Somali Pirates Grow Bolder in Exploits

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The Indian navy was able to fight back against pirates today, sinking a suspected pirate "mother ship." But a band of Somali pirates also hijacked two more ships and their crews today.

Click play for further analysis from CBN News Terror Analyst Erick Stakelbeck.

The surge in banditry comes just days after Somali pirates captured a large Saudi Arabian oil tanker, leaving the Saudi royal family very upset.

"Piracy is against everybody," said Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister. "Like terrorism it is a disease that has to be eradicated."

The ship the pirates hijacked Tuesday had $100 million worth of oil on-board - and they are demanding $10 million in ransom for the Saudi super tanker.

It is the biggest catch for the pirates who - up until now - had been staying mainly off the coast of Somalia. But this big fish was netted much further south than where the Somali pirates usually go marauding.

"We were nowhere near because this attack took place thousands of miles away from where one would normally expect those attacks to take place. This was unprecedented in where it took place and the kind of ship it took on," said NATO spokesman James Appathurai.

These latest incidents bring to eight the number of ships hijacked just this week alone.

Since the beginning of the year, 39 ships have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, out of 95 attacked.

"Somalia provides a perfect environment for piracy: it's got no government to stop you, it's got great places to hide, long beaches where you can get out easily and you are able to make a huge amount of money," Security Analyst Roger Middleton said.

"I think we should all be concerned," Appathurai said. "Attacks are up 70 percent this year and that is substantial."

"A number of shipping companies are looking at re-routing from going through the Gulf and going down around the Cape of Good Hope. That would add 12 to 15 days and about $20,000 to $30,000 a day to the cost of doing business. That cost will be passed onto me and to you," he said.

Meanwhile, a Christian ministry called Mission to Seafarers is also getting involved the high seas drama.

The group has deployed a team of chaplains to give pastoral support to the families of those being held hostage by the pirates.

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CBN News
Sarah Pollak

Sarah Pollak

CBN News

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