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Old 10-02-2008, 01:41 PM
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Default Somalia: World can use force against pirates

Pulled this down from the Navy Time - thought it would be of interest -

Somalia: World can use force against pirates

By Mohamed Olad Hassan - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Oct 2, 2008 7:39:45 EDT

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia authorized foreign powers on Wednesday to use force against pirates holding a ship loaded with tanks for $20 million ransom, raising the stakes for bandits being watched by the U.S. Navy.

There was no indication, however, that the Americans or anyone else was preparing to take action.

Last week’s hijacking of the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina — carrying 33 Soviet-made T-72 tanks, rifles and heavy weapons — was the highest profile act of piracy off this Horn of Africa nation this year. Several U.S. ships patrolled nearby and American helicopters buzzed overhead.

Moscow also has sent a warship to protect the few Russian hostages on board, but it was a nearly week away from the coast of central Somalia where the Faina has been anchored since Sept. 25. Most of the 20 crew members are Ukrainian or Latvian, and one Russian has died, apparently of illness.

Spurred by the latest hijacking, at least eight European Union countries offered Wednesday to form a new force to help protect shipping in the increasingly dangerous waters off Somalia, France’s defense minister said — a move that eventually could give the Navy crucial support in the area.

A U.N. Security Council resolution in June gave permission to nations to send warships into Somalia’s territorial waters to stop “piracy and armed robbery at sea” if such operations were taken in cooperation with the weak Somali government in Mogadishu.

When asked whether the U.S. was pleased that Europeans are getting involved in policing the high seas, State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper had no comment.

Mohammed Jammer Ali, acting director of the Somali Foreign Ministry, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he was giving new permission for such actions.

“The international community has permission to fight with the pirates,” he said.

Somalia’s president, Abdullahi Yusuf, also appealed to foreign powers. “The government has lost patience and now wants to fight pirates with the help of the international community,” he said in a radio address.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to comment on any possible military operation but said the U.S. remained resolved to keep the Faina’s military cargo from falling into the wrong hands — meaning Somali militants with links to al-Qaida.

The U.S. military has conducted airstrikes in Somalia and is known to have sent special forces troops in on the ground to go after key militants there.

Whitman would not give details of any new or existing agreement that the U.S. has with Somalia’s U.N.-supported government, which is fighting Islamic insurgents and has little control in much of the country.

The U.S. “works closely with its partners in the region to identify, locate, capture and if necessary kill terrorists where they operate, plan their operations or seek save harbor,” Whitman said.

Lt. Col. Almarah Belk, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said if the U.S. was asked to participate in any kind of coalition collaborative efforts, it would not impact U.S. operations in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere around the world. “We have enough DoD forces that it wouldn’t impact operations,” she said.

Belk said a security task force began patroling off Somalia’s coast in August to discourage attacks against commercial vessels.

She said the task force deals with “any kind of drug smuggling or any kind of violent piracy.”

Russia has used force to end several hostage sieges on its own territory — sometimes disastrously, as in the 2004 storming of a school in Beslan that resulted in 333 deaths, nearly half of them children.

However, the Russian navy’s chief spokesman played down the possibility of the use of force.

“Taking forceful measures, for obvious reasons, is an extreme measure, as this could create a threat to the lives of the international crew of the cargo ship,” Capt. Igor Dygalo said.

In a statement, he said the task of the frigate heading to the waters off Somalia was to protect Russian ships and suggested it would mainly prevent further pirate attacks. He said efforts to free the hostages would involve diplomacy.

Ali, the Somali official, said negotiations between the hijacked ship’s Ukrainian owners and the pirates were being conducted by satellite telephone. “No other side is involved in negotiations,” he said.

At a meeting Deauville, France, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said EU defense ministers had approved planning for an international anti-piracy operation in the Somalia area and called for coordination with NATO, which has warships in the Indian Ocean.

He said Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden had offered ships for the force, and British participation also was a possibility. But he added that no real action could be taken before a formal EU meeting Nov. 10.

With Somalia impoverished by decades of conflict, piracy by Somali gangs has emerged as a lucrative racket that brings in millions of dollars in ransoms and the pirates rarely harm their hostages. A Malaysian shipping company confirmed it paid Somali pirates a ransom this week to free two of its freighters.

