Public domain US Navy photo of Somali pirates attacking the MV Faina in late September, 2008.
Wikileaks, Soviet tanks, Christian/animist rebels in Southern Sudan, Somali pirates, secret arms shipments, a diplomatic cover-up. You’re making this up just to get me all excited, right?
Apparently not; it’s all real, or what passes for it in African diplomatic circles. It goes like this:
Back in February, 2009, a Ukrainian ship, the Faina, was towed into Mombasa, Kenya after Somali pirates were paid $3.2 million in ransom for the ship and its cargo.
That’s business-as-usual for Somali pirates, but what was strange about the Faina is that its cargo included 32 Soviet T-72 tanks, 150 grenade launchers and 6 anti-aircraft guns. The cargo was destined for the regional government in southern Sudan, which is in open revolt against that nation’s government in Khartoum. (READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM)
US Navy photo of the Ashland by Paul Farley. Public domain image of the Rack Rackham pirate flag from Wikipedia.
Today, November 29, marks the first sentencing for the crime of piracy in Norfolk, Virginia, in 150 years.
The incident occurred off the coast of Djibouti on April 10 of this year. The ship involved was the USS Ashland, a 610-foot, 11,000-ton Whidbey Island-class Dock Landing Ship of the United States Navy. She carries two Mark 38 25-millimeter autocannons, two 20-mm Gatling close-in-weapons-system (CIWS) Phalanx mounts to take down anti-ship missiles, a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile System, and six fifty-caliber M2 Browning machine guns. It was part of the task force of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier.
The pirates were seven Somalis in a skiff, firing small arms.
How does a Somali pirate skiff find itself attacking a heavily-armed US warship? See…that’s the moral of the story. Bad intel.
READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM