Kidnapped US captain freed; NAVY SEALS kill 3 pirates

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare' started by pyromaniac, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Navy snipers on the fantail of a destroyer cut down three Somali pirates in a lifeboat and rescued an American sea captain in a surprise nighttime assault in choppy seas Easter Sunday, ending a five-day standoff between a team of rogue gunmen and the world's most powerful military.

    It was a stunning ending to an Indian Ocean odyssey that began when 53-year-old freighter Capt. Richard Phillips was taken hostage Wednesday by pirates who tried to hijack the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama. The Vermont native was held on a tiny lifeboat that began drifting precariously toward Somalia's anarchic, gun-plagued shores.

    The operation, personally approved by President Barack Obama, quashed fears the saga could drag on for months and marked a victory for the U.S., which for days seemed powerless to resolve the crisis despite massing helicopter-equipped warships at the scene.

    One of the pirates pointed an AK-47 at the back of Phillips, who was tied up and in "imminent danger" of being killed when the commander of the nearby USS Bainbridge made the split-second decision to order his men to shoot, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said. The lifeboat was being towed by the Bainbridge at the time, he said.

    A fourth pirate was in discussions with naval authorities about Phillips' fate when the rescue took place. He is in U.S. custody and could face could face life in a U.S. prison.

    The rescue was a dramatic blow to the pirates who have preyed on international shipping and hold more than a dozen ships with about 230 foreign sailors. But it is unlikely to do much to quell the region's growing pirate threat, which has transformed one of the world's busiest shipping lanes into one of its most dangerous. It also risked provoking retaliatory attacks.

    "This could escalate violence in this part of the world, no question about it," said Gortney, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

    Abdullahi Lami, one of the pirates holding the Greek ship anchored in the Somali town of Gaan, said: "Every country will be treated the way it treats us. In the future, America will be the one mourning and crying," he told The Associated Press. "We will retaliate (for) the killings of our men."

    Jamac Habeb, a 30-year-old self-proclaimed pirate, told the AP from one of Somalia's piracy hubs, Eyl, that: "From now on, if we capture foreign ships and their respective countries try to attack us, we will kill them (the hostages)."

    "Now they became our number one enemy," Habeb said of U.S. forces.

    Phillips was not hurt in several minutes of gunfire and the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet said he was resting comfortably on a U.S. warship after receiving a medical exam.

    "I'm just the byline. The real heroes are the Navy, the Seals, those who have brought me home," Phillips said by phone to Maersk Line Limited President and CEO John Reinhart, the company head told reporters. A photo released by the Navy showed Phillips unharmed and shaking hands with the commanding officer of the USS Bainbridge.

    Obama said Phillips had courage that was "a model for all Americans" and he was pleased about the rescue, adding that the United States needs help from other countries to deal with the threat of piracy and to hold pirates accountable.

    Phillips' 17,000-ton ship, which docked with the 19 members of his crew Saturday in Mombasa, Kenya, erupted into wild cheers. Some waved an American flag and one fired a bright red flare skyward in celebration.

    "We made it!" said crewman ATM Reza, pumping his fist in the air.

    The ship had been carrying food aid bound for Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda when the ordeal began hundreds of miles off Somalia's eastern coast Wednesday. Crew members said they saw pirates scrambling into the ship with ropes and hooks from a small boat bobbing on the surface of the Indian Ocean far below.

    As the pirates shot in the air, Phillips told his crew to lock themselves in a cabin and surrendered himself to safeguard his men, crew members said.

    Phillips was then taken hostage in an enclosed lifeboat that was soon shadowed by three U.S. warships and a helicopter in a standoff that grew by the day. The pirates were believed armed with pistols and AK-47 assault rifles.

    Talks to free him began Thursday with the captain of the USS Bainbridge talking to the pirates under instruction from FBI hostage negotiators on board the U.S. destroyer. The pirates had threatened to kill Phillips if attacked.

    A government official and others in Somalia with knowledge of the situation said negotiations broke down late Saturday. The stumbling block, Somali officials said: Americans' insistence the pirates be arrested and brought to justice.

