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🧊Spiritual Ice 🧊

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Bulat Kondratyev
Bulat Kondratyev

The Pirates Of Somalia

Bahadur secures support from local people and flies to the civil war-torn country. Through his translator Abdi, he manages to establish contacts with the local Somali pirates and to interview them. He gets increasingly interested in studying an organization of Somali pirates. In order to fulfill this dream, Bahadur continues his investigation, finding himself more and more in danger, and is eventually carried along by the maelstrom of events.

The Pirates of Somalia

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Their success has global consequences. Between 2005 and 2012, more than 3,740 crewmembers from 125 countries fell prey to Somali pirates, and as many as 97 died. On the Somali side, the number of pirates lost at sea is believed to be in the hundreds. The ransom extracted during that period rose to as much as $385 million. Piracy also hurts trade, as shippers are forced to alter trading routes and pay more for fuel and insurance premiums, costing the world economy $18 billion a year, the study estimates. Since 2006, tourism and fish catches, as well as other outputs from coastal commerce, have declined in neighboring countries in East Africa.

He spent three months in Puntland, the semi-autonomous region in Somalia that's home to the modern buccaneers. But his first interview in Somalia ended early, when one of the country's most notorious pirates, Boyah, left to pursue a fix of khat, the leafy stimulant that's the drug of choice for pirates. Before he left, though, Boyah described how he went from fisherman to pirate, after the reefs where he used to hunt lobster were destroyed by foreign trawlers.

Boyah liked to claim to be responsible for the hijacking of 25 to 60 ships, "which I think is an absolutely ridiculous number," says Bahadur. Like much of the information coming out of the mouths of pirates, he says, "it's a bit exaggerated," though Boyah certainly hijacked some number of ships.

The Somali pirates don't call themselves pirates. They prefer badaadinta badah, or "saviors of the sea." It's a good PR angle for the pirates, says Bahadur, and there's a small element of truth to it.

In September, the hijacking of the Ukrainian tank transport ship MV Faina had made headlines around the world. The ship loaded with Soviet-made tanks and other weapons en route to the Sudan had been captured by Somalian pirates and was surrounded by a task force of warships, mainly American. (Five months later, after a $3.2 million ransom was paid, the ship and its crew were released.)

While Bahadur was in the country, several hijacked ships were anchored off the coast. He tried to get aboard the German-owned freighter MV Victoria, but was denied access. He was able to interview the hijackers and later traveled to Romania to interview the crew once they were released after the owners paid the $1.8 million ransom. He gives a fascinating blow-by-blow of the hijacking, even including a "Freakonomics" chapter breaking down the costs of the venture, determining that the individual pirates actually made very little.

Meanwhile, things have changed somewhat in the piracy arena. Violence has escalated and the price is going up. In 2009, the U.S. Navy increased its presence, killing three pirates after the hijacking of the MV Maersk Alabama, "the first U.S. merchant ship to be commandeered in 200 years."

While a South Korean oil tanker was ransomed for a record-setting $9.5 million in 2010, early this year Korean commandos took back another tanker, rescuing its crew and killing eight pirates. And a few weeks later, four American hostages were killed in an attempt to free their captured sailboat.

United Nations monitoring reports on arms smuggling in the Horn of Africa have pointed to evidence that pirate gangs have established relations with corrupt officials of the Puntland government. They bribe port officials to allow the pirates to use Eyl and other ports as their bases of operation, and to bring some of their captured ships in for safekeeping while the pirates negotiate ransoms with the ships' owners.

There is also evidence that expatriate Somalis living in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and throughout the Persian Gulf may be feeding information to the pirates about ships that have docked in those regions and may be heading toward the Gulf of Aden and other pirate-infested areas.

"There may be some loose elements among the Islamist groups that have tie-ups with the pirates, because the movement is fractured into six or seven different groups, and each may have its own problems getting funding," says Jhazbhay.

More than 90 ships have been attacked off the coast of Somalia this year. Seventeen ships remain in the hands of Somali pirates. The Saudi owners of the Sirius Star, the oil tanker taken Nov. 15, are reportedly in contact with the pirates, possibly to negotiate the release of the ship, its crew, and the estimated $110 million cargo of crude oil.

Evan Peters and his fake beard might be in trouble in The Pirates of Somalia trailer. In the drama inspired by a true story, Peters plays a journalist who hopes to investigate Somali pirates, only to get more than he bargained for. The new film from The Bronze director Bryan Buckley also stars a very sleepy looking Al Pacino and Captain Phillips break-out Barkhad Abdi.

