Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jihadi Pirates on High Seas: What's the Driving Force Behind Them?

Dr. Phares in this article points out a trend that has not been acknowledged before. that is, that the piracy off the Somali coast is intimately tied to the Islamic Global Jihad. More and more often, we see cooperation between Muslim factions that only a few years ago, were believed to be impossible by Western intelligence agencies. Dr. Phares explains the differences between "traditional" pirates and the phenomenon of religiously motivated "pirates.

Islamic terrorists, guided by the Qur'an and inspired by each other frequently form alliances if the overall effect is to further the Islamic imposition of Sharia over Western society. Weather the West tries to stop the Islamic "pirate " attacks at sea, or attempts to go onshore, the political and economic fallout will play into the Islamists hands. In other words, the West is stuck between political correctness and a Mosque.


Jihadi Pirates on High Seas: What's the Driving Force Behind Them?

Dr. Walid Phares

Most of the media discussion about piracy in the Gulf of Aden has drifted understandably towards the sensational part of the story: how are the pirates able to roam the ocean? Is paying them ransom a better option than engaging them militarily? Last but not least, will a military intervention against the pirates worsen the situation; will it lead to a massive escalation in Somalia and a Vietnam-like quagmire for many years to come? The armed bands on the waters are still roaming the seas of Aden and the Indian Ocean across from Somalia and Kenya, and are not impressed with the dozens of naval units dispatched by powerful navies from around the world. What is behind this piracy phenomenon, what lies ahead if the international community intervenes, and what could develop in that region if the latter is late to intervene or doesn’t meet the challenge? It appears the strategic challenge is even bigger than mere piracy. Indeed the strategy now contemplated by regional powers could become a major military debacle. Here is why: These so-called Somali pirates are strategically different from their historical predecessors in the Caribbean or from their contemporary colleagues in archipelagoes around the world. They aren’t a vast collection of individual thugs, acting as bands replicating what successful sea gangs have accomplished for centuries before them. There are too many of them, operating from extremely long shores, all using similar methods, and are backed from hinterland forces. They may seem like pirates as they seize ships and negotiate for the ransom. But these water thugs actually belong to a wider chess game.