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Live data and maps on pirate attacks

The International Maritime Bureau, a division of the International Chamber of Commerce, keeps up-to-the minute maps of global piracy, with linked data on the attacks. It's definitely worth checking out. 

Above, the purple tags denote "suspicious vessels," the yellow "attempted attacks," and the red "actual attacks."

Parsing the data, I counted that of 45 attempted attacks in the Gulf of Aden, 7 succeeded; in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia, of 31 attempts, 11 succeeded. This implies a pirate strike's more likely in the Gulf, and more likely to succeed in open waters. 

Peter Pham takes a closer look at the technicalities of pirate attacks, and stopping them, today on FP's website. 

(Hat tip: Global Dashboard)

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The pirates strike again

In my five pirate predictions yesterday, I wondered if the pirates would become more audacious and brazen, or if they would humble at their recent defeat at the hands of the U.S. Navy. This morning, I seem to have my answer:

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

A greek ship and two Egyptian fishing vessels are now added to the handful of ships and 260 hostages the the Somali pirates claim on the coast. True to form, the hijackers adapted their tactics in defiance of the international naval patrols, this time striking at night

Also yesterday, I worried about an escalation on the part of the world's navies -- moving from naval patrolling into all out battle. Now it appears that escalation is coming from both sides.

If this attack is indeed in retaliation against the Americans, the world might be entering into a whole new kind of asymmetric warfare. Stay tuned on FP today.