Al Pacino hasn't been in many movies lately, but the acclaimed actor makes a sleepy appearance in The Pirates of Somalia trailer. Pacino plays idol to a rookie journalist played by Evan Peters. After Peters meets his hero, he's inspired to go in pursuit of a big story. That story involves tracking Somali pirates, which quickly results in Peters' character getting in over his head. Here's the trailer:

When rookie journalist Jay Bahadur (Evan Peters) has an inspiring chance encounter with his idol (Al Pacino), he uproots his life and moves to Somalia looking for the story of a lifetime. Hooking up with a local fixer (Barkhad Abdi), he attempts to embed himself with the local Somali pirates, only to find himself quickly in over his head. The Pirates of Somalia tells the incredible true story of one reporter's risk-taking adventure that ultimately brought the world an unprecedented first-person account of Somali Pirates the first close-up look into Somalia's rich culture.

The Pirates of Somalia is based on a true story, as chronicled in the book The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World by Jay Bahadur. Bahadur was one of the first journalists to actually spend time with Somali pirates, spending weeks in their company. Through a series of connections, Bahadur received unprecedented access to the pirates. "In some places, like the coastal area, the pirates were more jittery and nervous," the author told The Christian Science Monitor. "A leader of one of the gangs there told people that I was CIA and that they shouldn't talk to me."

The pirates of Somalia transformed this into a sophisticated business venture that makes use of modern technology and global positioning devices to track their next prey. Since the 1990s, many ships passing through the area began to arm themselves and hired private security. Also, several shipping companies even signed contracts with criminal gangs and pirates, cementing the roots of Somali piracy in the Indian ocean.

Somalia has not had an effective central government for almost two decades now. The weak government is battling insurgency to secure the capital and is preoccupied with internal wars and foreign lands waging a proxy war. The pirates in Somalia handle the most influential institutions in the country. They reinvest the ransom money procured from hijacking and piracy to plan out their next move. They effectively outmuscle the regional government and offer a glimmer of hope to the unemployed youth of Somalia by paying them handsomely for aiding them in piracy. Piracy in Somalia is expected to grow drastically in the years to come.

If the root cause of this piracy is not tackled very soon, Somalia will become a country of pirates and a radical state. Radicalism cannot be rooted out by military force, but the hearts and minds of the youngsters should be won by educating them, providing them with a source of income and making them a part of the mainstream society.

Since the 1990s, piracy has risen in Somalia due to weak government, political instability, lack of education and public healthcare measures which forced common people, including unemployed youth and fishermen, to become a part of criminal gangs and pirates to earn some money supporting their livelihoods.

As the name suggests, commercial vessels and cargo carriers carry goods for consumption. They do not have weapons to protect themselves from pirate ships laden with modern weaponry. Anti-piracy tactics focus on preventing the pirates from boarding the ship in the first place.

Turning pirates into Coast Guard? You are nieve if you think you can put a uniform on a criminal and think they will act as a good law enforcement officer. The Somali people may have had a hard time due to their own ignorance and overpopulation but that is not the fault of the rest of the world and it does not give them the right to kidnap and kill innocent people in international waters. If they can not live in harmony with the rest of the world then I say to hell with them. Sink all there boats. Bomb there cities. Destroy all life on their coast. The world has been trying to give them aid for years and it does not work. They take our aid and spit in our face.

Honestly, the fact that any of you think that the pirates are wrong makes you crazy. They should be turned in to a full blown Somali Navy to protect their waters against foreign polluters and to protect Somali fishermen and tradesmen. Somalia should tax foreign countries for entering their waters and use the money to employ the a Somali Navy.

Soon to be a major motion picture The first close-up look at the hidden world of Somali pirates by a young journalist who dared to make his way into their remote havens and spent a year infiltrating their lives. For centuries, stories of pirates have captured imaginations around the world. The recent ragtag bands of pirates off the coast of Somalia, hijacking multimillion-dollar tankers owned by international shipping conglomerates, have brought the scourge of piracy into the modern era. Jay Bahadur's riveting narrative exposé--the first of its kind--looks at who these men are, how they live, the forces that created piracy in Somalia, how the pirates spend the ransom money, how they deal with their hostages, among much, much more. It is a revelation of a dangerous world at the epicenter of political and natural disaster. 041b061a72


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