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Dixie Devil
02-05-2009, 08:06 AM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090205/ap_on_re_af/piracy

[QUOTE]NAIROBI Somali pirates said Thursday that they were freeing a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and other heavy weapons after receiving a $3.2 million ransom. The U.S. Navy said it was watching the pirates leaving the ship.

The MV Faina was seized by bandits in September in one of the most brazen acts in a surge of attacks on shipping off the Somali coast. Vessels from the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet surrounded it after it was seized to make sure the cargo did not get into the hands of Somali insurgent groups linked to al-Qaida.

A spokesman for the owners said that the pirates had received a ransom but it was far below their original demand of $20 million.

Mikhail Voitenko said the pirates were leaving the ship in small groups on boats carrying portions of the ransom. U.S. seamen were inspecting the departing boats to make sure they weren't taking weapons from the Faina's cargo, Voitenko said.

"The U.S. Navy is observing the pirates departing the ship," a U.S. Navy official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The U.S. did not immediately comment on whether it was inspecting the boats.

Pirate spokesman Sugule Ali told The Associated Press by satellite phone that the pirates were leaving the ship slowly because the waters are "a bit turbulent."

"The whole thing is practically over and done with," Ali said from the central Somali coastal town of Harardhere, near where the MV Faina is anchored. "Our plan is to abandon the ship today (Thursday), by early evening at the latest."

Ali said his group was paid a ransom of $3.2 million, which he said was dropped by plane.

"We are not holding it (the ship) now anymore," Aden Abdi Omar, one of the pirates who left the ship told the AP from Harardhere. "But our men should disembark first for it to move to wherever it wants."

Ukraine's president said earlier that the ship had already been freed.

Presidential spokeswoman Irina Vannikova was quoted as telling Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency that "the ship is now under the guard of forces of the U.S. navy and is preparing to head for the Kenyan port of Mombasa."

The crew includes 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and a Latvian, Russian news agencies said.

A total of 111 attacks on ships of the Somali coast were reported last year, with 42 seized.

Analysts say although attempts to hijack ships remain steady at around 15 a month, the pirates are proving less successful. The pirates took two ships in December and three ships since the beginning of the year, compared with seven in November and five in October.

Graeme Gibbon Brooks, managing director of the British company Dryad Maritime Intelligence Service Ltd., said the drop was partly attributable to activity by nations that have sent ships to deter attacks and partly to unseasonably bad weather. Most of the 16 attempted hijackings in 2009 occurred in the first two weeks of January, when the weather was good.

But the pirates were showing a worrying new sophistication in their attacks, he said, jamming emergency frequencies with Arabic music or sending out false distress calls to lure warships away.

Somalia does not have a coast guard or navy because it has not had a functioning government since warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. They then turned on each other, reducing Somalia to anarchy and chaos.[QUOTE]


Now I don't want to sound like someone who thinks firepower is the solution to every problem, but am I the only one wondering why some country hasn't gone in and forcibly retaken a ship. A S.E.A.L. Team would be excellent for this task and a few crews of pirates get killed it would be an mighty big deterrent to other groups of pirates.

Rising Sun*
02-05-2009, 08:45 AM
Now I don't want to sound like someone who thinks firepower is the solution to every problem, ...

Perhaps not a solution, but definitely a resolution. :D


... but am I the only one wondering why some country hasn't gone in and forcibly retaken a ship. A S.E.A.L. Team would be excellent for this task and a few crews of pirates get killed it would be an mighty big deterrent to other groups of pirates.

I think many of us have wondered that.

As we have wondered why so many lawless states, such as Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Burma are allowed to continue while the rest of the world stands by yet intervenes in places like Iraq on the flimsiest pretext.

I assume that there is some reason of huge geopolitical significance which ensures that Somalia is a 'hands off' area for the UN and the major powers, just like Dhafur.

I just wish someone would tell me what the reason is that allows us to stand by and permit murder, rape, pillaging and dispossession of people who had very little to lose to begin with, yet we get all wound up about despots we've supported for years, like Saddam Hussein.

