Somali pirates back to their old ways again
MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) - Undeterred by U.S. and French hostage rescues that killed seven bandits, Somali pirates brazenly hijacked three more ships in the Gulf of Aden, the key waterway that's become the focal point of the world's fight against piracy.It won't be a rare tactic if allied forces allow this to continue.
The latest trophy for the pirates was the M.V. Irene E.M., a Greek-managed bulk carrier sailing from the Middle East to South Asia, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.
The Irene was attacked and seized in the middle of the night Tuesday - a rare tactic for the pirates.
U.S. Navy Lt. Nathan Christensen, spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said the Irene was flagged in the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and carried 23 Filipino crew. Choong reported a crew of 21, and there was no immediate way to reconcile the figures.
The AP, however, is also making sure to apologize for the pirates, seeing how another related article of theirs bears the headline "Pirates seen as not interested in raising violence". Excuse me? Just what did Congressman Don Payne almost encounter?
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - Assailants fired mortar shells at the Mogadishu airport as a plane carrying an American congressman took off Monday, officials said. The plane departed safely, but 19 Somalis were reported wounded in surrounding residential areas.Now this may have been land-based, but it's still the same thing - a terrorist attack. Exactly what the "pirates" were conducting.
U.S. Rep. Don Payne, who met with Somalia's top leaders during his one-day visit, said that he had no idea of the violence until reaching Kenya after the flight from Mogadishu, one of the most dangerous cities in the world and rarely visited by foreign travelers.
"We found out when we arrived in Nairobi," the chairman of the House subcommittee on Africa told The Associated Press. He said that the aircraft noise probably drowned out the sound of the mortars.
The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility in a posting on a militant Web site, saying it launched the mortar barrage after learning of Payne's visit, according to the terrorism monitoring group SITE.
While we're on the subject, McClatchy is also going the apologia route (Hat tip: Hot Air):
Vice Adm. William Gortney, commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, in a briefing for reporters, said U.S. Navy SEAL snipers perched at the back of the USS Bainbridge — a guided-missile destroyer floating about 30 yards off the 28-foot lifeboat where Phillips was being held — opened fire on the pirates when one of them pointed an AK-47 rifle at Phillips’s back…Are they implying that the terrorist pirates were shot in cold blood while in the midst of trying to surrender? Some way to thank the navy for their brave efforts to rescue a man whose life was in danger. A little further down the article, it says:
According to Somalis with knowledge of the discussions, the pirates, who at one time had demanded $2 million for Phillips’s release, had grown desperate with their situation — adrift under a searing sun in waters infested with sharks, staring at two massive Navy ships armed with guided missiles, running low on fuel and having spent their ammunition.
A relative of one of the pirates, who said he spoke with the men by satellite phone at about 3 p.m. — four hours before the Navy opened fire — said they “were getting scared” and trying to persuade the Americans to let them go in return for the captain’s release.
“They were trying to save their own lives,” said the relative, Hassan Mohammed Farah, speaking by phone from Haradheere, a coastal town in central Somalia where pirates are known to operate. “The only thing they could bargain with was the captain, but the Americans would not accept.”
The only real deterrence for pirates, who netted tens of millions of dollars in ransoms last year, according to independent experts, is the threat of force. But military interventions often don't end as well as the U.S. operation. On Friday French forces swooped in to release a captured yacht and one of the five French hostages was killed in a firefight with pirates.As can be told from that, those pirates were certainly armed. In any case, I'm not sorry for any of the terrorists who lost their worthless lives. They caused trouble, taking innocent people hostage and got what they deserved. McClatchy and the AP should be throughly ashamed of themselves for trying to downplay the evil of the terrorists.