TOP SECRET: Piracy Briefing


Geospatial Department:
Draw a sketch map of Somalia and the surrounding area:

Describe the location of ‘Actual Attacks’ to the north and east of Somalia:

The actual attacks take plan at the Horn of Africa, towards the Gulf of Aden. One example of this is, is when Somali pirate shot a ‘rocket-propelled grenade’ at four Americans and killed them all. This was not the first time something of this sort occurred.

Current Situation:

Most recent act of piracy off the coast of Somalia or in the Gulf of Aden?:

On February 22, 2012, at 11:30 UTC:

A pirate attack took place in the Gulf of Aden (Position: 13:30N – 050:22E). A tanker underway saw a skiff (a flat bottomed open boat) at 1.6nm approaching at around 20knots, and a suspicious looking dhow was sighted, so the master sent distress to navies and informed UKMTO. As the skiff came closer, he sighted weapons and so the security team onboard fired a warning shot. Following this the pirates immediately fired upon the tanker with AK-47. The pirates shot 50-60 rounds of fire, then aborted and moved away. A naval helicopter was dispatched.

What are the boats called that the pirates are using?:

The boat the pirates are using is called a skiff. A skiff is a shallow boat with a flat bottom.
What weapons are the pirates using?:

The pirates are using a AK-47. This is a type of rifle.

Economic Department:

How much did pirate gangs earn in 2008?:

In 2008 the pirate gangs earned around £35m. This was attained by ‘holding scores of ships and hundreds of crew members to ransom.’

Who do a ship’s owners usually contact when they find that one of their vessels has
been pirated?:

The first person a ship owner would call is a lawyer whom works at a firm is one of the few that deals with kidnaps and ransoms at sea.
Is paying a ransom illegal under British law?:

Paying ransom is not illegal under British law unless it is directed to terrorists. Somali pirates are only after money and have no terrorist-like motives.

How long does the average hijack last?:

A hijack lasts around two months, until the ransom is paid.

Is piracy purely criminal or is there more to it?:

Specialists strongly believed that the pirates motives were purely criminal enterprise, but Bruno Schiemsky, a Kenyan arms analyst, believes that the pirates are connected with the al-Shabab, an Islamic group.

What are the pirates doing with their money?:

It is believed that the pirates pay up to 50% of the ransoms to al-Shabab, an Islamic group.
What businesses have been set up in the pirate’s ‘boomtowns’?:

The businesses set up the pirate’s ‘boomtowns’ are things such as: telephones shops, internet cafes, and clothing stores.

Social Department:

Name important settlements in the Somali pirate industry?:

Hardware and Eyl are the important settlements in the Somali pirate industry.

What do the local people feel about the pirates?:

The local citizens do not like pirates since they are taking over their community. They think that the pirates bring nothing but trouble and endanger their children.
Why can’t the local authorities do much about the pirates?:

The local authorities have no money or the equipment to face the pirates.

Why have people turned to piracy?:

People turn to piracy because the income is higher than what they usually earn. People just want to earn money to live a better life.

What is the life expectancy in Somalia?:

total population: 50.8 years
What is the total infant mortality rate?:

total: 103.72 deaths/1,000 live births
What is the literacy rate?:

total population: 37.8%

Environmental Department:
Who has ‘reliable information’ that European and Asian companies are dumping toxic waste, including nuclear waste, off the Somali coastline?:

“Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia confirmed to Al Jazeera the world body has “reliable information” that European and Asian companies are dumping toxic waste, including nuclear waste, off the Somali coastline.”

How is the 2004 South Asian Tsunami linked to the situation?:

The 2004 South Asian Tsunami also pushed a lot of toxic waste onto the shores and into the ocean.

How is a lack of government linked to a lack of fish?:

The government is unable to properly take care of the country’s coastline and the fish it once had. Foreign countries have also come to take fish out of their coast.


The most obvious reason for the pirates, are the chase for a better life, with better quality. The government is poor and the country is not developing steadily. The population of Somalia should have the necessary items such as clean water, food, and education in order for the country to grow economically.


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