Pirate State; Inside Somalia's Terrorism at Sea

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  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2010-10-01
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press
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Providing a timely and never-before-seen perspective on the ever-increasing menace of Somali pirates, this account shows how the cargo ship and oil tanker hijackings and ransoms in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean have turned one of the world's busiest shipping lanes into one of the most dangerous. By way of one-on-one interviews with pirates, their associates, their victims, and those who police them, the book reveals piracy's origins, tactics, and increasing links to terrorists in Somalia, East Africa, and the Middle East, including Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. These sources point to a scenario in which Somali pirates might not just be out for themselves; they may be a part of a larger, more sinister infrastructure of global financiers and Islamic extremists that--if not dealt with soon--could greatly destabilize the region and perhaps threaten United States national security. In 2009, the United States was hit broadside by Somali pirates who attempted to capture the U.S. flag shipMaersk Alabama. Suddenly, the pirates were no longer a distant menace. They had thrust themselves onto the American stage. Are the Somali pirates a legion of desperate fisherman attacking cargo ships and ocean cruisers to reclaim their waters? Or is piracy connected to crime networks and the madness that grips Somalia? What threats do pirates pose to international security? To answer these questions, Peter Eichstaedt crisscrosses East Africa, meeting with pirates both in and out of prisons, talking with them about their lives, tactics, and motives. Ultimately, he comes face-to-face with a former fighter with Somalia's brutal Islamic al-Shabaab militia. He discovers that piracy is a symptom of a much deeper problem: Somalia itself. PirateStateexplores the links between the pirates, global financiers, and extremists who control southern Somalia and whose influence extends across the Gulf of Aden into Yemen and connects to extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Somali pirates are desperate and dangerous men who will do just about anything for money, andPirate Stateargues that turning a blind eye to piracy and the problems of Somalia is inviting a disaster of horrific proportions.

Author Biography

Peter Eichstaedt is a veteran journalist and author whose work on issues pertaining to human rights have taken him all over the globe. Formerly a senior editor for Uganda Radio Network and a reporter for the Institute of War and Peace in Reporting in The Hague, he has reported extensively on Africa, uncovering stories behind the headlines.

Table of Contents

Mapp. vii
Prologue: The Pirates' Callp. 1
Attack on the Alabamap. 7
Pirates and Prisonsp. 21
Cauldron of Chaosp. 37
Method to the Madnessp. 53
Inside a Hijackingp. 67
Nightmare on the Deltap. 79
Ten Months in Hellp. 93
Malaise in Mombasap. 105
Desperation at Dadaabp. 121
Haven for Terrorp. 135
Fighting Backp. 149
Sailors Take Warningp. 163
Epilogue: A Modest Proposalp. 173
Acknowledgmentsp. 185
Notesp. 187
Indexp. 199
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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