by DAVID AXE
In September, NATO Commodore Steve Chick told me that Somali piracy in the Gulf of Aden was on the decline, big time. From July to September 2008, there were 17 hijackings on the Gulf of Aden. During the same period this year, there were just three. At the same time, Chick warned against “underestimating the pirates.” True to his warning, Somali pirates have surged in recent days, seizing two vessels in the Gulf of Aden and another 1,000 miles away in the Indian Ocean.
One of the Gulf of Aden captures took place “just minutes after sunset,” according to Galrahn. That marks one of the first nighttime hijackings by Somali pirates. The shift to night operations, and the increasing range of pirate attacks, are worrying. A year ago, analyst Martin Murphy told me pirates were getting “oceanographically smarter, learning to strike at night and use captured trawlers as “motherships” to extend their range deep into the Indian Ocean.
(Photo: David Axe)
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