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U.S. State Deptartment reports steep decline in Somali piracy operations

Sept. 23, 2012, masked Somali pirate Abdi Ali walks past a Taiwanese fishing vessel that washed up on shore after the pirates were paid a ransom and released the crew.  /AP

Special to WorldTribune.com WASHINGTON — Somali-based piracy has continued its decline. The United States and European Union have reported a drop in piracy operations both in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea in 2013. Officials said pirates, who still hold 49 hostages, failed to hijack any vessel off the coast of Somalia since May 2012. [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Africa,Exclusives,Somalia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence | Read More »

U.S. drone strike said to have killed senior Al Qaida leader in Somalia

Shebab members in Somalia.  /Feisal Omar/Reuters

Special to WorldTribune.com CAIRO — The United States has renewed unmanned aerial vehicle strikes against Al Qaida in Somalia. Officials said a senior Al Qaida operative was killed in a U.S. unmanned aerial strike in southern Somalia. The officials said the strike marked the renewal of combat UAV operations against the Al Qaida-aligned Shebab movement. [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Africa,Exclusives,Somalia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

Al Qaida network Shebab in Somalia kills its own leaders

Shebab fighters train near Mogadishu.  /AP

Special to WorldTribune.com CAIRO — The Al Qaida network in Somalia has killed its commanders. The Shebab movement said it killed two commanders. One of the commanders was identified as Ibrahim Mead, the founder of Shebab, linked to Al Qaida. “We have informed their widows of their deaths, as they must now wear the clothes [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Africa,Exclusives,Somalia,Top Stories | Read More »

Somali pirates upgrade operations with satellite communications, extend range

"are flexible and can quickly adapt to new strategies."

Special to WorldTribune.com MOSCOW — Somali pirates are said to have enhanced their combat skills in attacks in the Arabian and Red Seas. A leading Russian commander said Somali pirates have been equipped with modern weapons and communications to sustain operations amid the deployment of an international task force based in the Gulf of Aden. [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Mideast,Newsletter,Russia,Somalia,Terrorism,Top Stories | Read More »

EU expects Gulf piracy attacks to increase

The flagships of the three main anti-piracy forces off Somalia in the Gulf of Aden. From left: the Korean frigate Wang Geon, the FS Marne and the Dutch frigate Evertsen.

Special to WorldTribune.com ABU DHABI — Western navies expect an end to the current lull in piracy operations in the Gulf. The European Union has braced for the resurgence of piracy operations from Somalia. The EU has deployed surface warships in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea. “In the last year to six months, piracy [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Italy,Mideast,Somalia,Terrorism,Top Stories | Read More »

Somali pirates eye oil tanker ‘jackpot’ in Strait of Hormuz

The Strait of Hormuz is the passageway for over a third of the world's oil tanker traffic

Special to WorldTribune.com ABU DHABI — Somali pirates have expanded operations in the Gulf. Industry sources said Somali pirate vessels were moving north from the Arabian Sea to the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for 40 percent of global crude oil shipments. The sources said the operations reflected greater capability by the pirates as well [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Iran,Mideast,Somalia,Top Stories,UAE | Read More »

EU launches air strikes against Somali pirates after hijacking of tanker

A pirate commander told the Associated Press the EU raid destroyed speed boats, fuel depots and an arms store.  /AP

Special to WorldTribune.com LONDON — In an unprecedented move, the European Union has directed air strikes against Somalia. The EU said a range of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft attacked the Somali coast in search of pirates. The EU said the May 15 operation, in which no casualties were reported, took place in the Somali region [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Somalia,Top Stories | Read More »

Somali pirates hijack first oil tanker near Oman in over a year

Somali pirates boarded the MT Smyrni while it was sailing in the Arabian Sea on May 10.

Special to WorldTribune.com ABU DHABI — Despite international naval patrols, Somali piracy continues in the Gulf region. Somali pirates hijacked an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea 630 kilometers from the coast of Oman on May 10. The Liberian-flagged Smyrni, operated by a Greek company, was carrying 135,000 tons of oil and said to have [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Greece,Mideast,Somalia,Terrorism,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

How to solve the piracy scourge? Lethal force seems to work best

Pirates leave a merchant vessel for the Somali shore, while under observation by a U.S. Navy ship, Oct. 8, 2008.  /Jason R. Zalasky/U.S. Navy/Reuters

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — There’s been a significant drop in ship seizures and hijackings by Somali pirates in the troubled waters off East Africa. Despite last year’s spike in piracy with 28 vessels captured in the first half of 2011, there were only three ships seized in the second half of the year [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,Great Britain,John Metzler,Somalia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

Piracy still a thrivng business in Somalia, backed by international financiers

The Danish navy vessel Absalon rescued 14 Iranian and Pakistani hostages from a pirate ship, above, off the Somali coast on Jan. 7.  /Jens Damhoj/Danish Navy via EPA

Special to WorldTribune.com WASHINGTON — Despite a sharp drop in the success rate, hundreds of Somalis continue to engage in piracy in the Red Sea and Gulf. A senior U.S. official said hundreds of Somalis continue to be employed as pirates and target merchant vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Thomas Kelly, [...]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Life,Mideast,Somalia,Stateside,Terrorism,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

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