Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Somali Pirates (AYBABTU)

From left to right:
The Mechanic, The Gunner, The Cold-Blooded Killer / Right Hand Man, The Boss, The Driver, An Embedded NatGeo Photographer, The Inside Man (you can tell by his popped collar), and The Navigator.

The Cold-Blooded Killer's eyes send shivers down my spine. I love this photograph because they look like a team, kinda like Ocean's 11. I wonder how many boats they hijacked before being captured. Hopefully their stories of pirating on the red sea get written down.

On Tuesday these men were brought in, but the ship hijacking continued with a Hong Kong cargo ship and the 333-meter Sirius Star. The ships are hijacked in the Gulf of Aden from pirate 'mother ships' with the use of guns & grenades. Hijacked ships are then brought to the pirate den Harardhare, a town in Somalia's semi-autonomous northern Puntland region. From Google Earth Harardhare looks like an endless desert beach, but looks must be deceiving. According to Fox News, these are the ten most valuable ships still in pirate hands (November 19, 2008):

1. Sirius Star: Hijacked November 17
Cargo: 2 million barrels of oil, valued at $100 million

2. MV Karagol: Hijacked November 12
Cargo: 4,000 tons of chemicals

3. MV Stolt Strength: Hijacked November 10
Cargo: Phosphoric acid

4. CEC Future: Hijacked November 7
Cargo: Unknown (Uranium?)

5. MV Yasa Neslihan: Hijacked October 29
Cargo: Iron ore

6. MT African Sanderling: Hijacked October 15
Cargo: Unknown

7. MV Faina: Hijacked September 25
Cargo: 33 T-72 Russian battle tanks (!!)

8. MV Captain Stefanos: Hijacked September 21
Cargo: Unknown

9. Centauri: Hijacked September 18
Cargo: 17,000 tons of salt

10. MV Great Creation: Hijacked September 17
Cargo: Chemical fertilizer

Since January, at least 91 vessels have been attacked in the Gulf of Aden. Since then, both Indian and British naval ships have engaged pirates in combat and French commandos freed two nationals held by hijackers. What a romantic and adventurous life. The pirates probably view themselves as modern day Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich countries such as Saudi Arabia and bringing the wealth home.

AP Video concerning the pirates.

All your ship are belong to us...