    Phillips jumped out of the lifeboat Friday and tried to swim for his freedom but was recaptured when a pirate fired an automatic weapon into the water, according to U.S. Defense Department officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about the unfolding operations.

    On Saturday, pirates fired a few shots at a small U.S. Navy vessel that had approached, but the U.S. sailors did not return fire.

    The U.S. Navy had assumed the pirates would try to get their hostage to shore, where they could have hidden him on Somalia's lawless soil and been in a stronger position to negotiate a ransom.

    Somalia's government, which barely controls any territory in the country, welcomed the news of Phillips' rescue.

    "The Somali government wanted the drama to end in a peaceful way, but any one who is involved in this latest case had the choice to use violence or other means," Abdulkhadir Walayo, the prime minister's spokesman, told the AP. "We see it will be a good lesson for the pirates or any one else involved in this dirty business."

    Worried residents of Harardhere, another port and pirate stronghold, were gathering in the streets after news of the captain's release.

    "We fear more that any revenge taken by the pirates against foreign nationals could bring more attacks from the foreign navies, perhaps on our villages," Abdullahi Haji Jama, who owns a clothes store in Harardhere, told the AP by telephone.

    Pirates are holding about a dozen ships with more than 200 crew members, according to the Malaysia-based piracy watchdog International Maritime Bureau. Hostages are from Bulgaria, China, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Tuvalu and Ukraine, among other countries.

    The Navy said Phillips was freed at 7:19 p.m. local time. He was taken aboard the Norfolk, Va.-based Bainbridge and then flown to the San Diego-based USS Boxer for the medical exam, 5th Fleet spokesman Lt. Nathan Christensen said.

    Christensen said Phillips was now "resting comfortably." The USS Boxer was in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia, Christensen said.

    U.S. officials said a fourth pirate had surrendered and was in military custody. FBI spokesman John Miller said that would change as the situation became "more of a criminal issue than a military issue."

    A spokeswoman for the Phillips family, Alison McColl, said Phillips and his wife, Andrea, spoke by phone shortly after he was freed.

    "I think you can all imagine their joy and what a happy moment that was for them," McColl said outside of the Phillips home in Underhill, Vt. "They're all just so happy and relieved. Andrea wanted me to tell the nation that all of your prayers and good wishes have paid off, because Capt. Phillips is safe."

    Capt. Joseph Murphy, the father of second-in-command Shane Murphy, thanked Phillips for his bravery.

    "Our prayers have been answered on this Easter Sunday," Murphy said. "If not for his incredible personal sacrifice, this kidnapping and act of terror could have turned out much worse."

    Murphy said both his family and Phillips' "can now celebrate a joyous Easter together."

    "This was an incredible team effort, and I am extremely proud of the tireless efforts of all the men and women who made this rescue possible" Gortney said in a statement.

    He called Phillips and his crew "heroic."

    Terry Aiken, 66, who lives across the street from the Phillips house, fought back tears as he reacted to the news.

    "I'm very, very happy," Aiken said. "I can't be happier for him and his family."

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/piracy
     
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  3. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Rescue of the Crew and Captain is sure commendable, but impending danger is lying ahead, the Pirates are ruthless and vowed to simply kill the hostages next time, and they can not be crushed in conventional way by a country alone, the major country whose ships are vying through this sea route will have to make a maritime joint task force and an International Army consists of Naval Commandos, Naval Forces, Air forces for limited Air raid, and Amphibious vehicles and persons trained in Amphibious warfare, for Amphibious operations in beach of Somalia backed up by Air forces and Navy of the respected nations more over what they need , Unity.
     
  4. rock45

    rock45 Founding Member/ RIP our friend

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    Mixed

    Its like that saying half empty and half full. Dead hostages aren't worth money the pirates know that.

    I think a lot more pirate need "not to" make it back to their villages period. If a ships calls for help and their being fired upon and the ships Captain & crew can still see the boat that was shooting at them, sink them. To me there should be no more driving them away helicopters should just shoot up and sink them. Word would spread after while when less pirate boats return. Tell the local fishing folk don't fish in the boat lanes and try not to shoot at any ships and maybe you'll be spared. Or be useful and help point out the bad guys I'm sure the fishing boat shippers know who is who?


