Sea Transportation: Smash and Grab


June 2, 2006: There's been a new wrinkle detected in the piracy business of late, primarily in waters around the Arabian Peninsula, which might be termed "smash and grad" tactics. Since patrolling by Coalition forces and local navies has become more common, and effective, some pirates appear to be limiting their actions to quick boardings, grabbing whatever seems valuable, and making a quick getaway. These operations can take as little as ten minutes. In a way this is an adaptation to more effective policing that is not unlike that of the more successful 1920s/1930s bank robbers, a more or less by the numbers operation that may limit the take, but also greatly reduces the risk of interference by law enforcement.

The "high speed pirates" appear to be planning these quick heists, even to the extent that they observe naval patrols, and when and where they will have an opportunity to successfully carry out a robbery. Ship operators are responding with more security equipment on board, much of it similar to what people install in their homes or businesses to keep burglars out.


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