Overhyped Somali Pirates Can't Hold US Ship

Update: According to reports, the pirates did manage to take the ship’s captain hostage before the 20 crew members got control back. He is still in their custody on a lifeboat and negotiating for his release. Obviously, we hope for a quick and safe release.

Original post: The big news today is that Somali pirates briefly siezed a US-flagged ship owned by Maersk. But they couldn’t hold it and the vessel is back under US control.


The whole story is a blast from the recent past, when Somali pirate stories were (briefly) the subject of mad media fascination.

But remember: the whole story has always been overblown — kind of like when the media got excited about shark attacks a few years back. As it is, there was much more piracy in 2001 and 2003. The only real story is that piracy moved to Somalia, as opposed to somewhere else.

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