After a lull in business during the first months of 2009, Somalia’s increasingly brazen pirates expect to be back in the money with nearly half a dozen foreign vessels captured in the last week alone.
Towns acting as pirate bases along Somalia’s Indian Ocean coastline have come back to life, with locals rubbing their hands at a cash bonanza anticipated from ransoms.
“We can smell the cash near,” said Yassin Dheere, a former fisherman who has become a wealthy financier of piracy based in the coastal village of Eyl.
The only thing these guys should smell is the exhaust of a Harpoon anti-ship missile. The last thing they should hear is rumors of a (very unofficial) take-no-prisoners policy.
Other than the “unofficial” part and some nifty technological advances, this is pretty much exactly how the US and Royal navies put a stop to piracy in the 19th Century.
The 21st Century version will have to be nicer, because we couldn’t possibly offend the main beneficiaries of our actions (ie, the rest of the world) by letting them criticize an official no-prisoners attitude. But it would also be cooler, because, let’s be honest here, there are few things more satisfying than launching missiles at barbarians.