Are They Connected to the World-Wide Jihad and Al Qaeda? How?
We will try to answer those questions, as we examine what these Somali Pirates do and what should be done about them,
Should Somali Pirates Be Captured?
Readers will recall that the British Navy has been advised not to engage pirates on the grounds that if captured, the buccaneers can claim asylum in Europe. The Times Online reported that "the Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights. Warships patrolling pirate-infested waters, such as those off Somalia, have been warned that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain. The Foreign Office has advised that pirates sent back to Somalia could have their human rights breached because, under Islamic law, they face beheading for murder or having a hand chopped off for theft."
The Captain’s Journal has weighed in saying:
This is easy. We tell the LOAC and ROE lawyers that they’re special and that they should go to their rooms and write high-sounding platitudes about compassion in war so that they’re out of the way, we land the Marines on the ship, and we kill every last pirate. Then we hunt down his domiciles in Somali and destroy them, and then we find his financiers and buyers and kill them. Regardless of the unfortunate potential loss of Ukrainian or Russian civilian life upon assaulting the ship, this weaponry and ordnance should never have been shipped in this part of the world without escort (and perhaps it shouldn’t have been shipped even with escort). Negotiations will only serve to confirm the pirates in their methods. It’s killing time. It’s time to turn the United States Marines loose.
Ralph Peters has weighed in saying:
Piracy must be exterminated. Pirates aren’t folk heroes or champions of the oppressed. They’re terrorists and violent criminals whose ransom demands start at a million bucks. And they’re not impressed by the prospect of trials in a velvet-gloved Western court. The response to piracy must be the same as it was when the British brought an end to the profession’s "golden age:" Sink them or board them, kill them or hang them.
Lt. Col. P at OpFor has weighed in saying:
Kill all of the pirates.
Seriously. Why do we allow a handful of khat-addled assholes to dominate one of the world’s most important sea lanes? We, the western powers, have sufficient naval units in the area to take care of the problem in very quick order. What we lack is the will. We apply an idiotically high standard of judicial due process to a situation that doesn’t lend itself well to a judicial solution. Anyone who has dealt with Somalis can tell you that they laugh at western legalisms, and what they perceive as western weaknesses. And then they redouble their violent efforts to take what they want from you. They do react very well to a boot on their necks, and a gun to their heads. Then they tend to wise up quickly.
Here’s how it needs to be done. Oil tanker sends distress call, takes evasive actions insofar as it is capable. (Or better yet, armed men aboard oil tanker defend by fire.) Coalition forces despatch (sic) vessels and boarding parties. Pirates who survive ensuing gun battle are lined up by the rail and shot in the head, then dumped overboard. Pirate boats are burned. If their bases or villages on the coast can be identified, said bases are raided and destroyed. No fuss no muss, no ransom, no hostages, no skyrocketing costs.
Apparently, the lawyers don’t think like we do. But for the time being, the lawyers are setting the agenda.
[color and bold emphasis mine. lw]
Map from www.noburqua.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html
What Do the Pirates Say?
The Somali pirates who hijacked a Ukrainian freighter loaded with tanks, artillery, grenade launchers and ammunition said
"We just saw a big ship," the pirates’ spokesman, Sugule Ali, said in a telephone interview. "So we stopped it."
"Killing is not in our plans," [Sugule] said. "We only want money so we can protect ourselves from hunger."
When asked why the pirates needed $20 million to protect themselves from hunger, Mr. Sugule laughed and said, "Because we have a lot of men."
In a 45-minute interview, Mr. Sugule spoke on everything from what the pirates wanted ("just money") to why they were doing this ("to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters") to what they had to eat on board (rice, meat, bread, spaghetti, "you know, normal human-being food").
He said that so far, in the eyes of the world, the pirates had been misunderstood. "We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits," he said. "We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard."
He insisted that the pirates were not interested in the weapons and had no plans to sell them to Islamist insurgents battling Somalia’s weak transitional government. "Somalia has suffered from many years of destruction because of all these weapons," he said. "We don’t want that suffering and chaos to continue. We are not going to offload the weapons. We just want the money."
He said the pirates were asking for $20 million in cash; "we don’t use any other system than cash." But he added that they were willing to bargain. "That’s deal-making," he explained.
Piracy in Somalia is a highly organized, lucrative, ransom-driven business. Just this year, pirates hijacked more than 25 ships, and in many cases, they were paid million-dollar ransoms to release them. The juicy payoffs have attracted gunmen from across Somalia, and the pirates are thought to number in the thousands.
What Do Somali Officials Say?
The piracy industry started about 10 to 15 years ago, Somali officials said, as a response to illegal fishing. Somalia’s central government imploded in 1991, casting the country into chaos. With no patrols along the shoreline, Somalia’s tuna-rich waters were soon plundered by commercial fishing fleets from around the world. Somali fishermen armed themselves and turned into vigilantes by confronting illegal fishing boats and demanding that they pay a tax.
"From there, they got greedy," said Mohamed Osman Aden, a Somali diplomat in Kenya. "They starting attacking everyone."
By the early 2000s, many of the fishermen had traded in their nets for machine guns and were hijacking any vessel they could catch: sailboat, oil tanker, United Nations-chartered food ship.
