UPDATES x 2: Somali pirates seek revenge on French and Americans


Acting on Presidential authority to kill Somali pirates only if Capt. Richard Phillips were in “imminent danger”**, a US commander made that very call, and snipers simultaneously nailed three of the four pirates on the lifeboat.


**UPDATE APRIL 13th: Blackfive has the skinny from yesterday on how the rescue went down. What was also of interest is that Blackfive also states that the reporting that POTUS Obama, giving the order to use military force for the rescue is misleading.

The officials say Obama ordered the Defense Department to use military resources to rescue Richard Phillips from a lifeboat off the Somali coast.

He did affirm the military’s authorization to use force if the captain’s life was in danger, but they already would have had that authorization as part of their standard rules of engagement. If there are innocents about to be slaughtered the same reasoning that authorizes self defense also covers an imminent execution unless the ROE specifically forbid it.The AP is making it sound like there was an active rescue ordered by the President. It was not, there was an imminent threat and the local commander gave the order to fire. Good on Obama for ensuring their authorization was clear, but let’s also be clear that he did not authorize or order an active rescue attempt.

Certainly if this ability to use force to save innocents in “imminent danger” is already the norm for ROE, then the POTUS is to be congratulated for not giving a specific order countermanding that policy – or asking the military to stand down. In which case, his blessing for a rescue may have been a moot point in the scheme of things, as it was the expected path of procedures. I’m personally not up on this military protocol, so I’ll leave any further commentary to the experts genuinely in the know. END UPDATE


According to a FOX news report I just heard, one sniper had a clear head shot of one pirate thru the lifeboat window, and the other two were catching some air thru the opening.

“They were pointing the AK-47s at the captain,” Vice Adm. William Gortney, head of the U.S. Naval Central Command, said in a Pentagon briefing from Bahrain.

Gortney also said Washington had rejected ransom negotiations with the pirates. “The United States government’s policy is to not negotiate,” he said.

But he said military members had been in hostage talks with the pirate crew, and the talks grew “heated” before the commander on the scene ordered the shots that killed three pirates holding Phillips in a lifeboat.

“If he was not in imminent danger, they were not supposed to take this sort of action, they were supposed to let the negotiation process work it out,” Gortney said.

“The on-scene commander took it as the captain was in imminent danger and then made that decision (to kill the pirates), and he had the authorities to make that decision, and he had seconds to make that decision.”

“Our authorities came directly from the president. And the number one authority for incidents, if we were going to respond, was if the captain’s life was in immediate danger,” Gortney said.

Bravo to Bainbridge Commander, Frank Castellano, on the split second call and assuming responsibility… and huge kudos to American sniper accuracy.


A US Navy handout photo shows Maersk Alabama captain Richard Phillips standing alongside commander Frank Castellano (L), commanding officer of USS Bainbridge after being rescued by US Naval forces off the coast of Somalia. Photograph: US Navy/EPA

But while the family and Americans celebrate Phillips safe return, and the rest of the Maersk Alabama crew arrives at it’s Kenyan destination without further incidents, the Somali pirates are steaming, promising revenge.

Somali pirates threatened revenge on Sunday after two separate hostage-rescue raids by foreign forces killed at least five comrades, raising fears of future bloodshed on the high seas.

The latest raid by U.S. forces on Sunday that saved an American hostage and one by France last week have upped the stakes in shipping lanes off the anarchic Horn of Africa nation where buccaneers have defied foreign naval patrols.

“The French and the Americans will regret starting this killing. We do not kill, but take only ransom. We shall do something to anyone we see as French or American from now,” Hussein, a pirate, told Reuters by satellite phone.

“We cannot know how or whether our friends on the lifeboat died, but this will not stop us from hijacking,” he said.


UPDATE APRIL 13TH: CNN reports today any French or American captives in future hostages will be killed.

