Somali Pirate talks about how to negotiate ransom, when to kill captives.

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25 Responses to “Somali Pirate talks about how to negotiate ransom, when to kill captives.”

  1. Ernunnos says:

    “What forced you to become a pirate”?!

    Y’know, there are hundreds of millions of desperately poor people who don’t take up kidnapping and murder. Poverty certainly makes the option more attractive than it otherwise might be, but there’s still a choice. A choice the majority of impoverished and oppressed still manage to come down on the other side of.

  2. Moriarty says:

    I should think being called a pirate would come with the territory of being a pirate.

  3. civver says:

    “staff all ships that travel off the coast of Somaila with Indians and Africans, providing valuable jobs for these under-represented sailors, yet underscoring their low worth to the pirates.”
    That wouldn’t work. If the ship is Western, they’ll know that they will be paid well.

  4. batu b says:

    planet money did a good episode about this in april:
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2009/04/pirates_have_timesheets.html

  5. TheCrawNotTheCraw says:

    @9

    “Is it just me, or does it seem like an obvious answer would be to staff all ships that travel off the coast of Somaila with Indians and Africans, providing valuable jobs for these under-represented sailors, yet underscoring their low worth to the pirates.”

    It’s just you, because the owners of the cargo are not interested in ransoming the crew. They are interested in reclaiming the valuable cargo. If they could do *that*, they wouldn’t pay a dime for the crew.

    And a crew of Westerners is only valuable because it would be a (minor) P.R. debacle for a Western company to let said crew be executed.

    The ship owners want the ship returned. The crew is expendable.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Italian Mafia gets paid to make European Medial and nuclear waste disappear. Solution – use the Gulf of Aiden as a toilet bowl. Everyone does it. Then we have the gall to blame the Somali’s for fighting back when all their fish have been killed off by nuclear waste. This is ugly and we should face the facts here.

  7. Anonymous says:

    That was the most interesting thing I’ve read in a long time. Perhaps the most interesting thing this year. Wow.

  8. WA says:

    @15: How do we face facts while you’re talking about secret agreements with the mafia and conspiracies to dispose of nuclear waste. Nuclear waste isn’t exactly easy to hide, especially by dumping in the ocean: would you care to give solid evidence for your claims? Comparative levels of radioactivity in the waters of the area versus other areas would be a start, I think.

    @14: Care to cite sources for those claims, rather than just assuming that all Western companies must clearly not care about human life at all? Even the interviewee here completely disagrees with you.

    @19: “Defending themselves” would be a viable excuse if they were requiring that ships stay out of their waters, and sinking or capturing the ships that don’t. That’s not quite what they’re doing, is it? Are you saying that if you trespassed on someone’s land, you wouldn’t mind if they went, kidnapped your family, and threatened to kill them if you didn’t give them money? Except maybe you just went near their land, and didn’t even step foot on it; you just happen to be part of a society that might have had a hand, in addition to a number of other factors, some of which are their own fault, in destroying their livelihoods.

  9. Takuan says:

    sweet! What a great cover for the CIA when they want to take someone or something off a ship! If they did’t have pirates already they would have to create them. Or fund them.

  10. Loren says:

    If he’s telling the truth then the answer is sink every small vessel in the area. If there is no fishing then there are no fishing vessels and anything small afloat is a pirate.

    Of course, I don’t believe his justifications.

  11. Digilante says:

    Duh Takuan, you only come to this conclusion now? ;-) Africa – the playground of the CIA and KGB since 1945. Add the Chinese to the fray since about 1990.

  12. amyconnor says:

    The CIA acts like separate and utouchable entity within this country. Just check this link and come to your own conclusions:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/07/20/ap/politics/main5175159.shtml

  13. tp1024 says:

    Oh well, the next Pirates! won’t play in the Caribbeans, that’s for sure. I just wonder if somebody will have both the guts and the ability to make a game out of the middle east pirates as both a game and political commentary to it (including the deteriorating conditions in countries like Somalia that caused people to become pirates in the first place).

    I don’t think that governments could continue to ignore the non-oil middle east any longer, if everyone and their dogs are capturing virtual ships in the Gulf of Aden to feed their virtual families, seeing the old neighborhoods of the game going to ruin and more and more people taking up piracy just to get by. It could be a lot more than yet another documentary with pointing fingers and Al Gore as the lead figure.

    The same would go for the general condition of Mogadishu with its warring factions and external influences (US, Ethiopia, the occasional Taliban etc.), that would both be the perfect stuff for a game and shed light on a largely ignored situation. (Any time before and after Black Hawk Down, that is.)

  14. Adam Stanhope says:

    Box of qat next to the machine gun?

  15. Mojave says:

    I like how the guy says “don’t call us pirates”……and then in the very next question, dude calls him a pirate.

    Again.

  16. Perla says:

    It´s been going on for YEARS. You just didn’t hear about it on television except when a Westerner gets captured. People have been dumping waste off the coasts of Somalia for years. The French are one of the worst offenders. You just don´t hear about it. I’ve known about this since I was a kid and I keep forgetting that people depend on Western news as sources of information. If it doesn’t get reported, it doesn’t exist.
    I do remember the French sneakily dumping toxic waste off the coasts of Cote d`Ivoire and it only became a scandal because a lot of people got sick and toxic sludge became harder to ignore.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article418665.ece
    Here’s a link from 2005 after the tsunami.

  17. Timothy Hutton says:

    From the snippet in the Boing Boing entry:

    We begin asking a high price and then go down until we agree on a price.

    That’s how they negotiate? That’s BRILLIANT! I’ve never heard of such an effective and sure-fire way to negotiate a ransom…

    Is it just me, or does it seem like an obvious answer would be to staff all ships that travel off the coast of Somaila with Indians and Africans, providing valuable jobs for these under-represented sailors, yet underscoring their low worth to the pirates.

  18. sonipitts says:

    @ERNNUNOS
    “Y’know, there are hundreds of millions of desperately poor people who don’t take up kidnapping and murder. Poverty certainly makes the option more attractive than it otherwise might be, but there’s still a choice. A choice the majority of impoverished and oppressed still manage to come down on the other side of.”

    In many cases, I would be willing to bet that the millions of poor that don’t resort to kidnapping and murder fall into one of two categories: They either live in a place (like the US) where there is sufficient infrastructure and support services to survive without resorting to violence, or they live in areas where there just isn’t any point to it because there are no good targets or ways to profit from those targets.

    In the article, he points out that the area’s economy has basically been erased by the exploitation of other country’s. I’d be willing to be that piracy is just about the only activity available with any profit-making potential. In poor countries like this, there are no food pantries, no public facilities, no welfare or medical clinics. You either find a way to survive, or you die.

    You are right in that I’m guessing if these people had any real viable alternatives, most of them would probably take them. Not saying it makes it right. Just saying it’s probably the “rightest” option available to them.

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