to allow him to turn their residence into a pirate ship. As of the time I'm writing this some 16 hours later the group has well over 1,100,000 members, and has unmistakably, gone viral.

Here's the description:

The first photo was uploaded on March 13, 2007, and represents blueprints for the "pirate ship house" and obviously over the ensuing two years it has gained some presence, 61 pages of photos, and 306 discussion topics.

Frankly, I want to see what this guys house looks like as a pirate ship, obviously, I'm not alone.