Your opinion: Somalian Pirates hijack cargo ship...

This is a discussion on Your opinion: Somalian Pirates hijack cargo ship... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by New York Times Pirates Seek $35 Million for Ship Published: September 27, 2008 NAIROBI, Kenya —Pirates in a hijacked ship carrying more ...

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Thread: Your opinion: Somalian Pirates hijack cargo ship...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Your opinion: Somalian Pirates hijack cargo ship...

    Quote Originally Posted by New York Times
    Pirates Seek $35 Million for Ship
    Published: September 27, 2008
    NAIROBI, Kenya —Pirates in a hijacked ship carrying more than 30 battle tanks were anchored off the coast of Somalia near a notorious pirate den on Saturday, and they vowed not to release the ship until a $35 million ransom was paid, Somali and Kenyan officials said.

    Meanwhile, a United States Navy destroyer, the Howard, was closing in on the hijacked ship.

    “We’ve got a constant stare on it,” said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, an American military spokesman. He would not say how far away the destroyer was from the hijacked vessel, but he acknowledged that the American ship was close enough to maintain visual contact. He also said there were no imminent operations planned against the hijacked ship.

    According to Mohamed Osman Aden, a Somali diplomat in Kenya, the hijacked ship, a Ukrainian-owned vessel, was headed on Saturday afternoon to Xarardheere, on the barren Somali coast. Xarardheere is an isolated fishing village that has thrived on organized crime and has frequently been used as a pirate hide-out and a place to keep seized ships.

    Mr. Mohamed said that while the cargo in this case was extremely unusual — 33 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks and a large supply of ammunition and grenade launchers, all intended for the Kenyan military — the tactics were pretty typical.

    “These guys just want the money,” he said.

    He predicted that the pirates would reduce their ransom demand to $1 million to $2 million, though Ukrainian officials have not said whether they will pay any ransom at all.

    The Kenyan government said in a statement on Saturday that it “does not and will not negotiate with international criminals, pirates and terrorists and will endeavor to recover the hijacked ship and military cargo.”

    In addition to the American destroyer, a Russian frigate, the Dauntless, was on its way.

    Diplomats in Kenya said Saturday that military operations involving several countries were being discussed, but that the plan was to wait a few days before considering a strike.

    The hijacked ship’s crew is mostly Ukrainian, and already family members have contacted the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry asking what they can do.

    The hijacking occurred on Thursday evening when pirates in three speedboats attacked the Ukrainian cargo ship, the Faina, which was in Somali waters about 200 miles from shore, en route to Kenya.

    On Friday, Kenyan and Ukrainian officials disclosed that the ship was loaded with 2,320 tons of weapons. Many diplomats in Kenya are concerned that the arms could fall into the hands of insurgents fighting Somalia’s transitional government and pitch the country deeper into chaos.

    The pirates, however, are not expected to be able to do much with the T-72 tanks because each weighs more than 80,000 pounds. Western diplomats have said that the pirates do not have the special equipment or the skill to get the tanks ashore.

    But the tanks — and the jitters they have caused — may be used for leverage to increase the ransom. Andrew Mwangura, program coordinator for the Seafarers’ Assistance Program in Kenya, which tracks pirate attacks, said that the pirates had demanded $35 million through intermediaries and that they were trying to contact the ship’s owners.

    “They even have someone who speaks English,” he said.

    Piracy in lawless Somalia is a highly organized, ransom-driven business. This year has been one of the worst on record, with more than 50 ships attacked, 25 hijacked and about a dozen currently being held by pirates. On Saturday, pirates released two ships they had recently seized, one Japanese and the other Malaysian, Mr. Mwangura said.

    “In both cases, ransoms were paid,” he said, though it was difficult on Saturday to confirm this.

    The price, Mr. Mwangura said, was $2 million each.

    Update: They've now lowered their ransom demand to $5 million US.

    My questions to you are:

    1) How bad could security have been on this cargo ship that a group of pirates in 3 speedboats was able to take this massive ship? It seems like if you can afford to transport 30-something tanks, you should be able to hire some security too... or at least some thugs with guns.... Opinions?

    2) The article and news information do not seem to specify who owns this ship, rather it's a Russian operation or a private arms dealer or what. There's probably a reason for this.

    3) How on earth do these guys think they're going to survive this? They've got the Russian and American naval forces pointing some big-arsed guns at them, they know they won't be allowed to offload the cargo without getting fired upon.... What could they possibly be thinking?

    3) Last but not least, if you were a crew member on this ship before, during, or after the takeover by pirates, what would your course of action have been ?

    Interesting stuff.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
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  3. #2
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    Hate to have to say this, but maybe now that the Russians are upset, something will get done to stop the piracy. It is clear we have neither the interest, ability, opportunity, or desire--- being tied up otherwise as we are and nearly bankrupt.

    With the Russian navy off Venezuela, their army in Georgia, and we tied up and bankrupt, we are going to see the emergence of a new superpower.

    The pirates and their friends are in big doo now. We'll be next in the doo department.

    Oh, and this proves that economic security is necessary for military security.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Array Sky Pilot's Avatar
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    My opinion?
    Talk to the pirates.
    Like the wise man said, "You must speak the language they understand."
    You probably know the language I am referring to.
    (Insert innocent expression here!)
    "Deine Papieren bitte?" or "ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ !"
    (Choose only one)
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array flagflyfish's Avatar
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    on the barren Somali coast. Xarardheere is an isolated fishing village that has thrived on organized crime and has frequently been used as a pirate hide-out and a place to keep seized ships.

    1. Send in a Air force strike, make the barren Somali coast even more barren, sink all ships to the bottom of the bay for an artifical reef, with pirates for fish food.

    2. IMHO the attack could have been thwarted with as little as a molotov cocktail dropped into each speedboat, can you say barbequed pirate.

    3. Ask Obama to take care of it diplomaticly , I believe he is or was a citizen of Kenya.
    "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier
    and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the
    service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the
    love and thanks of man and woman."

    -- Thomas Paine (The American Crisis, No. 1, 19 December 1776)

  6. #5
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    Send in Commodore Stephen Decatur he knew how to deal with Pirates
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Can't these ships avoid dangerous waters?
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    The solution is simple... Have all shipping companies pull the same trick they used in WWII...

    Shipping was being continuously disrupted so they sent out decoy freighters, that were armed to the teeth with cannon, .50's and all sorts of weaponry.

    When attacked by those that though of them as easy prey, they opened up their weapons systems and killed them all with no mercy shown.

    So how many of these decoys would they attack before they got the message and piracy came to a halt.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array flagflyfish's Avatar
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    Update............................................ ..............................................
    MOGADISHU, Somalia — A man claiming to be a spokesman for the Somali pirates who seized a ship laden with Russian tanks says they want $20 million to release the vessel.

    Sugule Ali says others who have made earlier ransom demands did not speak for the particular pirates who hijacked the Ukrainian-operated cargo ship Faina on Thursday.

    Ali spoke Sunday to The Associated Press from the deck of the Faina via satellite phone. He also handed the phone to the ship's captain -- who also spoke with AP -- to prove his location.

    Ali says "We want ransom, nothing else. We need $20 million for the safe release of the ship and the crew."

    Ali also says planes have been flying over the Faina and warned against any nation taking military action to regain the ship.

    He says "if we are attacked, we will defend ourselves until the last one of us dies."

    Viktor Nikolsky, the captain of the Faina, told The Associated Press that a Russian sailor died Sunday because of hypertension.

    He was also speaking from the deck of the Faina via a satellite phone offered by one of the pirates who seized the ship .

    The Ukrainian-operated ship has a load of 33 Russian-built T-72 tanks and a substantial quantity of ammunition and spare parts ordered by the Kenyan government.

    The heavily armed USS Howard destroyer was stationed off the coast of Somalia on Sunday to make sure the pirates didn'r remove tanks, ammunition and other heavy weapons from the hijacked ship.

    In a rare gesture of cooperation, the Americans appeared to be keeping an eye on the Faina until the Russian missile frigate Neustrashimy, or Intrepid, reaches the area. The Russian ship was still somewhere in the Atlantic on Sunday, the Russian navy reported.

    U.S. Navy Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the United States' 5th Fleet, said the San Diego-based USS Howard had the Faina in sight Sunday but "cannot hear what is going on" aboard the hijacked ship.

    Christensen said the Navy has tried to communicate with the Faina's crew but so far hasn't gotten a response.

    The Navy remains "deeply concerned" over the fate of 21-member crew and the ship's cargo, he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

    "What's on board is of concern to us as much as the criminal activity," Christensen said, adding that the Navy does not want the tanks and other weapons to end up "in the wrong hands."

    Another U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Howard was within a few thousand yards of the Faina, which was anchored a few miles off the Somalia coast.

    Pirate attacks worldwide have surged this year and Africa remains the world's top piracy hotspot, with 24 reported attacks in Somalia and 18 in Nigeria this year, according to the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center.

    Attacking ships has become a regular source of income for pirates in Somalia, a war-torn country without a functioning government since 1991.

    Five nations were sharing information to try to secure the swift release of the ship and its crew — Ukraine, Somalia, Russia, the United States and Britain. Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua, however, insisted his country will not negotiate with pirates or terrorists.

    A man called The Associated Press in Somalia by telephone Saturday and claimed to be a spokesman for the pirates.

    "We want the Kenyan government to negotiate with us about a $35 million ransom we want for the release of the ship and the cargo," said the man, who identified himself as Ali Yare Abdulkadir. "If not, we will do what we can and offload the small arms and take them away."

    Abdulkadir would not reveal his whereabouts, but residents in the northeastern Somali region of Puntland said he represented the pirates. He also warned against any attempt to storm the ship.

    "Any one who tries it will be responsible for the consequences," Abdulkadir said.

    The USS Howard's Web site says it has surface-to-air missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, anti-submarine rockets, torpedoes, and a five-inch rapid-fire deck gun.