Most pirate attacks occur just north Somalia in the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. But recently pirates have been targeting the Indian Ocean waters off eastern Somalia.

Some 62 ships have been attacked in those areas this year. A total of 26 were hijacked, and 12 remain in the hands of the pirates along with more than 200 crew members. The Navy says two other pirated cargo ships are anchored in the same area as the Faina.

The dangerous cargo on the Faina has drawn worldwide attention. While few believe the pirates would be able to unload the tanks, the Faina’s other military cargo or a huge ransom could worsen conflict in Somalia, where all major civil institutions have crumbled and hunger and drought ravage the population.
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:06 PM
Seascamp Seascamp is offline
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Apparently, once the merchant ship is seized by the pirates, the world runs out of options except to pony-up the ransom. The French successfully pulled off a commando raid at one time, but I’m not sure how many repeats would work. The best option seems to be to repel borders in the first place or, more likely, the mother ship that launches the pirate boats suddenly finds the bottom of the ship gone missing via by some ‘mysterious and unknown’ ,but very loud event.

Success breeds success and every Somali that can grab an inner tub and sharp stick now becomes a pirate. Arm the merchants with deck guns and gunners, or flood the shipping lanes with Navy surface combat ships or somehow intercede with ‘Neptune’ to poof the pirate motherships seem about the only viable ways to repel borders.

At present, all that is happening is that a new Somali economic sector is being created, pulling in some serious loot and the pirates are living way, way high. Damn, how may centuries has it been since there was open sea piracy of this magnitude?

As I understand it , the MO is for the mother ship to tow and nest the small pirate boats. No real dimension have been given other then to state that the pirate boats are open like a harbor skiff and are outboard engine powered. They come along side the much slower merchant ships, grapple and board. Most merchant ships are diesel piston engine powered and don’t have a lot of speed capability, so are mostly sitting ducks, big, big ducks.


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Last edited by Seascamp; 10-05-2008 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:17 PM
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First Issue

Al Qaida's affiliate in Somalia, the Mujahideen Youth Movement, has enough money, manpower, and internet access, to begin producing a periodical.

Creating a "journal" doesn't take much in the way of any of those things, but as history has shown (ie, AQ's affiliates in KSA and Iraq) this is always a sign of improved logistics, capability, and operational security.
Entitled "Millat Ibrahim" (Faith of Abraham), it probably takes the title from
one of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi's work.


A posting announcing the journal can be found at the Clearinghouse:
**Internal Linking (Threads) **Internal Linking (Threads)Oddly enough, it's also available at Archive, but that Archive links aren't listed in the Clearinghouse links
http://www.archive.org/details/Tabib-Almojahdeen8

And here is the metadata:
Tabib-Almojahdeen8العدد الاول من مجلة ابراهيمtextsopensourceMelat-Ibrahim-1
العدد الاول من مجلة ابراهيم
حركة شباب المجاهدين
شبكة الاخلاص
شبكة الحسبة 015120082008-10-04 01512008-10-04 01:09:25Tabib-Almojahdeen@hotmail.com2008-10-04 0111Tabib-AlmojahdeenAzerbaijanihttp://www.archive.org/details/Tabib-Almojahdeen8ark:/13960/t0ms3zf96
http://www.makingsenseofjihad.com/20...rst-issue.html
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:50 AM
Seascamp Seascamp is offline
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I see no reason why Al Qaeda wouldn’t show up and demand a cut of the piracy action to fund additional regional terrorizm and propaganda. The piracy rich areas of Somalia have gone to thermal runaway inflation as all the mongrels move in to get a grab. Even the most basic staples have become unaffordable for the average Somali in piracy areas.
Piracy on the cheep has become very a lucrative venture complete with it’s own set of dynamics, results and local disasters.

I suppose the world will dither and dawdle until the piracy on the cheep idea catches on in this hemisphere. By the way, who owns control of the port of Vera Cruz and other northern Mexico ports these days? Is it the Mexico City Government or the gang Cartels? The rich pickins in the Caribbean are no doubt looking very, very, tempting. Not much doubt as to who has ownership of the northern Mexico border and it isn't Mexico City, no more, so are sea ports next or already given up to the Cartels?

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