International Anti-Piracy Naval Defense Grows as Pirates Release Saudi Tanker for Ransom

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Sunday, March 1, 2009
Bruce Zagaris
On January 9, 2009, Somali pirates release a Saudi supertanker for a $3 million ransom. Meanwhile, on January 8, 2009, the U.S. Navy announced it was planning to start a force to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden. In November 2008, Somali pirates seized the Sirius Start and its $100 million cargo of crude. Pirates captured the Sirius Star some 420 nautical miles southeast of Kenya, far from the Gulf of Aden region where most of the piracy has occurred. Originally, the hijackers, who held the ship near the Somali port of Haradheere, had demanded $25 million. Andrew Mwangura of the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Programme, which monitors piracy in the region, said the 30 or so pirates on board had insisted on leaving the ship in three groups in three different locations...[more]