The shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden are like highways with bumper-to-bumper traffic piling up, making them easy targets for the growing crop of pirates who terrorize these waters off the Somali coast. There have been reports recently that pirates employ sophisticated networks of criminal gangs located in London and other Western centers to target vessels in the area.
According to “Mr. Ali,” a Somali who lived in the United States for 29 years before returning to his home two years ago where he became the go-between for the pirates and negotiators of hijacked ships, this is far from accurate.
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Originally published at The Washington Times on the 22nd of May, 2009.