This week’s visit by People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to the Russian port of Novorossiysk comes amid reports Russia is considering a purchase of PLAN Type 054A frigates. Unthinkable just ten years ago, it’s a reminder of how far China’s domestic arms industry has come since the West imposed an arms embargo. Read More
The Marines are looking to employ new types of ships to extend the reach of special crisis response units into Africa, senior service leaders have told USNI News. Read More
On Jan. 3, 2015 Boko Haram militants initiated an attack on Baga, a village situated near Lake Chad in northeastern Borno state, Nigeria, and on the villages surrounding it. Read More
The former director of the National Counterterrorism Center says it is important to “keep the threat in perspective,” but also to realize the Islamic State “is only one group we are concerned with.” But in his assessment, even as strong as the Islamic State has shown itself to be in Syria and Iraq, it does not pose an immediate threat to the United States homeland. Read More
The following is a Government Accountability Office report on African Piracy released on June 19, 2014. The report concludes, “U.S. agencies have not systematically assessed the costs and benefits of their counterpiracy efforts.”
West Africa is home to the world’s most violent pirates—who are now capable of overwhelming armed guards. Last month pirates killed a crewmember during an attack on German-owned oil tanker. Instead of fighting off the pirates, the embarked security team retreated to the ship’s citadel safe room. Read More
This is the second in a two part series on piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
The first ten weeks of 2014 have witnessed the resurgence of maritime kidnap-for-ransom off the coast of Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
This is the first of a two-part series on piracy in West Africa.
In the early hours of 18 January 2014 a 75,000-ton tanker, the MT Kerala, vanished off the coast of Angola. A sophisticated pirate gang hijacked the Greek-owned vessel, disabling its identifications system and communication equipment, and painting over its identifying markers.
More than a week later and 1,300 miles away, the hijackers released Kerala off the coast of Nigeria, after offloading 12,270 tons of its diesel cargo to other ships. Read More
The two American sailors that were kidnapped on Oct. 23 off the coast of Nigeria have been returned, according several news reports. Read More
The kidnapping of two American mariners on Oct. 23 does not signal the rise of a new piracy threat off Nigeria, but rather the re-emergence of an old one
U.S. news outlets were quick to proclaim piracy is now “skyrocketing” off the West African nation.
But those types of blanket statements fail to capture the fluid nuances of maritime crime in the region, which has largely decreased in the past few years. Read More