The pirates told a Somali journalist that they were angered by the U.S. action, as well as a French raid Friday that killed two pirates and one hostage and freed four hostages.

“We have decided to kill U.S. and French sailors if they happen to be among our future hostages,” said Abdullahi Ahmed, a member of a pirate group based at Harardhere, a coastal town in central Somalia.



While hostages have proven to be lucrative business, fetching top dollar, heretofore brutal treatment by the pirates was confined to beatings. Most certainly, the stakes have been raised now that pirates know the French and Americans will indeed act with force when given the chance.

As I mentioned in my post a couple of days ago, the unusual chain of events leading to this escalation may burst the bubble on previous tolerance towards piracy… altering the playbook for both pirates, and ships under assault, forever.

“The pirates will know from now that anything can happen. The French are doing this, the Americans are doing it. Things will be more violent from now on,” said Andrew Mwangura of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers Assistance Programme.

“This is a big wake-up to the pirates. It raises the stakes.”


“Killing three out of thousands of pirates will only escalate piracy,” said Sheikh Abdullahi Sheikh Abu Yusuf, spokesman of the moderate Islamist group Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca.

Considering that Osama bin Laden has been focusing his thrust on Somalia in his latest video tape call to jihad, one has to wonder what else it will escalate. Yusef from Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca’s warnings are noted since they can be considered the “good guys”…. sorta… to the more hardline, AQ affiliated Al Shabaab Muslim organization in Somalia. The two groups have been warring for control of various cities, with Al Shabaab beheading two sheiks in late March – days after OBL’s call for jihad, advocating violent overthrow of the moderate Islamic President, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed.

Thus far, there is no evidence of the Somali pirates being an official, or unofficial arm of the global jihad movements harbored in Somalia. But one has to wonder – former fishermen turned pirates constantly need arms and speedboats to continue to finesse their operation. They have lots of cash. So who are these “fishermen” go to people when purchasing their pirate supplies? Somehow, I’m pretty sure it’s not the local bait shop…

Yes, the rules have changed. And if ships flying American or French flags haven’t been armed before, they may consider doing that now. Both are in the pirates’ sights. Why can’t the crew function both as a crew, plus be given self-defense/anti-piracy/weapons training (as was case of the crew of the Maersk Alabama)?. Why have a separate security contractor? If the ship is under assault, surely some of the crew can function as a defense unit while others perform ship defensive maneuvers.

One thing is certain. This particular battle is over, and a new one is about to begin. Because vengeful pirates also have nefarious friends who supply their arms… and it could be those that see this as an additional chance to assail Americans, French and westerners in general.


Below, a video of the USS Bainbridge DDG 96 Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in action… with a a H/T to Boston Maggie. The Bainbridge was commissioned just a few years ago, on Nov 12th, 2005. This ol’ former Navy wife is proud as punch!

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Job well done!! I’m so stoked right now. This is a fantastic Easter. I’m tremendously proud of our military and our Commander in Chief. Tomorrow we can get back to the political posturing. But today we all feel proud to be Americans. Happy Easter Americans!!

The French and the Americans will regret starting this killing. We do not kill, but take only ransom. We shall do something to anyone we see as French or American from now,” Hussein, a pirate, told Reuters by satellite phone.

What Hussein and his merry band of buccaneers need to be made to understand is that “blowback” is what happened to them today for “taking only ransom”.

This is the wrong way to do business with pirates:

That the attacks are increasing should come as little surprise. In an interview with Der Spiegel last week, Germany ship owner Niels Stolberg admitted that his Bremen-based firm, Beluga Shipping GmbH, paid $1.1 million earlier this month to recover its $23 milllion freighter, the Antigua and Barbuda-registered BBC Trinidad, which had been hijacked while carrying pipes and other oil equipment from Houston, Texas, to Muscat, Oman. With ship owners willing to pay ransoms of more than $1 million for the release of their hijacked vessels, Somali piracy in increasing in both frequency and sophistication. Not only are the attacks the most lucrative economic activity in Somalia these days, but the pirates are using at least part of the ransoms they have collecting to upgrade their arsenals in the hopes of landing even larger maritime prizes. The authoritative shipping paper of record, Lloyd’s List, warned last week that “ransom paid to pirate raiders off Somalia could spiral to $50 million this year, fueling copy cat attacks.”