Dixie Devil
02-05-2009, 09:34 AM
Well at least I know Im not alone in wondering why action hasn't been taken against the Somalis. It seems like ever few weeks someone is paying a few million dollars ransom for the release of a ship and its crew but I haven't seen one news story calling for any action against the pirates except those to prevent them from taking a ship in the first place. And a U.S. warship watching the pirates leave the Ukrainian vessel after they were paid? I know the U.S. military has some misgivings when it comes to Somalia but come on, they were on a warship. Time for target practice; RPGs and AK-47s are usually triumphed by a 5 inch deck gun.

Major Walter Schmidt
02-05-2009, 09:43 AM
The Japanese Naval Defense Force is escorting Japanese ships or ships carrying Japanese people or cargo that go through the area...hope they are at least useful.

Schuultz
02-05-2009, 10:16 AM
You would expect somebody to kill those bastards already. They weren't even holding the ship anymore and they were still left alone? What the heck is that!?
One can only wonder why countries like the US, UK or Germany have Seals if they don't use them for something like this, which seems to be exactly what they were trained for in the first place...

Totally different question, though: What was an Ukrainian ship filled with heavy weaponry doing down there, anyway?! And that they traveled to Kenya can't be a good sign, either...

pdf27
02-05-2009, 10:42 AM
Officially the Kenyan government ordered a bunch of tanks from the Ukraine. Unofficially they are probably for resale to the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (? - whatever the main rebel group in the south is anyway).

Nickdfresh
02-05-2009, 12:15 PM
There are a whole host of legal issues, specifically what to do with any prisoners taken. I know it would be nice to sink all their boats and let them drowned, but it is considered bad form and even worse PR. And secondly, there have already been accidents as an Indian Navy frigate already attacked the wrong ship...

Dixie Devil
02-05-2009, 01:44 PM
The prisoner problem is easy to solve; it they resist kill them, if they surrender disarm them and send them back on their way along with their dead companions. The primary goal is to recapture the ship and crew without forking up millions of dollars in ransom, not necessarily to kill the pirates themselves. Also in the above situation a U.S. Navy ship observed the pirates leaving the vessel after the ransom was paid. There cant be much doubt as to them being the pirates in that case.

Are there other legal issues to worry about? The act of piracy is pretty much illegal no matter which law is applied.

flamethrowerguy
02-05-2009, 03:03 PM
Maybe many people in responsible positions remember some serious past troubles with these bunch of semi-savages, high on booze and Khat and armed with AK's and RPG's.

Schuultz
02-05-2009, 03:55 PM
Well, sadly we're no longer living in a time where a French Armada can simply sail up to a prominent pirate-port and shell it for two days straight to teach them a lesson.
That might actually be a quite effective deterrent, though. ;)

Worked for the French... :D

Cuts
02-05-2009, 05:15 PM
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/marines-kill-two-somalis-in-raid-on-pirate-vessel-1016128.html

Schuultz
02-05-2009, 05:44 PM
We need more of that. Two pirates at a time, if necessary ;)

dbloge
02-05-2009, 10:57 PM
does anyone have info on how a pirate attack happens?.......threatening the ship with an RPG or just throwing up a rope ladder?


doug

pdf27
02-06-2009, 01:52 AM
Are there other legal issues to worry about? The act of piracy is pretty much illegal no matter which law is applied.
No, there is a practical issue. The crews of the captured ships are held ashore as hostages. Unless you release them first (which would take a major commando raid, not just special forces) then grabbing the ship is pointless.
Oh, and it is entirely possible that the pirates will claim asylum if taken to a first world country for trial...

Rising Sun*
02-06-2009, 04:21 AM
No, there is a practical issue. The crews of the captured ships are held ashore as hostages. Unless you release them first (which would take a major commando raid, not just special forces) then grabbing the ship is pointless.

A possible solution to this, and the general Somali piracy problem, would be to send in Q ships, which are equipped and manned to annihilate the pirates as they attack.

Once they suffer some defeats and can no longer be sure whether the ship they are attacking is capable of destroying them, most piracy will stop as they are relying upon their superior firepower to take the ship. When that position is reversed they lose their advantage, and the incentive to be bully boys.

