The 3,025-km. long coastline of Somalia (classified as the most dangerous territory in the world because of its lawlessness, widespread civil war and total anarchy, especially in and around the capital Mogadishu) hosts at least four distinct groups of pirates, says the ministry.
These are organized according to tribal and clan backgrounds and are led by war lords, corrupt business men and even local authorities, says the ministry. Pirate groups are well organized and led from headquarters ashore.
To be able to operate far out at sea they increasingly employ mother ships from which they launch small interceptor craft to attack merchant or fishing vessels.
Typical pirate equipment includes communications (radios, satellite phone), radar, assault rifles, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
Typical pirate equipment? What the heck: do they order it from a catalog? BBC this week also has a two-part series (available here and here) comparing pirates of yore to today’s high-sea criminals. Pirating ain’t what it used to be, though: these days they’re attacking ships packed with food aid, rather than gold and treasure.