This type of silly juvenile crap from these dumbass low-IQ pirates will be their downfall.

Maybe they believe they can “out-aggressive” the americans under Obama or the hapless euros, but if they screw with the russians or chinese, we’ll just slaughter them wholesale, the more we kill the better. Maybe bomb their port???? Why not kill a few tens of thousands of these Somalis, just to teach them a lesson??? Bombing their ships while in port would be ideal.

“We don’t kill, we just do ransom???” Boy are these midgets dumb. So if no ransom is paid, then what??? You take hostage, means we must kill you already. In the mainland and many parts of SEAsia, the death penalty is mandatory for kidnapping.

Want to talk trash, say revenge??? Obviously the spokesman is unhappy because his pirate brothers lost and got killed. So now must say some aggressive things. Now we should send death squad to kill this spokesman also.

Sometimes to teach people a lesson you have to kill them.

They better be careful. Today it’s snipers, tomarrow could be JDAMS on their boat bays.

But they have Davey Jones Locker….

Maybe Obama want’s to prove he’s “tough enough” to be President. Who knows what he’ll authorize next. It might be fun to watch from far enough off shore said the retired Army SFC.

I am proud of you guys on FA, for your discussion of this.


Your hearts are where they should be.


You know what I mean.


As in everything, the Somali pirates have done a mental “cost / benefit” analysis of their pirate activities; and up until this point, they were a highly profitable venture. While only about 50% of hijackings were successful, those that did would net pay-offs in the millions, a lavish sum in the failed state of Somalia. Until the recent American and French (yes, I’m as shocked as anyone else that they gutted up too) action, there was little downside to it.
Naturally, the street toughs in Somalia are interested in keeping this lucrative business of theirs going, and a little tough talk (guaranteed to be broadcast through the Western media) is a cheap way to try to stop a move towards more forceful responses by the civilized world and its collective armed forces.
While the talking head pacifists will condemn the thought, as some on the left are apparently already leading the charge on, the simple fact is we must alter the “cost / benefit” analysis going on in the heads of the Somalis. If they understand that engaging in piracy is a sure death warrant, if they know that rather than bringing a degree of prosperity to their ports, that instead they we bring on a rain of destruction, you will quickly find that the Somalis will cease to plague the high seas around the Horn of Africa.
There is an additional angle here that is not receiving much air time. Somalia has long been recognized as a training ground for some of Al Qaeda’s “franchise” cells; not to mention the pseudo-government of the Council of Islamic Courts, which has been warring to put what little is left of Somalia under tight Sharia law. This is in a very real sense, the back burner of the War on Terror; I still use the term, even if the new administration has chosen to shelve it (I prefer accuracy over political correctness). As such, we would be wise to invest the necessary forces to nip this situation in the bud, and relegate the nattering pacifist heads to their echo chambers.

Hopefully, commander Frank Castellano (L), commanding officer of USS Bainbridge, will not now be crucified for interpreting too liberally his rules of engagement.
But I fear the worst.

Until the recent American and French (yes, I’m as shocked as anyone else that they gutted up too)

The whole ‘French are wimps’ thing is out of touch with reality, or at least based on a very selective interpretation. Read more history.

Admiral Gortney said in a interview that the UN passed a resolution giving the navies(14 of them out there) the green light to go after the pirates. Admiral Gortney also said they have no where to take them or any process in place to make an arrest should they capture the pirates. So, how far are we going to get before the beaurocrats get their act in gear?

