New Internationalist

Pirate State: Inside Somalia’s Terrorism at Sea

November 2010

By Peter Eichstaedt

Why do hundreds of poor young men who don’t even know how to swim take to the sea in flimsy boats to attack huge freighters and tankers who ply the Indian Ocean/Gulf of Aden route from East to West? The answer is simple but complicated. Poverty and political collapse in Somalia is the obvious answer but Eichstaedt, a seasoned reporter of African affairs, adds layers of complexity. These include illegal fishing that has virtually destroyed a once vital Somali fishery, toxic waste dumping on an undefended coast, arms smuggling, Islamic radicalism, big power manipulation and eager middle men who are the real beneficiaries of the increasing pirate bounty.

Eichstaedt names the clans that are thriving on the pirate industry and details the complicity of the ‘government’ of the Puntland enclave in Northern Somalia, not just as a pirate haven but as a passageway for illegal arms. The book describes the increasing violence – mostly shot, drowned or dehydrated young pirates – as the excluded look for a way to participate in the global economy.

A fascinating study of a bizarre world.

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 437 This column was published in the November 2010 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on Pirate State: Inside Somalia's Terrorism at Sea

Leave your comment







 

  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Pirate State: Inside Somalia's Terrorism at Sea Fact File
Product information Lawrence Hill Books, ISBN 978 1569763117/Zephyr
Star rating3

Get our free fortnightly eNews

Multimedia

Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Books

All Books

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 437

New Internationalist Magazine issue 437
Issue 437

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.

Subscribe