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Thursday, 9 April 2009

Sports Latest: Somalia vs USA

Having battled through earlier rounds with convincing victories over the Phillipines, Malaysia and a notable success against Ukraine, the Somali Pirates were looking good over the last few days until as we reported yesterday the Somalis took on the Alabama Vikings, a US team with a Danish owner.

The Somalis started enthusiastically taking the ship and holding the entire crew, but the Americans overcame their early setbacks driving the pirates off their ship, capturing one Somali but losing their captain to the other side.

The Somalis were offered a man for man swap but realising the superior value of their captive they reneged on the deal, although during the failed bargain, the Somali captive manage to break free and become a free agent.

However things are not looking good for the Somalis as we start day 2 with the Somalis and their hostage surrounded 300 miles offshore by US battleships carrying pursuit helicopters and drone surveillance aircraft. Worse still for the Somalis, the US have called in FBI hostage "negotiators".

The Somalis should realise that (i) if they get to shore the US cannot prosecute them and (ii) the average Somali hostage taker made more money than the average merchant sea captain last year, and the pirates have more assets to lose. Who is the hostage now, and who may have to pay up to go free?

UPDATE: Latest reports are that the "Pentagon are very engaged about this". So the combined minds, firepower and other military resources of the world's largest superpower are now concentrated on 3 men in a small lifeboat 300 niles out to sea in the Indian Ocean.

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