Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Somali Pirates And Terrorism

Walid Phares, Director of the Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has a excellent piece on the connection terrorist organizations have with Somali pirates. Iran, naturally, is in the picture.

The Cutting Edge News
What is behind this Piracy phenomenon, what lays ahead if the international community intervenes and what could develop in that region if the latter is late to intervene or doesn’t meet the challenge? It appears the strategic challenge is even bigger than the mere piracy. Indeed the strategy now contemplated by regional powers could become a major military debacle. Here is why:

These so-called Somali pirates are strategically different from their historical predecessors in the Caribbean or from their contemporary colleagues in archipelagoes around the world. They aren’t a vast collection of individual thugs, acting as bands replicating what successful sea gangs have accomplished for centuries before them. They are too many, operating from extremely long shores, all using similar methods, and are backed from hinterland forces.

They may seem like pirates as they seize ships and negotiate for the ransom. But these water thugs actually belong to a wider chess game. The grand ensemble of the army of little boats is in fact part of a regional Jihadi apparatus being deployed in the horn of Africa and beyond. The Jihadi grand circle building in the region is not limited to the pirates but involves hostile forces from the mid Red Sea to East Africa. The Somali pirates are merely one facet of this grand circle.[...]

The so-called pirates are being used by land-based forces to drag the enemy into a wider war in the region, with all probabilities and possibilities open. To each decision made by the West and its allies, a counter plan will be applied. These are the types of complex threats that twenty-first century terror forces will develop to upset the balance of forces. For by challenging a previously stable area of transportation and commerce, the forces behind the Qursaan will be scoring a major victory. If the foe negotiates, they win, and in their view also, if the foe engages militarily, the Jihadists win too.
In other related news:

Somali pirates and the Islamic Jihad
Al-Shabaab Abduct European Aid Workers
US said unlikely to attack Somali pirate bases

Previous on Jawa:
Al Qaeda's Africa Strategy #6: Disrupt Western Shipping
Somalia Pirates: The Water Jihad Has A Long Lineage
New alQaeda audio calls on Somali's to attack ships

Cross posted at Jawa Report

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