See second FOX video at bottom of page:


run Jack Sparrow




Some times history does matter

British Slaves on the Barbary Coast
In the first half of the 1600s, Barbary corsairs – pirates from the Barbary Coast of North Africa, authorised by their governments to attack the shipping of Christian countries – ranged all around Britain’s shores. In their lanteen-rigged xebecs (a type of ship) and oared galleys, they grabbed ships and sailors, and sold the sailors into slavery. Admiralty records show that during this time the corsairs plundered British shipping pretty much at will, taking no fewer than 466 vessels between 1609 and 1616, and 27 more vessels from near Plymouth in 1625. As 18th-century historian Joseph Morgan put it, ‘this I take to be the Time when those Corsairs were in their Zenith’.

British Slaves on the Barbary Coast
According to observers of the late 1500s and early 1600s, there were around 35,000 European Christian slaves held throughout this time on the Barbary Coast – many in Tripoli, Tunis, and various Moroccan towns, but most of all in Algiers. The greatest number were sailors, taken with their ships, but a good many were fishermen and coastal villagers. Out of all these, the British captives were mostly sailors, and although they were numerous there were relatively fewer of them than of people from lands close to Africa, especially Spain and Italy. The unfortunate southerners were sometimes taken by the thousands, by slavers who raided the coasts of Valencia, Andalusia, Calabria and Sicily so often that eventually it was said that ‘there was no one left to capture any longer’.



Well I would not talk so fast?


4 February 2008,
Russian ship seized off Somalia
Pirates have seized a Russian ship off the coast of Somalia, officials say.

Think russians paid

, 26 September 2008
Somalia’s pirates seize 33 tanks
A Ukrainian ship seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia was carrying 33 tanks and other weapons, the Ukrainian defence minister has confirmed.
Earlier, the country’s foreign ministry said the ship had a crew of 21 and was sailing under a Belize flag to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.
There has been a recent surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Russia announced on Friday it would start carrying out regular anti-piracy patrols in the waters off Somalia.
A navy spokesman said a warship had been sent to the area earlier this week to protect Russian citizens and ships.

[seam to remember that the Russians paid a ransom or something like that this went on for months we kept waiting for the Russians to do something anything but we never thought they would pony up that dimmi tax]

Defence Minister Yury Yekhanurov confirmed that 33 Russian T-72 tanks and “a substantial quantity of ammunition” were aboard.

U.S. Navy Sends Warship to Keep Watch Over Ukrainian Vessel Seized by Somali Pirates
September 28, 2008
Pirates seized the Ukrainian-operated ship Faina off the coast of Somalia on Thursday as it headed to Kenya carrying 33 Russian-built T-72 tanks and a substantial amount of ammunition and spare parts. The ordnance was ordered by the Kenyan government.
A spokesman for the U.S. 5th fleet said the Navy remained “deeply concerned” over the fate of the ship’s 21-member crew and cargo.
In a rare gesture of cooperation, the Americans appeared to be keeping an eye on the Faina until the Russian missile frigate Neustrashimy, or Intrepid, reaches the area. The Russian ship was still in the Atlantic on Sunday, the Russian navy reported.

nope no kills here just payment sorry there to bust your bubble


The Barbary pirates were sponsored by a central power, which makes their situation somewhat different. It made it practical to retaliate by bombarding Algiers, or to offer tribute to put a stop to the attacks. The current pirates may cooperate with each other some but there’s no sign of a governing authority that could be threatened or negotiated with.

I’m not sure where your ant pile analogy comes from; the Barbary pirates were never stopped for good until Algiers was conquered by the French.


Paying tribute did work, sort of. The US wouldn’t have done it if it were entirely ineffectual. Of course it’s better to have the strength for deterrence, as we have for the past 200-odd years.

In any case, I expect that despite the Somali pirates’ tough talk, they will actually just start avoiding French and US flagged ships. Those ships are after all a small minority of the traffic in the area. Easier to just target ships of nations that have shown themselves willing to pay ransom…

Bbart, you need to define “wimp”. The French are wimps historically because they lose to everyone.

