Somali Pirates are now losing

by H. Thomas Hayden on February 18, 2013

The targets of Somali pirates are taking countermeasures and the number of ship hijacking has dropped dramatically.

According the UK based “The Economist,” from the International Maritime Bureau, the number of attacks off the Horn of Africa dropped from 236 in 2011 to around 72 in 2012.

Now a private navy is giving the pirates cause for pause.

A company called Typhoon will use a mother ship to accompany convoys of merchant vessels. With over 60 armed men on board, the ship will deploy speed boats to cover the commercial ships. There is even talk of using small drones to check Somali “fishing vessels.”

The owner of Typhoon, Anthony Sharp, thinks that this will be cheaper and more legal than putting armed guards on the civilian vessels. Sharp and his mostly British ex-military guards, plan to have three large ships soon and more by 2016 to help the transient vessels.

French commandoes failed in a raid in Somali to rescue a French man held by the Al Shabaab hostage takers since 2009. A second commando has died according to photos posted by Al Shabaaban Al Qaeda affiliate.

The insurgent group also said it had made a decision on the fate of hostage Denis Allex and that a message conveying its verdict would be forthcoming. France says it believes Allex was killed during the rescue

CNN) reports that the retirement of the pirate leader Mohamed Abdi Hassan, also known as “Afweyne,” has generated much media coverage, but the real significance of his announcement is the indication it gives of how Somalia’s pirates currently view their business model. It appears that hijacking vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden is no longer seen as a relatively risk-free affair.

We shall see.

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