    I like this line
    There already robbing ships with AK-47s and RPG's it's pretty violence already.
     
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Rock, the pirates are inhuman, only treatment is to crush them. As pointed out by you, I am in the opinion that the remark made by Commander of US Naval forces, Central Command seems odd , already this area is violent and Somalian Govt. only exists in paper and have no control over its territory.The Pirates robs ships irrespective of any nations armed with AK-47s, Pistols, RPGs, then how will the violence escalate in that region, the area is already violent,does respected Commander expects the area to be non violent after this ?

    Regards
     
  6. Shiny Capstar

    Shiny Capstar Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Good work getting him out, the US certainly looks after it's own. What Obama authorises next will be interesting to see, lets see if he has the balls to go after those responsible.
     
  7. rock45

    rock45 Founding Member/ RIP our friend

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    Pirates

    Hi Pintu
    I didn't want to come across as some blinded with hate killer but like many I have had enough with this. I think every single boat with groups of men that fire or even follow ships should just be sunk. There not fishing when there 500 miles off the coast closing in on a large ship and watching them, enough already.

    I want mother ships located by monitoring radio/cell/etc and then using light anti-ship missiles or smart bombs taken out. And I want it done as the mother ship is docking at the village or hide out. More bad guys need to see being a pirate has little future. If some fishing boats that play both sides get destroyed well too bad maybe there learn something from if there still alive. I can't believe that there are parked capture ships in rows and these pirate go back and forth and nobody's doing anything to them either in the little boat or the ground.

    Watching part of a interview on TV the other day made me dislike the insurance companies view on things because of the way this captain was talking. The way he said with a small smile we don't care the ship was insured and we got back our crew, that's what was important. I can't believe that some little shithead pirate in some shit hole village with no running water or electric can move money back and forth to some bank. You know there not holding 3 or 4 million dollar under some hut. I'm outrage at the world banking system that this money can't be traced and seized back. If the insurance write the ransom payouts as tax or expense write offs then there in on the scam or at less making money off of the process.
     
  8. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Sir,
    What is stopping the nations worldwide from a formal attack on Somalia ?
    Especially since they have no effective government...
     
  9. rock45

    rock45 Founding Member/ RIP our friend

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    I have no idea "What is stopping the nations worldwide from a formal attack on Somalia?" none what so ever. If you air dropped in forces say two or three thousand on the ground and along the shore of where those ships are parked and lined up I would think some of the pirate might want to leave.
     
  10. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    That might not be required....
    Some 130mm's might be enough to rattle them and get them back to senses.
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Undeterred Somali pirates hijack 4 more ships



    By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY, Associated Press Writers Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press Writers – 32 mins ago

    MOMBASA, Kenya – Undeterred by U.S. and French hostage rescues that killed five bandits, Somali pirates brazenly hijacked four more ships in the Gulf of Aden, the waterway at the center of the world's fight against piracy.

    Pirates have vowed to retaliate for deaths of their colleagues_ and the top U.S. military officer said Tuesday he takes those comments seriously. But Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told ABC's "Good Morning America" that "we're very well prepared to deal with anything like that."

    Still, despite Mullen's confident statement and President Barack Obama's warning Monday, pirates captured two more nautical trophies Tuesday to match the two ships they seized a day or two earlier.

    NATO spokeswoman Shona Lowe said the MV Sea Horse, a Lebanese-owned cargo ship, was attacked and captured Tuesday by pirates in three or four speedboats. She had no further information.

    That hijacking came only hours after the Greek-managed MV Irene E.M. was seized in a rare overnight attack by pirates.

    In addition, Somali pirates also hijacked two Egyptian fishing boats in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's northern coast, which maritime officials said had a total of 36 crew. It was not exactly clear if those ships were hijacked Monday or Sunday.

    The Gulf of Aden, which links the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, is one of the world's busiest and most vital shipping lanes, crossed by over 20,000 ships each year.

    A flotilla of warships from nearly a dozen countries has patrolled the Gulf of Aden and nearby Indian Ocean waters for months. They have halted many attacks on ships this year, but say the area is so vast they can't stop all hijackings.