Today they are wimps because they are with a few exceptions, unwilling
to fight. Thought I’d clear that up for you.

Larry, you have no business lecturing anyone on anything you hypocrite.

The French are wimps historically because they lose to everyone

Most any country that’s still around can count at least a few glorious victories, since people that actually lose all the time end up with no country and (often) no identity. But the French can do better than that – a few high points:

732, Tours: Charles Martel, the ‘Hammer of God’, saves Europe from the Muslims in a two-day battle, despite being outnumbered.
1429, Orleans and sequels: Joan of Arc breaks the English siege, racks up series of improbable victories
1755, Battle of Monongahela
1781, Yorktown (didja think this was just an American victory?).
1805, Austerlitz
1806, Jena
1914-1918, WWI

You can find a more complete list here. And the French actually won in Algeria; they just decided that keeping the place wasn’t worth the hassle.

As for being unwilling to fight – the French send their troops in when it suits their interests. They intervened in Africa 19 times between 1962 and 1995. Chirac indicated a willingness to use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a terrorist attack(!). They may not see eye to eye with us on the when and where, but they have more willingness and ability to send troops abroad than almost any other country (probably tied for third with Russia, behind US and UK).


Don’t be so foolish. The French had already taken some of these a-holes out and that has not stopped them.
Paying them will never stop them.
What will stop them is when the shipping lanes change and the ships don’t go threw Egypt and the Arabs have to pay more for their goods.

Why do you think America was discovered because they were looking for new trading lanes to avoid the islamic terrorist who were blocking the trade with China.

Paying did not help. It was a slow hall. The Europeans had already been paying for over 300 years, and this did not stop them. Like the fire ants they took on piles at a time and whipped them out until they came back no more.
If you have never had a fire ant problem of course you would not understand how something so small could be so dangerous


April 12, 2009
Shippers face higher insurance as pirates run amok

The Maritime Administration says more than 80 percent of trade moving through the gulf is with Europe.

a must read

As a result, demand for fuel on the West coast of Africa has surged as more ships coming from the east need to refuel after circling the cape, he said. At the same time, Egypt’s revenues from Suez traffic are down sharply from last year.

then know thy enemy this always helps.


I should have specified in recent history. They won WWI because of US. Since then they have lost to anyone of significance. As for their “peace keeping efforts” in Africa, you are asking me to believe they fought like we did in Iraq to bring peace? Uh huh. Big difference between fighting and glorified guard duty. As for Algiers, it looks to have been a draw.
I also said with some exceptions. Desert Storm was listed.
For the most part I was correct and that link is stretching things. Here’s some info explaining their “military interventions” that really weren’t.

Really, if you want to defend them, you are free to do so. Just don’t ask us to swallow the kool-aid.

haha – this reminds me of the roommate I had who drank my wine, ate my food, never paid the rent on time, never cleaned, and came home drunk and woke me up. When I told him he had to cut the shit or move, said, “I don’t have to take this shit from you.”

Villains playing victim. It’s just funny. We should just laugh at them, as I did my roommate.

Yah, we of course know about the previous russian ship.

Obviously the russians paid up cause they had no assets on the water there to kill the pirates. My guess is that it will be a different story once they have something there. Russians love killing their enemies(plus families and associates), no??? Perhaps we can remember how they fight their recent wars???

Very different from how americans and euros do things these days, yah???

Sorry to bust your bubble also, but if you have nothing there to whack them, you just have to pay up, no????
That’s logic, yah???

Let’s say there were no US forces to rescue the captain, then the owner would have to pay up also right???

I am interested to see how the SEAsians and mainlanders react to the piracy issue. We have sent some ships there, but I understand they haven’t reached yet. None of us have the type of on-the-water-forces you americans have.

Thus, we can’t kill no pirates if we don’t get into contact with them.

