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An Axis of Instability: Somali pirates capture N. Korean ship
An awesome confluence of rogue actors:
The MV Rim was seized in the Gulf of Aden, outside the internationally recommended transit corridor patrolled by the anti-piracy naval coalition, said Cmdr. Anders Kallin of the EU Naval Force.
The MV Rim has not had any communication with maritime authorities, but Kallin said an American warship, the USS Porter, and a helicopter from American warship USS Farragut confirmed the seizure of the ship to the EU.
The 4,800-ton ship is owned by White Sea Shipping of Libya. It is carrying unknown cargo and the number and nationalities of the crew are not known. The seized ship was heading toward the Somali coast and warships were monitoring the situation, the EU Naval Force said.
It really kind of can't get any better than that, can it? The old Axis of Evil vs. the new Axis of Instability. Even Libya is involved! I mean maybe we could add "They announced it on Twitter and submitted a YouTube question to Obama from the open ocean." But no seriously, the only way this story could get any better was to throw a little Al Qaeda in it.
Oh, what's that? A link between Somali pirates and Al Qaeda? Do tell, Foreign Policy magazine:
Somalia has two big scourges these days: Islamist milititas the run most of the country (and are linked to al Qaeda) and piracy off the coast....But what if the two scourges are linked?...Last December, a Canadian intelligence report indicated that Shabaab was in fact training pirates for their "duties." Further reporting from Jane's (summarized here) notes how taxes are levied on the pirates' booties. Yes, the pirates and the Islamists are definitely in cahoots.
All kidding aside, these sorts of links are worrisome. As global connectivity becomes more accessible, it's not hard to imagine a world in which there truly is an "Axis of Instability" aligning terrorists, religious militants, pirates, drug gangs, etc. It's a concern the DEA has put forward in their (alebit dubious) theories about Al Qaeda and the FARC. Let's just hope that the hostage negotiations between North Korea and the Somali pirates don't turn into partnership talks.
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