    Choong said pirate attacks this year had risen to 78, with 19 of those ships hijacked and 17 vessels with over 300 crew still in pirates' hands. Each boat carries the potential of a million-dollar ransom.

    The Irene was sailing from the Middle East to South Asia, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur. The ship is flagged in the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

    U.S. Navy Lt. Nathan Christensen, spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said the Irene carried 23 Filipino crew, while Choong reported it had 21. There was no immediate way to reconcile the figures.

    A maritime security contractor, speaking on condition of anonymity because it is a sensitive security issue, said the Irene put out a distress signal "to say they had a suspicious vessel approaching. That rapidly turned into an attack and then a hijacking."

    "They tried to call in support on the emergency channels, but they never got any response," the contractor said.

    The latest seizures come after Navy SEAL snipers rescued American ship captain Richard Phillips on Sunday by killing three young pirates who held him captive in a drifting lifeboat for five days. A fourth pirate surrendered after seeking medical attention for a wound he received in trying to take over Phillips' vessel, the Maersk Alabama.

    Phillips on Tuesday was aboard a Navy vessel at an undisclosed location, Christensen said. He was initially taken aboard the Norfolk, Va.-based USS Bainbridge and then flown to the San Diego-based USS Boxer for a medical exam.

    In Washington, Obama appeared to move the piracy issue higher on his agenda, vowing the United States would work with nations around the world to fight the problem.

    "I want to be very clear that we are resolved to halt the rise of piracy in that region and to achieve that goal, we're going to have to continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks," Obama said at a news conference Monday.

    The 19 crew members of the Alabama celebrated their skipper's freedom with beer and an evening barbecue Monday in the Kenyan port of Mombasa, said crewman Ken Quinn.

    The vessel's chief mate was among those urging strong U.S. action against piracy.

    "It's time for us to step in and put an end to this crisis," Shane Murphy said. "It's a crisis. Wake up."

    The U.S. is considering new options to fight piracy, including adding Navy gunships along the Somali coastline and launching a campaign to disable pirate "mother ships," according to military officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no decisions have been made yet.

    In Burlington, Vt., Phillips' wife, Andrea Phillips thanked Obama, who approved the dramatic sniper operation.

    "With Richard saved, you all just gave me the best Easter ever," she said in a statement.

    The four pirates that attacked the Alabama were between 17 and 19 years old, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

    "Untrained teenagers with heavy weapons," Gates told students and faculty at the Marine Corps War College. "Everybody in the room knows the consequences of that."

    U.S. officials were now considering whether to bring the fourth pirate, who surrendered shortly before the sniper shootings, to the United States or possibly turn him over to Kenya. Both piracy and hostage-taking carry life prison sentences under U.S. law.

    The French navy late Monday handed over the bodies of two Somali pirates killed in a hostage rescue operation last week to authorities in Somali's semiautonomous northern region of Puntland and locals buried the bodies.
     
  12. rock45

    rock45 Founding Member/ RIP our friend

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    Lets stop playing stupid here these authorities are in on it I wonder if checks are made on their bank accounts. The world being lead around by our noses on this.
     
  13. Shiny Capstar

    Shiny Capstar Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Political will, in any such attack civilians would be killed. With the instant coverage that would be given to these attacks people all around the world would see the inevitable pictures of dead children killed by a missile or a bomb (boots on the ground would be limited to SF attacks against limited targets), this would reflect badly on the politicians that ordered the attacks. Worse than if they did nothing.
     
  14. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Something like...:mornin:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Checking piracy off the coast of Somalia and the waters surrounding the horn of Africa is almost an impossible task for any single or even collective navies,its near impossible to patrol the waters whose size is twice the size of Somalia......The solution lies in bringing effective governance to coastal regions of Somalia,esp places like Puntland,where most of organized pirates hail from......

    Earlier when the piracy started,European govt played smart and in return for safe release of hostages they paid the ransom money.However most of the money was counterfeit and by the time the money reached the local war lords who used this money for intl arms deal,the money was found to be useless.

    This must one of the reasons why the pirates who hijacked the Ukrainian military cargo ship,demeaned half the ransom in gold bullion.Most govt's, as of now continue to be happy paying the pirates counterfeit money as ransom if it comes to that.
     

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