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Pirates are part of the terrorist network

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
March 28, 2011

While many of the major Western nations are presently united in a military effort to wipe out terrorism in the Middle East and East Africa, there’s been an ongoing “lack of will” to enforce the same vigilance when it comes to ocean piracy.

According to Michele White, General Counsel, INTERTANKO (International Association of Independent Tanker Owners), this “lack of political will” is exactly the reason that 80 percent of pirates caught are released.

“They will attack again instead of staying under arrest awaiting trial and punishment,” he says.

Now the Asian Shippers’ Council is demanding that heightened action be taken on a worldwide scale against this scourge.

In last week’s proposal to the International Chamber of Commerce, the Council insisted that nations come together to conduct preemptive strikes against pirate staging areas in Somalia. At the same time the Council suggests that there be an international effort to “follow the money,” thereby cutting off the pirate’s lucrative trade with more widely recognized members of the terrorist network.

We agree with General Counsel, White, that any State may prosecute pirates captured by their warships:

“The often rehearsed excuse that international law requires pirates to be caught in the act of an attack as a condition for prosecution has no basis in international law.”

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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