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Originally posted by Chovy
If they're not linked they should be. Pirates are scum that need to be thrown in jail for the crime they do.
Former Ambassador David H. Shinn recently claimed there was no direct connection between the two and then immediately cited a credible source to the contrary:
"Jane’s [Intelligence Review] has identified a close link between the pirates and the extremist al-Shabab group, which says it has links to al-Qaeda. The pirates in Kismayu coordinate with the al-Shabab militia in the area, although al-Shabab apparently does not play an active role in the pirate attacks. Al-Shabab requires some pirates to pay a protection fee of 5 to 10 percent of the ransom money. If al-Shabab helps to train the pirates, it might receive 20 percent and up to 50 percent if it finances the piracy operation. There is increasing evidence that the pirates are assisting al-Shabab with arms smuggling from Yemen and two central Asian countries. They are also reportedly helping al-Shabab develop an independent maritime force so that it can smuggle foreign jihadist fighters and 'special weapons' into Somalia."
"As I noted in this column two months ago, to date there has yet to be "evidence of anything other than opportunistic instances of cooperation between Somalia's Islamists and pirates – the latter have played no small role in the ferrying of the estimated 1,500 non-Somali jihadists into the country – the ongoing ascendancy of al-Shabaab and its allies does not bode well for efforts to stem the contemporaneous rise of the pirates." While that analysis still largely holds true, it does not mean that it will always be the case. As another one of my FDD colleagues, Dr. Walid Phares, pointed out earlier this week, the Somali pirates could easily be transformed into the tip of a far wider jihadist thrust in a geopolitically sensitive region, a move that, as I reported last month, Usama bin Laden, among others, earnestly seeks. Thus, recognizing the deadly potential of a common cause between the pirate gangs and al-Shabaab and other Islamist militants..."
"Lt. Gen. Maples touched upon the links between the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab and the more well-known al-Qaeda, stating that, 'Recent propaganda from both al-Qaeda and the Somalia-base terrorist group al-Shabaab highlighting their shared ideology suggests a formal merger announcement is forthcoming.'
Such an alliance would allow al-Qaeda to gain a more concrete base of operations in East Africa, within the territory that al-Shabaab already controls in the southern part of Somalia. Given that al-Qaeda has already carried a number of succesful terror attacks in the region, including the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and the seaborne assaults on the USS Cole and the MT Limburg, the transnational security risks this poses are great.
And since al-Shabaab is believed to receive at least some of its funding from pirate gangs operating within its sphere of control, this increases the reasons we have to both stem the tide of piracy off Somalia and address the land-based security issues."
Originally posted by Frankidealist35
I agree. I think there is some kind of link between terrorism and piratism. After all, Yemen is where OBL grew up right? Isn't that where the pirates are?