Piracy Enters Deadly New Phase
Pirates operating of the coast of Somalia are expanding both their reach and their profit motive, said Adm. John T. Harvey, USN, commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. They have become more ruthless and now may be helping to fund terrorism. Speaking at the 2011 Joint Warfighting Conference in Virginia Beach, Adm. Harvey noted that terrorism and piracy have come together along the coasts of Africa and into the Indian Ocean. "These pirates are getting more sophisticated and more violent," he said, noting that they now demand higher ransoms and often kill their hostages anyway. "It is now a big business." Piracy is getting bigger and is going to continue to grow, he added. Fortunately, for the United States the effect is small. However, there are a number of nations in Africa where it has had tremendous effect. Nations that are dependent on food imports have seen their relief supplies stolen and sold, and innocent people are suffering as a result.