Friday, October 31, 2008


The LA Times reports: Somalia's pirate problem grows more rampant

"Entire villages along the coast now engage in piracy. Unemployed youths provide the muscle. Idle fishermen offer boats and knowledge of the coastline. Foreign businessmen provide the money for guns, radios and satellite phones. Islamic hard-liners are lured by the chance to attack Western interests offshore.
The result is a criminal free-for-all. Pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia have tripled over the last three years, with nearly three a week in 2008, maritime officials say. Currently there are about a dozen hijacked ships, with more than 300 crew members, being held hostage. Ransom payments are often as high as $2 million."

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