• Africa,  State Building

    Somali Government Agrees, or Not, to US Navy Help

    From the State Department Briefing of April 18: QUESTION:  Apparently, the Somali Government has given the U.S. Navy permission to patrol its waters for pirates.  I just wondered whether you had any details on this.  There seemed to be kind of conflicting reports coming out of the region.  There was also this story last November where a U.S. company, Bobcats — was it Bobcats?  Or Top Cat, sorry.  Top Cat Marine Security was given this big contract to fight piracy.  I just wondered where the U.S. Navy fitted in with this and was the embassy involved in trying to negotiate a deal. MR. MCCORMACK:  I’ll look into it for you,…

  • State Building

    A Primer on Pirates

    "Combating piracy takes good intelligence. The authors also offer this warning: Piracy "has never been reduced through any process of negotiation." Historically, only armed force suppresses pirates."

  • Africa,  War

    US Navy captures Somali ‘Pirate’

    The BBC reports the USS Winston S. Churchill captured a Somali pirate ship. This followed a report of piracy in the area. Notable about the BBC report is, in addition to the standard background, was the fact the are still referencing the Top Cat Marine Security contract to provide anti-piracy services, implying it is current (a few weeks back the BBC reported TopCat was “in mobilization” for the gig). What about the US Navy being the world maritime police?

  • State Building

    Maritime Terrorism Threat

    News background from 12 December 2005 and a PINR questioning the threat from Maritime terrorism: In October 2000, al-Qaeda carried out an attack on the U.S. Navy destroyer the USS Cole while it was anchored in Aden Harbor in Yemen. Shortly before noon, two suicide bombers approached the USS Cole in an explosive-laden speed boat and detonated it along the port side of the vessel. The blast tore open the Cole’s steel hull and killed 17 members of the crew. Two years later, the MV Limburg was the target. The super-tanker was attacked in the Gulf of Aden as it approached Yemen’s Ash Shihr oil terminal. Again, a small boat…