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Al Shabaab, Somali Piracy link Growing? October 26, 2011

Posted by Chris Mark in Piracy & Maritime Security, Uncategorized.
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According to a report in Reuters, the UN stated that the link between Al Shabaab and Somali pirates is growing.  This was stated by the UN’s head of counter piracy, Colonel John Steed at the Combating Piracy event in London, England last week.  “There is a growing link and growing cooperation between al Shabaab who are desperate for funding and resources with other criminal gangs and with pirates,” said Colonel John Steed.  Notice that the statement is less than definitive.  During the event last week Colonel Steed was questioned very pointedly about the UN”s position that Al Shabaab and pirates are working more closely together.  Additionally, numerous other speakers were definitive in their position that piracy was NOT associated with Shabaab and was a purely financial, and criminal effort.

While there is little doubt that Shabaab is looking for new funding sources, the prevailing opinion among those at the event appeared to be that the UN’s insistence on correlating piracy with terrorism was little more than an attempt gather international attention to the issue of piracy within Somalia and attract international efforts to combat piracy.

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