Somali pirates guided by London intelligence team, report says


Giles Tremlett
The Guardian
May 12, 2009

The Somali pirates attacking shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean are directed to their targets by a “consultant” team in London, according to a European military intelligence document obtained by a Spanish radio station.

[efoods]The document, obtained by Cadena SER radio, says the team and the pirates remain in contact by satellite telephone.

It says that pirate groups have “well-placed informers” in London who are in regular contact with control centres in Somalia where decisions on which vessels to attack are made. These London-based “consultants” help the pirates select targets, providing information on the ships’ cargoes and courses.

In at least one case the pirates have remained in contact with their London informants from the hijacked ship, according to one targeted shipping company.

The pirates’ information network extends to Yemen, Dubai and the Suez canal.

The intelligence report is understood to have been issued to European navies.

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