Somalia And The World’s Pirate Problem

Somali Pirates. Four Americans dead. Now a Danish sailboat with seven aboard hijacked. How to deal with a bolder and more violent piracy.

French warship FS Nivose with Somali pirate skiffs off the Somali coast on Friday March 5, 2010. (AP /EU NAVFOR)

French warship FS Nivose with Somali pirate skiffs off the Somali coast on Friday March 5, 2010. (AP /EU NAVFOR)

The pirates of Somalia just get bolder. Deep in the Indian Ocean now. Far off the Horn of Africa. All over the sea lanes that feed the vital Suez canal. They’re taking yachts. We all know of the four Americans who died in pirate country. Now it’s a Danish family, grabbed. They take oil tankers. Two million barrels of Kuwaiti crude worth $200 million in one attack last month. They’re holding maybe 800 sailors to ransom. Fifty vessels. And they’re killing.

This hour On Point: the fierce challenge of Somalia’s pirates. Plus we get the latest from the Libyan revolution.

– Tom Ashbrook


Jeffrey Gettleman, East Africa bureau chief for the New York Times.

Roger Middleton, consultant researcher for the Africa Program at Chatham House and author of the briefing paper “Piracy in Somalia: Threatening Global Trade, Feeding Local War.”

E.J. Hogendoorn, Horn of Africa project director at the International Crisis Group.

Martin Fletcher, associate editor for the Times of London.  He is currently reporting from Tripoli, Libya.


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