Somali Pirates Trained in Soviet Union? You Betcha

21.05.09

Categorie: Africa, David Axe, Naval, Piracy, Training |

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by DAVID AXE

“Did the USSR give birth to Somali pirates,” a contributor to the U.S. Naval Institute’s blog asked yesterday. He quoted a story from Fairplay Shipping News claiming “a retired rear admiral of the Soviet navy reportedly admitted today that some Somali pirates had been trained at U.S.S.R. naval academies.”

We knew this already, sorta. Recall my story in the USNI’s Proceedings:

[Kenyan maritime unionist Abubaker] Omar described pirate networks as something akin to the West’s mafia. Resources are concentrated in the hands of a few senior bosses, each employing “capos” commanding bands of low-ranking pirates. The capos, Omar said, are former Somali army soldiers from before the civil war, when Somali troops trained in the Soviet Union. The capos and their subordinates operate from pirate enclaves in northern Somalia, especially in the town of Eyl. 

(Photo: French Navy)

Related:
Pirates Have Stingers? Probably Not …
NATO Frigate’s Pirate Catch-and-Release
Video: Navy, Coast Guard Grab Pirates
NATO Back in the Pirate-Fighting Business
Somali Insurgent’s Tips for Fighting Pirates
Coast Guard Issues Counter-Piracy Rules
A Negotiated End to Somali Piracy?
Navy Prison Ship Dodges Pirate Revenge
World Politics Review: Amateurish Foot Soldiers Belie Sophisticated Piracy Networks
Piracy War’s Unusual Friends, Tragic Victims

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8 Responses to “Somali Pirates Trained in Soviet Union? You Betcha”

  1. [...] Admiral Claims Pirates Trained in Russia. [...]

  2. 111 says:

    I am following up on the Admirals comments about pirates training in USSR(Ras Kamboni Brigades?). If you wish to chat more on this topic I can be reached at max1mos111@yahoo.com .

    My recent thinking is that Assab could have been for quite some time unnoticed the ground zero, core grass roots hardcore fundementalists As Shabaab moovements. They sound so similar in name as of such, this is where the recent weapons are spawning from for the universal jihadi core splinter elements in Africa from the recent planeloads of weapons from the Ras Kamboni Brigades.

    Money talks, bottom line(eventually if the Al Queda did not fund the weapons) Iran Syria, and the silent backers USSR will!).
    M
    ===================================================================
    http://www.aina.org/news/20090501102403.htm
    Terrorists and Pirates: An Alliance of Convenience
    ——————————————————————————–
    Posted GMT 5-1-2009 15:24:3
    ——————————————————————————–
    In his Salon.com article titled “Our Misguided Fight Against Somali Pirates,” John Feffer from the Institute for Policy Studies asks “Those teenage high-seas renegades are not about to team up with terrorists, so why is the U.S. military devoting so much attention to them?” While Freer is correct in pointing out that the pirates and terrorists are not ideological allies, it is a mistake to assume that the pirates are not willing to become valued business partners of radical Islamic terrorist groups including those linked to Al-Qaeda.

    Al-Shabaab, the Al-Qaeda affiliate labeled by the State Department as a terrorist organization, currently controls southern Somalia. The recent media attention given to the taking of an American cargo ship captain hostage and subsequent rescue will no doubt motivate this group to partner with pirates, if for no other reason than to try to steal some of the spotlight. Indeed, shortly following the incident, al-Shabaab claimed credit for firing mortars near a visiting U.S. congressman.

    Already, senior Al-Qaeda member Sa’id Ali Jabir Al-Khathim al-Shihri, has instructed his Somali allies to “increase your strikes against the crusaders at sea and in Djibouti.” Earlier in April, an al-Shabaab spokesperson praised the pirates, saying they were “protecting the coast against the enemies of Allah.” The leader of the Ras Kamboni Brigades, another radical Islamic group said to be linked to Al-Qaeda, said the pirates were “part of the Mujahideen” despite being “money-seekers.” Those that dismiss the possibility of a link between pirates and terrorists underestimate the forces of radical Islam’s ability to establish relationships of convenience, and underestimate the greed of pirates with a clear will to bypass principles for the sake of profit.

    At the Somali Piracy Conference on April 7, Ambassador David H. Shinn conceded there was “no evidence that piracy is directly linked to international terrorism, although many Somali groups get a cut of the ransom money.” Citing Jane’s Intelligence Review, Shinn explained that the two forces cooperate on arms smuggling, and the pirates are reportedly helping al-Shabaab develop maritime capabilities.

    While the relationship is based on business and not ideology, it doesn’t make it any less beneficial to al-Shabaab. He says that they sometimes receive a “protection fee of 5 to 10 percent of the ransom money. If al-Shabab helps to train the pirates, it might receive 20 percent and up to 50 percent if it finances the piracy operation.”

    Andrew Mwangura, the head of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme, has also said such a link exists. He told Reuters in August that “According to our information, the money they make from piracy and ransoms goes to support al-Shabaab activities onshore.”

  3. [...] Related: Somali Pirates Trained in the Soviet Union? You Betcha Pirates Have Stingers? Probably Not … NATO Frigate’s Pirate Catch-and-Release Video: Navy, Coast Guard Grab Pirates NATO Back in the Pirate-Fighting Business Somali Insurgent’s Tips for Fighting Pirates Coast Guard Issues Counter-Piracy Rules A Negotiated End to Somali Piracy? Navy Prison Ship Dodges Pirate Revenge World Politics Review: Amateurish Foot Soldiers Belie Sophisticated Piracy Networks No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  4. 111 says:

    Word!

  5. 111 says:

    Shall we backtrack to Venezuella and Georgia to fill in some more blanks… T-130′ish…

  6. [...] Related: Dilbert Does Somali Pirates Coast Guard: Secret Weapon in the War on Piracy Nigerian Crew Outwits Somali Pirates Sam Jackson to Portray Mysterious Kenyan Piracy Expert Somali Pirates Trained in the Soviet Union? You Betcha Pirates Have Stingers? Probably Not … NATO Frigate’s Pirate Catch-and-Release Video: Navy, Coast Guard Grab Pirates NATO Back in the Pirate-Fighting Business Somali Insurgent’s Tips for Fighting Pirates No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  7. [...] Related: After Rain Break, Somali Piracy Set to Return Dilbert Does Somali Pirates Coast Guard: Secret Weapon in the War on Piracy Nigerian Crew Outwits Somali Pirates Sam Jackson to Portray Mysterious Kenyan Piracy Expert Somali Pirates Trained in the Soviet Union? You Betcha Pirates Have Stingers? Probably Not … NATO Frigate’s Pirate Catch-and-Release Video: Navy, Coast Guard Grab Pirates NATO Back in the Pirate-Fighting Business Somali Insurgent’s Tips for Fighting Pirates No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  8. [...] Admiral Claims Pirates Trained in Russia. [...]

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