    A Russian Web site posted what it said was an audio recording of a telephone conversation with the Ukrainian ship's first mate. There was no way to immediately confirm the authenticity of the report on Web site Life.ru.

    On the recording, a man who identified himself as first mate Viktor Nikolsky said the hijackers were asking for a ransom but he did not know how much.

    Nikolsky said the ship was anchored near the Somali town of Hobyo and that two other apparently hijacked ships were also nearby. Hobyo is in the central region of Mudug, south of Puntland.

    Nikolsky said there were 35 people on the ship — 21 of them crew — and most were being held in a single overheated room. Nobody was injured, but the captain was suffering from heatstroke and his condition was "not so good," he said.

    It was unclear exactly when the purported conversation took place.

    In the latest hijacking in the area, a Greek tanker with a crew of 19 carrying refined petroleum from Europe to the Middle East was ambushed Friday in the Gulf of Aden, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
    "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier
    and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the
    service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the
    love and thanks of man and woman."

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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by flagflyfish View Post
    Update............................................ ..............................................

    Ali also says planes have been flying over the Faina and warned against any nation taking military action to regain the ship.

    He says "if we are attacked, we will defend ourselves until the last one of us dies."
    OK, anyone that has a problem with that raise your hand.......





    Anyone?

    (I do think we should leave this to the Russians if it's their stuff. There will be less restrictions, and less pirates around at the end.)
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

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    The problem is that armed security is both expensive & rare on these types of vessels. The permits to get arms aboard are probably ridiculous. Then add in the fact that they go to dozens of countries. Most of which have no gun rights even for their citizens, much less a ship flagged in a different country.

    The ports in the many countries they deliver goods, also won't allow vessels to have arms aboard.

    There was an Australian convicted last year for having an AR on board his yacht. It was found while he was in some Asian waters (like Thailand or Indonesia....can't remember where....).

    Can you imagine what the US Coast Guard would do if they inspected a vessel & found small arms?......Just think if the vessel had heavier armament, like cannon!
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array flagflyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rstickle View Post
    OK, anyone that has a problem with that raise your hand.......





    Anyone?

    (I do think we should leave this to the Russians if it's their stuff. There will be less restrictions, and less pirates around at the end.)
    "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier
    and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the
    service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the
    love and thanks of man and woman."

    -- Thomas Paine (The American Crisis, No. 1, 19 December 1776)

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon J View Post
    The solution is simple... Have all shipping companies pull the same trick they used in WWII...

    Shipping was being continuously disrupted so they sent out decoy freighters, that were armed to the teeth with cannon, .50's and all sorts of weaponry.

    When attacked by those that though of them as easy prey, they opened up their weapons systems and killed them all with no mercy shown.

    So how many of these decoys would they attack before they got the message and piracy came to a halt.
    This has my vote, if they won't respect you, then they must FEAR you.

    I 'double agree' with the no mercy part...
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  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    The Gulf of Aden is only 200 miles wide, the pirates use motherships and fast speedboats to attack as far off as 200miles. Many of the pirates come from Puntaland which either supports them or turns a blind eye as the activity brings in a lot of cash. Ship movements in the area is over 100,000 a year and the attacks represent about 2% of the shipping. Frankly I hope the Russians sail into their home port shoot the place up and say: “Do it again and we be back and really mad”

    The big problem is the Western warships are afraid to attack the pirates and to take prisoners to avoid international legal issues. Thankfully France has shown the most backbone on the issue so far. Setting aside international laws and conventions, the problem is the area could be dealt with in a month of hard hitting attacks against the pirate vessels, shore infrastructure and all those involved. It won’t happen because it would be the big bad West beating up on the poor African kid again, despite the fact that most of the hostages are 3rd world sailors just trying to earn a living to feed their families. The problem won’t go away until a non-western country decides enough is enough and lays down a good beating. Hopefully the Russians will do this and then they can make money renting their flag out to merchant ships passing through the area.

    Another option is a Q ship, heavily armed and responds to an attack with whitehring fire and no warnings. As the pirate boats disappear, the desire to attack ships will disappear also. This ship would have to sail closer in and rumour spread about valuable cargo, it would have to be repainted often.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    1) There is little if any security on most of these freighters. That's just how it is and these terroristic pirates know it.

    2) Moving that ruskie stuff was contracted out to a private company.....also that explains the 'lack' of good security.

    3) They're too greedy to be thinking properly. Money overrode any common sense.

    second 3) I am a sailor, but in that particular situation (private company, no weapons, etc.) , grab some grub, water, and HIDE!
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    Distinguished Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    Let someone other than the US do the security as we have no interest in the
    ship.It's all Russian stuff let it sink!It took 100 years to bankrupt Great Britain
    being the worlds policeman.The US is 63 years post world war two but I say
    we made the difference in the first world war so we add another 27 years for
    a grand total of 100 years so it's going to take a bit longer to break us, but not much.Many countries have been riding on our buck during this period Japan comes to mind as one.

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