This suggestion assumes, of course, that pirates do not have prior intelligence about which ships to attack, which I suspect they may have and which cannot be overcome by introducing Q ships.

jcompton
02-06-2009, 07:30 AM
does anyone have info on how a pirate attack happens?.......threatening the ship with an RPG or just throwing up a rope ladder?


doug

From what I've read they fire a few shots to show they mean buisness, then after the crew of the soon to be hijacked surrender they scramble aboard.
I did read an interview with one of the released hostages, he stated that the pirates were actually very polite and they played card games together on the ship.

Schuultz
02-06-2009, 08:49 AM
There's not really a need for them to be ****s to the crew if they surrendered immediately. If the crew is in a good condition, they are more likely to get paid!

Iron Yeoman
02-09-2009, 03:12 PM
There's not really a need for them to be ****s to the crew if they surrendered immediately. If the crew is in a good condition, they are more likely to get paid!

Apparently there is a whole cottage industry in Eyl of providing hospitality towards hostages. Of course a raid against Eyl would change this and hostages could expect the Terry Waite treatment. The main problem as I see it is most Navies lack the will to prosecute offensive operations against Somalian pirates.

This is mostly down to the now inherent fear pervading any military task of being held to account by lawyers and human rights activists (no matter how well intentioned the activists are that is, not lawyers). No nation is happy about the risk of having its military personnel being hauled up in the hague for slotting a bunch of 'native fishermen' whom victims of circumstance were forced into piracy.

The UN, or if they have the cajones, national governments, need to give their navies immunity from prosecution while conducting anti-piracy ops. Giving the good news to any armed vessel seen leaving the Somali coast (obviously don't brass the boats to f**k straight off, a few very close warning shots first to allow said pirates to change their minds) will hopefully get the message across that piracy is no longer a growth industry, although without the rebuilding of infrastructure and aid to Somalia alongside this any offensive action is meaningless.

Stood by for incoming.

Schuultz
02-09-2009, 03:28 PM
The UN, or if they have the cajones, national governments, need to give their navies immunity from prosecution while conducting anti-piracy ops. Giving the good news to any armed vessel seen leaving the Somali coast (obviously don't brass the boats to f**k straight off, a few very close warning shots first to allow said pirates to change their minds) will hopefully get the message across that piracy is no longer a growth industry, although without the rebuilding of infrastructure and aid to Somalia alongside this any offensive action is meaningless.

Yeah... simply no. What's the point of international law if any nation can just break it when they feel like it? I agree that there should be a more aggressive attitude towards the pirates, but immunity is no way to go, it pretty much asks for trouble and breach of laws.
My understanding is that Piracy is a crime. Therefore, why can't the UN get their shit together and create an Anti-Piracy Task Force around the Horn of Africa?
Those guys would probably be more than sufficient to deal with the threat, as long as their allowed to shoot at them if the situation requires it. (That means not only if they are attacked)

Iron Yeoman
02-09-2009, 03:37 PM
Yeah... simply no. What's the point of international law if any nation can just break it when they feel like it? I agree that there should be a more aggressive attitude towards the pirates, but immunity is no way to go, it pretty much asks for trouble and breach of laws.

Good point, well made. Whilst I agree with your sentiments, I think a more robust attitude is needed, i wasn't clear earlier. I don't want a complete immunity caluse, morelike a temporary one until the situation is manageable when a less aggresive ROE can be used.


My understanding is that Piracy is a crime. Therefore, why can't the UN get their shit together and create an Anti-Piracy Task Force around the Horn of Africa?


The EU have and its done not a lot, the RN (bless 'em) are trying they're best but with limited resources there's not a lot they can achieve. Our European cousins, whilst willing, have contributed little. The UN did some time ago give all Navies free reign to enter somali territorial waters but again this has achieved little. Interestingly it has been the up and coming powers (china & india) whom have been most active, testing the waters (no pun intended) for future military actions methinks?

Schuultz
02-09-2009, 03:47 PM
Good point, well made. Whilst I agree with your sentiments, I think a more robust attitude is needed, i wasn't clear earlier. I don't want a complete immunity caluse, morelike a temporary one until the situation is manageable when a less aggresive ROE can be used.

True


The EU have and its done not a lot, the RN (bless 'em) are trying they're best but with limited resources there's not a lot they can achieve. Our European cousins, whilst willing, have contributed little. The UN did some time ago give all Navies free reign to enter somali territorial waters but again this has achieved little. Interestingly it has been the up and coming powers (china & india) whom have been most active, testing the waters (no pun intended) for future military actions methinks?