"It’s true that the pirates started to defend the fishing business," Mr. Mohamed said. "And illegal fishing is a real problem for us. But this does not justify these boys to now act like guardians. They are criminals. The world must help us crack down on them."
Will These Somali Pirates Kill?
Somali Pirates Kill Three
By Annie Jacobsen
13 Dec 2008
Three crew members from the Greek chemical tanker MT Action have been killed by Somali pirates. From the Khaleej Times:
"Three of the crew members appear to have died in fishy circumstances," Andrew Mwangura, the head of the Kenyan arm of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
"Fishy circumstances" is an unfortunate euphemism for being killed. The boat has been released, minus three living humans.
The big question being tossed around at the Pentagon is, will the U.S. military use air power to attempt to curb the jihadist takeover of Somalia?
That was "Pre-Obama Thinking in U.S. About Somali Pirates"
from The Washington Times:
Somali pirates are trained fighters who frequently dress in military fatigues and use speedboats equipped with satellite phones and GPS equipment. They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and various types of grenades. Far out to sea, their speedboats operate from larger mother ships.
Most hijackings end with million-dollar payouts. Piracy is considered the biggest moneymaker in Somalia, a country that has had no stable government for decades. Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at the London-based think-tank Chatham House, said pirates took up to $80 million in ransoms last year.
Before this latest hijacking, Somali pirates were holding 14 vessels and about 200 crew members, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
Is This Piracy Related to the Jihad? Connection to Al Qaeda?
Jihad Watch had this to say about this latest act:
As we have shown here before, this piracy is jihad-related. What will Obama do? Offer to talk without preconditions with the pirates? "Somali pirates hijack U.S.-flagged container ship," by Daniel Wallis for Reuters, April 8
More evidence that the supposedly "random" Somali pirate attacks are, in fact, associated with al-Qaeda's jihad. Incidentally, piracy as a jihadist activity has a pedigree at least as old as the Barbary conflicts with Europe and the United States, and the Islamic slave raiding pirates vividly described in Giles Milton's book White Gold.
"Al Qaida + Pirates = Jihad on the High Seas," from the Jawa Report, October 2:
Al Qaida has claimed responsibility for the increased pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia this year. So far this year there have been around 60 attacks against cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden, in 2007 there was 13. The islamic pirates are currently holding up to 300 crewmen hostage and 14 cargo ships for ransom.
It's the trifecta:
Somali pirates hijack cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Then the pirates collect the ransom paid for the release of cargo ships and crewmen. This is known as jihad al-mal, monetary jihad.
Large sums of the ransom money goes to al Shabaab, the islamic Youth Movement. Al Shabaab uses the ransom money to fuel the jihad on land. Both groups are linked to al Qaida, it's all about the jihad.
H/T: Dinah Lord
In a recent communiqué, the Islamist organization claimed responsibility for this year’s surge in pirate attacks in the vital Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Dozens of vessels from different nations have been seized and held for ransom, shaking the world’s shipping industry. Al-Qaeda calls its maritime campaign "a new strategy which permits the mujahedeen" to hijack shipping, since "fighters who aspire to establish the caliphate must control the seas and the waterways."
Counterterrorism consultant Olivier Guitta revealed the al-Qaeda connection in his Asia Times column, writing that the terrorist organization "intends to take control of the Gulf of Aden and the southern entrance of the Red Sea." Guitta called the area "strategic" for the radical Islamic group.
Posted by Raymond [Ibrahim]
More about Recent Somali Pirate Attacks from the AP at http://ap.onlineathens.com/pstories/world/20090407/426785612.shtml
17,000-ton container ship Maersk Alabama, when it was operating under the name Maersk Alva, which has been hijacked by Somalia pirates with 20 crew members aboard, Wednesday April 8, 2009, while sailing from Salalah in Oman to the Kenyan port of Mombassa via Djibouti. (AP Photo/Polfoto, file)
SUGGESTIONS AND DISCUSSIONS ON "HOW TO STOP SOMALI PIRACY" AT:
Her again we run into the old bugaboo: The Rules of Engagement (ROE). The one for dealing with the Somali pirates are designed not to stop piracy but to keep from killing the pirates.
The same goes for the ROEs forced on our troops at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The intent of these ROEs is to protect civilians from being killed. As irregulars such as the Taliban and other Moslems on jihad do not wear a uniform but must blend with the populace--as is the case with all guerrillas--this puts additional stress on troops in combat situations. It also kills troops on our side, while they are trying to save what could be innocent noncombatants.
The point of mentioning this here is that in the case of the Somali pirates as in the case of fighting the war against Islamic terrorists on jihad we want to fight without hurting or killing our enemies.
Wars are not won that way. Read about how World War II was won against Germany and then against Japan. Civilians were not targets, but neither were they spared. You want to break the will of your enemy, not show him how high-minded and moral you are and lose the lives of your troops.
If you want an example of how to fight a war and not win, no better example exists than Israel where moral highmindedness beats out winning to defend and preserve your people. Israeli soldiers are forced to take casualties in order to preserve the enemies' lives. House-to-house and room-to-room fighting is preferred by Israel to levelling positions from which enemy fire originates.
Of course, in the case of Israel, world opinion dictates the ROEs. As it appears it does in our wars and defensive or protective actions.