Also, chinese(us) aren’t used to fighting on the water far away from home. This might make us more cautious and less bloodthirsty and less cruel and less disregarding of human life than usual.

Please remember, us friendly and noodle-eating chinese are the only culture to have fought two large wars against your US military in korea and vietnam and did not get beaten and regime-changed by you yankees. I guess this must be because democrats were in charge those times?

I hate to bust your bubble again but they were well within range and had plenty of time to get there. Or if they didn’t then Russia is really in trouble when?
But back to the real world Ship was taken in Sept. 2008 and released in Feb. 2009
As for no Russian ships in the area well look again.
Sorry about that bubble.

Like I said we waited and waited.

21 October, 2008
Piracy latest: Russian ship nears Somali coast
The Russian frigate ‘Fearless’ is crossing the Suez Canal near the Somalian coast to join an international naval task force fighting sea piracy. It will take part in the operation to track the Ukrainian ship ‘Faina’, captured nearly a month ago.


Faina finally freed as IMO agrees new code on piracy
6 February 2009
The Ukrainian arms ship Faina, seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden on 26 September, was freed on 5 February following the air drop of a ransom – believed to be US$3.2-$3.5 million – to the captors. The ship’s capture raised concern about the fate of its cargo of 33 old Soviet tanks and military hardware. The Russian master of the mainly Ukrainian crew of 20 died of a suspected heart attack after the hijack.

Just hate that.
Another bubble lost forever

Sorry to keep on bursting your bubble.

Maybe the russians aren’t interested in risking their lives to attack if the ukrainian owner is willing to pay up??

It’s Ukraine and Russia, right? Maybe the Russians don’t want to risk their soldiers for the Ukrainians? Hate to burst your bubble there.

Don’t think the Ukrainians had any naval assets there, right??
So maybe your bubble got burst again???

Are you saying that the Russians, and us chicoms, when we actually want to fight, pay more attention to PC and human rights than the yanks and euros???

Hate to burst your bubble yet again, but it is so burstable.

Think you missed the difference between Ukrainian and Russian???

Please remember, us friendly and noodle-eating chinese are the only culture to have fought two large wars against your US military in korea and vietnam and did not get beaten and regime-changed by you yankees. I guess this must be because democrats were in charge those times?

Lucky for China that US saved it’s (and Britain’s) bacon during WWII. Thanks to everyone’s favourite democrat, FDR. And how did China do during the Boxer rebelllion & Opium Wars? Still I guess the chinese via their Commie masters have finally learnt they are better off trying to gain world power by financial means rather than by brute strength.

Boy, your knowledge of history is really bad.
What a fantastical claim. Sure the US defeated the japanese(in SEAsia), but there was no D-day, no Normandy landings by US troops to free mainland china from japan, yes???

If the US saved china, why did china fight 2 wars with the US after that?

Maybe your history is like how you claimed your idol, Lawrence of Arabia, was Britain’s greatest Counter-terrorism expert????

Perhaps u have been riding too long on Mr Lawrence’s bike? Bending over in front of him???

Maybe next you will claim the US saved Russia from Germany?

@Comrade Sig

You don’t need landings to save China’s bacon. The US action and the lives of americans in defeating Japan – meant that the Japanes surrendered to all allies and left the territitories it still had including the large swathes of China – that the Chinese were unable to win back on there own.

If the US saved china, why did china fight 2 wars with the US after that?

Because it was overun with ungrateful commies…

Maybe next you will claim the US saved Russia from Germany?

Although Russia got help from the allies – it managed to push out the Germans mainly by itself.

@Comrade Sig

Here’s a map of Japanese territory in the month that Japan surrendered to the Americans. Huge swathes of China still under it’s control. No D-Day landings needed.


How is it that a country like Japan with a population approx seven times smaller than China is able to successfully invade it for many years? You should be thanking the US for defeating Japan not claiming ignorance.