Yeah, most European Navies just don't care enough, whereas the UK have traditionally always shown a strong interest in the Horn of Africa and the Suez Canal in general...
I just don't understand how does pesky pirates always manage to board these ships?! One would think that a radar or sonar would pick their boats up in time and allow task forces to send gunboats or helicopters or something to deter them...

Iron Yeoman
02-11-2009, 04:43 PM
Latest news on Somalia

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/NavyEscortsFoodAidShipsIntoSomalia.htm

pdf27
02-11-2009, 05:43 PM
Yeah, most European Navies just don't care enough, whereas the UK have traditionally always shown a strong interest in the Horn of Africa and the Suez Canal in general...
I just don't understand how does pesky pirates always manage to board these ships?! One would think that a radar or sonar would pick their boats up in time and allow task forces to send gunboats or helicopters or something to deter them...
These are very small boats, with correspondingly small radar signatures. Plus, they are frequently converted fishing boats - so unless you get eyes-on you're never going to have a chance of telling which they are. In fact, even if you do you may be unable to tell the difference until they pull the AK-47s out from under tarpaulins and launch an attack.
Historically, pirates have never been stopped at sea but when you capture or destroy their land bases. So it will be here.

Schuultz
02-11-2009, 07:18 PM
Good point. But with these guys, you can't help but wonder if that's actually going to stop them.

You'd have to seriously bomb the shit out of them, and that would probably have too many civilian casualties to justify.

I'd rather suggest armed security and a 150mm cannon on each ship. That should do the trick :mrgreen:

Nickdfresh
02-11-2009, 08:00 PM
One of the reasons pirates can board ships and overcome the crews is that these days such ships are highly automated with few crew members. Fewer people means less guys on duty with more onboard systems to monitor...

Schuultz
02-12-2009, 06:51 AM
Very true. It still impresses me that you hear very little of crews fighting back - that might be the reason.

The UN should make a nice trap, using a big tanker whose crew consists entirely of Spec-Ops. That would teach them :D

Carl Schwamberger
02-12-2009, 07:20 AM
This suggestion assumes, of course, that pirates do not have prior intelligence about which ships to attack, which I suspect they may have and which cannot be overcome by introducing Q ships.

Theres the core of it. Piracy off the African Horn, or in the South China Sea, or in Indonesian waters, is not a matter of some unemployed thugs. Those guys can be identified by their lack of interest in holding the ship. They board, steal, and leave. Where the ship is held there is a well led organization behind it. The leaders identified likely targets, did their research, and waited for the right opportunity.

In the case of the Asian seas piracy has tapered off slightly. The local governments made the effort to crack down. The most important part of that was giving a warning to the 'powerfull men' who were backing the piriates financially and organizing their logisitcs, intellegence, communications, recruiting.

Rising Sun*
02-12-2009, 07:25 AM
The most important part of that was giving a warning to the 'powerfull men' who were backing the piriates financially and organizing their logisitcs, intellegence, communications, recruiting.

And how might that warning be delivered, for maximum effect?

I have an idea or two, but they're rather piratical in their own way.

Dixie Devil
02-12-2009, 09:07 AM
And how might that warning be delivered, for maximum effect?

I have an idea or two, but they're rather piratical in their own way.

Precision Guided Munitions usually convey a point quite well ;)

Schuultz
02-12-2009, 09:28 AM
The problem is they can't deliver the warning to the higher-ups anymore after that...

Dixie Devil
02-12-2009, 09:59 AM
I actually meant to target the higher ups with the precision guided munitions…if the guy telling you to go hijack a ship suddenly goes up in a ball of flame that could possibly change your mindset a little.

Carl Schwamberger
02-12-2009, 11:09 AM
And how might that warning be delivered, for maximum effect?

I have an idea or two, but they're rather piratical in their own way.

