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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Somali Pirates: "Shipping Industry dismisses reports of targeted Somali pirate attacks"

Following up media reports of a "London-based" spy network for Somali pirates (see here), more experts join in doubting that any sort network exists, as in the case of the ICC International Maritime Bureau in

Shipping Industry dismisses reports of targeted Somali pirate attacks:
The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB), in consultation with the International Chamber of Shipping, INTERTANKO and BIMCO, today dismissed a number of recent press reports claiming that pirates off the Somali coast target vessels in advance, allegedly making use of a network of international contacts.

Vessels attacked so far have included a range of vessel types from fishing boats and coastal dhows to bulk carriers and a supertanker. The vessels have been of many diverse flags, crewed by different nationalities, with various cargoes on board destined for a wide range of ports.

Pirates have even attempted to attack naval units mistakenly believing them to be merchant vessels. Pirates target vessels that are easy to board and in their vicinity. If an attack is successfully repelled they move on to another vessel. All the evidence indicates that these are primarily opportunistic crimes. The suggestion that vessels are targeted in advance using shore based intelligence is spurious.
That's not to say pirates are getting info on general ship movements or even on the location of military escort ships, but ....

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