Saturday, November 05, 2005

Pirates Open Fire on Cruise Ship Off Somalia
MIAMI (Nov. 5) - Pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade and machine guns Saturday in an attack on a luxury cruise liner off the east African coast, the vessel's owners said. Two armed boats approached the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles off the coast of Somalia and fired as the boats' occupants attempted to get onboard, said Bruce Good, a spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.
The crew initiated a trained response and avoided being boarded, Good said. The ship outran them and changed its course. "Our suspicion at this time is that the motive was theft," Good said. One member of the 161-person crew was slightly injured before the attackers were repelled, according to a London-based Seabourn Cruises spokesman.
Press Association, the British news agency, said passengers awoke to the sound of gunfire as two 25-foot inflatable boats approached the liner. The injured crew member was reportedly hit by flying debris.
Edith Laird of Seattle, who was traveling on the ship with her daughter and a friend, told British Broadcasting Corp. TV in an e-mail that her daughter saw the pirates out of their window."There were at least three rocket propelled grenades that hit the ship, one in a state room," Laird wrote. "We had no idea that this ship could move as fast as it did and (the captain) did his best to run down the pirates."
The vessel's 151 passengers, mostly Americans with some Australians and Europeans, were gathered in a lounge for their safety, Good said. None were injured. The Spirit had been bound for Mombasa, Kenya, at the end of a 16-day voyage from Alexandria, Egypt. It was expected to reach the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean on Monday, and then continue on its previous schedule to Singapore, company officials said.
The 10,000-ton cruise ship, registered in the Bahamas, sustained minor damage, Good said. "They took some fire, but it's safe to sail," he said.Piracy off Somalia threatens shipping and has sabotaged the delivery of food aid to more than half a million hungry people in the region, the United Nations said on Thursday. Hijackers have commandeered two vessels used by the United Nations World Food Program this year and ship owners now demand armed escorts to travel in the waters, the agency said. This week, the London-based International Maritime Bureau said it knew of 27 pirate attacks off Somalia since March.
The attacks have highlighted insecurity in Somalia. The country's 1,880-mile coastline is Africa's longest, and the country has had no effective central government since opposition leaders ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. They then turned on each other, transforming this nation of 7 million into a patchwork of battling fiefdoms ruled by heavily armed militias via AOL news

On October 22nd, 2005 I posted this concerning terrorist attacks on MERCHANT ships. Well it seems the issue has now been ramped up a notch or two to say the least. I am concerned over the the mainstreem press failing to call a spade a spade here. This is TERRORISM plain and simple until someone can PROVE to me otherwise. How long until these terrorist manage to gain control over a passenger ship and re enact the Achille Lauro terror attack of October 1985. Or worse.... Hummmmm... Anyone see a connection here... 20 years later?

How long until the world decides ENOUGH is ENOUGH and takes a stand against this? I don't see it happening UNTIL the worst case scenario happens. Sadly, to be honest I don't want to think about that.. but WE MUST.

Is it going to take a terrorist takeover of a ship and the destruction of the ship and the murdering of the passengers and crew to create the international will to tackle this problem? These terrorists must be tracked down and killed. There is no other way. They pose a threat to all of us. Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Druids etc etc etc etc etc.


Anonymous RoughRider said...

You are so right about this subject. This has been going on for a while now on the high seas and barely a mention in the press about it until very recently.

Good job on your blog by the way. I will be back.

November 05, 2005 2:45 PM  

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