The attack on a luxury cruise ship off the coast of Somalia yesterday was not the only act of piracy in those waters in recent months. The Russian newspaper Pravda reported two weeks ago that an International Maritime Bureau report documented twenty-three attacks in the area since March 15, 2005. One of the attacks resulted in the Hong Kong-based owner of a liquefied gas tanker paying hijackers $315,000 for the return of the ship after it was seized on April 10, 2005. In another attack on August 15, 2005, three fishing boats and forty-eight Asian fishermen were captured by Somali pirates. All are being held for ransom in Somalia.
According to Pravda, those engaged in piracy off the coast of Somalia are Somali rebels who use the proceeds of their raids to buy weapons.