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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Newest ONI World Wide Threat to Shipping Report to 13 July 05

For latest Office of Naval Intelligence World Wide Threat to Shipping Report go here and click on the date
Hightlights: A warning to commercial shipping in the Northern Arabian Gulf
Despite Coalition presence, pirates
operating in the Northern Arabian Gulf, in the vicinity of the deep-
water anchorages south of the Al Basra oil terminal, continue to
boldly rob large merchant vessels. Vessels operating in this area
should not be lulled into a false sense of security by Coalition
presence and employ the anti-piracy precautions required of piracy
prone areas (ONI-13 Jul).


More details on the M/V Semlow seizure (that the captured World Food Program ship:
SOMALIA: The general cargo ship (SEMLOW) was hijacked
26 Jun while underway in position 04:47.6N, 048:12.0E, off Hobyo.
Hijackers are demanding $500,000 to free the vessel and ten
crewmen. The vessel was under charter of the UN World Food
Program (WFP) and is carrying 850 MT of rice, donated by Japan
and Germany, destined for Bossaso, Somalia. On 12 Jul, the UN WFP
director warned the pirates that if the vessel, crew, and cargo were
not released within 48 hours, then the WFP would blacklist the area
of Haradheere and Hobyo for the next 10 years. Mohamed Abdi
Hassan, the leader of the group holding the vessel, denied they
were demanding ransom but rather simply guarding the seas against
illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste, and impounded the vessel
because of improper documentation. ONI NOTE: This is likely the
same militia group responsible for the attempted boarding of M/V
(TIMBUCK) and successful hijacking of a LPG tanker back in April
(see 20 Apr ONI Worldwide Threat to Shipping report paragraphs 5.H.3
and 5.H.4). After 18 days of captivity, the LPG tanker and crew were
released unharmed upon receipt of ransom payment. All vessels
should heed the IMB warning to stay as far away as practical from the
eastern coast of Somalia, particularly in the area off Haradheere and
Hobyo.

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