In the case of China. They grabed the most convienent offender, siezed all his business assets and property, leaned on all his family including cousins and his business associates, and shot him after a fair trial. The word got around. Now only the hard core gangsters are still in the business on that coast. Or maybe a few with very high 'party connections'. Dont know enough about Phillipines politics to say, although US Special Ops units are still working with the PI government on internal security issues. In the case of Indonesia it has been a matter of fighting local leaders to regain control of the law enforcement in particular areas. Back in the 1990s both the Indonesian and Chinese governments turned up evidence the local police and coast guards were involved in the piracy. This was not suprising in the case of Indonesia. A number of mid level managers in the law enforcement or public safety organizations had been prosecuted for embezzeling the pay and operating funds for their districts. Some police or coast guard posts experinced large scale desertion because they were not being paid.

There have been several articals on this subject in the 'US Naval Institute Proceedings' over the past decade. Including a very recent one criticizing USN leaders for "poor leadership" in attcking the problem in the past three years. (For those who dont know 'Proceedings' is a high profile magazine filled with articals authored by USN officers. A carefull read of its pages can give some good clues to what the the internal fights in the USN are.)

dbloge
02-12-2009, 11:59 PM
i still dont see how these ships can be overrun.......what about this........any boat that goes more than 10 miles off shore will be sunk-period........who will complain?......somalia doesnt even have a government........who really cares about somalia?.........also, can the pirates really sink a ship whith limited weapons?.........an AK or a few rpg's?..........what do they accomplish if they do?


doug

Iron Yeoman
02-13-2009, 01:48 AM
i still dont see how these ships can be overrun.......what about this........any boat that goes more than 10 miles off shore will be sunk-period........who will complain?

Who will complain? The civilized world. I'm all for giving these pirates a short sharp shrift, however, sinking every boat? What about the few legit fishermen who still try to make ends meet? I'm sorry Abdul but we slotted your father because he went 10 miles out to sea, so you'll have to starve.


......somalia doesnt even have a government........who really cares about somalia?

Possibly the somalis, although there isn't much of a functioning central government there are several administrations of varying type who are trying very hard to establish their own governance. Also Saudi Arabia care in a big way. It is no coincidence that the Islamic Courts army was able to take the capital over two years ago - with a 'little' Saudi help.


.........also, can the pirates really sink a ship whith limited weapons?.........an AK or a few rpg's?..........what do they accomplish if they do?

doug

It's not about sinking ships. It's about seizing them and then flogging and ransoming everyone and thing on board. A company is hardly likely to pay out for a sunken ship.

Carl Schwamberger
02-13-2009, 06:38 AM
i still dont see how these ships can be overrun.......what about this........any boat that goes more than 10 miles off shore will be sunk-period........

Not enough ammo in all the world. Those waters are covered over with small craft of all types. Aside from the residual fishermen they are hauling every type of miscl cargo and passengers. Any cargo too cheap or small to interest the larger freight carriers.

Used refridgerators discarded in Yemen to Africa, a sack of low grade diamonds or other industrial jemstones, unsellable car parts from Saudia Arabia for a trader in Mogadishu, a handfull of men hired to work as garbadge collectors in Mecca. These small craft are like the worn pickup trucks on US roads or the vans of British streets packing about the bits not worth the $300 cost of a licensed transport company.

Trying to pick the one boatload of men hired to do a hijacking out of 1000+ boats and ships on any particular day is 'difficult'.

Carl Schwamberger
02-13-2009, 06:41 AM
For hints on how to deal with this problem effectively a look at how the past piracy problems were eliminated might be usefull. The Romans suppressed pirates in the Med for a couple centuries.

Dixie Devil
02-13-2009, 07:27 AM
Well I see that the U.S. Navy has captured 16 Somali pirates while the Russian Navy captured an additional 10.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090213/ap_on_re_mi_ea/piracy

They should have wrapped them in an anchor chain and thrown them back in the water but at least someone is doing something.

pdf27
02-13-2009, 07:52 AM
For hints on how to deal with this problem effectively a look at how the past piracy problems were eliminated might be usefull. The Romans suppressed pirates in the Med for a couple centuries.
With the French doing much the same to the Barbary pirates...

Schuultz
02-13-2009, 09:22 AM
Sadly, bombing the shit out of major coastal cities is a bit frowned upon nowadays...

dbloge
02-14-2009, 11:50 AM
i wouldnt say that im a cruel person just a practical one.........no boats = no pirates.........once again no one really cares about somalia......if they would have there would have been an government for the last 15+ years........cant the crew lock themselves in a part of the ship and bar entrance to it?


doug