Saturday, September 1, 2007

Pirate Attacks Increase Worldwide. Arrr.

The Tank on National Review Online:

Spike in Pirate Attacks Worldwide

At least five seaborne pirate attacks — one off Guinea, one off Somalia, three off Indonesia — have been reported to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) over the past two weeks. Last month, IMB reported a spike in piracy worldwide. Weekly Piracy Report here. Piracy Map here.

The links in the post above are a valuable resource. The live IMB map is particularly cool.

Before you yawn and utter a "so what," consider that on the live IMB Piracy Map, the density of the attacks in the Indian and west Pacific coincide with the areas of the globe that have seen the most intense Al Qaeda activity.

Several intelligence reports identify piracy and seaborne terrorism as a serious threat to global political and economic security. Tremendous amounts of the global oil supply are transported through key straits in the region, the disruption of which would send shockwaves across the globe.

Remember how easy it was for Al Qaeda to nearly sink the USS Cole? While US Navy vessels are presumably much more difficult to approach now, the same can not be said about the massive fleet of tankers, lighters, freighters and other key parts of the merchant fleet.