Chasing the Pirates
The April seizure of the U.S. merchant ship Maersk Alabama and the protracted captivity of her captain dramatized a growing piracy problem off the Somali coast. U.S. Navy SEALs eventually rescued the captain and killed three of his captors. Several countries have contributed ships to patrols off Somalia, and there have been other battles, often successful, to resist or capture pirates. No one has suggested that these successes will solve the problem. Pirates still bring their prizes into Somalia, and they continue to profit heavily as ship owners pay substantial ransoms.