The Somali pirates holding a Danish family with three teenage children have threatened to kill the kids if any rescue attempts are made.
From the Associated Press:
“Abdullahi Mohamed, a pirate who told The Associated Press he has ties to the gang holding the Danish family, said they will be killed if any rescue operation was carried out. He specifically referred to the killings last week of four American hostages captured by pirates on their yacht.”
Mohamed added that the pirates “were discussing how much ransom to demand for the Danish hostages, and added that investors backing the pirate gang were angling for a large sum.” Investors? Sounds like jobs are being saved or created out on the Indian Ocean.
European naval forces have been “warning of the dangers of sailing through the area threatened by pirates,” which Denmark’s foreign ministry describes as including “the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, and the northwestern Indian Ocean.” The Danish family was seized from the Indian Ocean. It would appear a ramshackle flotilla of thugs with small arms and rubber boats has driven the naval forces of the civilized world from a vast area of the ocean. Murder weapons, and the will to use them, trump advanced weaponry in the hands of the timid.
A spokesman for the European Union’s anti-piracy force highlighted the difficulty of playing defense against swarms of pirates in small boats: “Even traveling in groups is not a protection for yachts. It’s just a bigger target for the pirates. When you’re on a yacht, it can take seconds from when pirates are seen to when they’re on board.”
Policing the coast of Somalia is far more difficult than sanitizing it would be. If the open sea now belongs to any brigand who wants to claim it, a new age of barbarism has descended upon us. Hopefully the captive Danes and their children will not become its latest victims.