There has been a recent spate of piracy along the Red Sea, which caused considerable disruption to oil transportation routes from Middle East to the rest of the world. The acts drew worldwide condemnation of the pirates, who were portrayed as uneducated thugs who would sooner have caused trouble on land if not at sea. So I was rather surprised when AFP managed to catch hold of a pirate who was in the midst of hijacking some Saudi tanker, and actually coaxed some gems out of the pirate himself.
"We are the Shebab of the sea and we can't be scared of the Shebab of the land. Every Somali has great respect for the holy kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We have nothing against them but unfortunately what happened was just business for us and I hope the Saudis will understand."--Mohamed Said, pirate
How thoughtfully worded. So the hijacks were simply unfortunate incidents which he would rather not have happened but for the economic circumstances of the day. And for a moment, I could just imagine him whipping his fellow pirates into a gleeful song and dance with "We are the Shebabs of the Sea!" These pirates must be delightful company.
And some of the hijacks have turned up interesting returns. A cargo of Ukrainian tanks and missiles bound for Sudan insurgencies have been recovered from the pirates by the US Navy, but that would only mean that the arms smugglers are now cleared to continue their illicit business. "I certainly won't speculate on where they might end up," 5th Fleet spokesman Lieutenant Nathan Christensen says. "We want this to end as peacefully as possible." An absurd job on murky waters, these US Navy law enforcers on the Red Sea.