Archive for the ‘GPS’ Category

Somalia Pirates: Least Anticipated World-Changing News Story of 2008

December 29, 2008

Poverty, political chaos and technology merged at the seaside this year to witness a resurgence of piracy and pirates.  Insurance for shipped goods went up so the nations of the world sent their Naval forces: including China which deployed at long range for the first time in more than 500 years….

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Over the past year, Somali pirates have hijacked everything from luxury yachts to oil tankers, defying foreign navies and holding the world to ransom over one of the planet’s busiest trade routes.

What was once a group of disgruntled fishermen has turned into a fearsome organisation which has attacked more than 100 ships this year alone and raked in an estimated 120 million dollars in ransom money.

Somali pirates captured the world’s attention when they hijacked a Ukrainian cargo carrying combat tanks in September and a Saudi-owned super-tanker fully laden with two million barrels of crude two months later.

Pirates shoot on the deck of the Chinese ship "Zhenhua ... 
Pirates shoot on the deck of the Chinese ship “Zhenhua 4″ in the Gulf of Aden December 17, 2008 in this photo released by China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

Armed with rifles, grenade-launchers and grapnel hooks, the pirates have wreaked havoc in the Gulf of Aden, where thousands of merchant vessels bottle-neck into the Red Sea each year.

The cost of ransoms, delays and insurance premiums has hit the shipping industry hard, prompting some companies to opt for the longer but safer route around the Cape of Good Hope.

German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung, left, watches German ... 
German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung, left, watches German frigate Karlsruhe sailing out of the harbour of Djibouti, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2008. The warship is part of the EU mission ‘Atalanta’ protecting civil ships against pirates at the horn of Africa.(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

“This unprecedented rise in piracy is threatening the very freedom and safety of maritime trade routes, affecting not only Somalia and the region, but also a large percentage of world trade,” the top UN envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, said recently.

From Middle East Online

The latest high-profile hijackings have jolted the international community into action, with the dispatching of naval forces by the European Union and NATO to bolster already existing operations in the region.

French frigate Nivose (centre at left) escorts commercial ships ... 
French frigate Nivose (centre at left) escorts commercial ships in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/File/Eric Cabanis)

Brussels earlier this month trumpeted its first-ever naval force, dubbed Atalanta, but pirates have demonstrated their ability to adapt to growing surveillance and started shifting their attacks further south and out to sea.

Foreign navies have thwarted some attacks but pirates have hardly been deterred and obstacles remain to an finding an approach that would substantially curtail piracy off the Somali coastline.

In its first mission beyond territorial waters, China also sent two destroyers and one supply ship to join the fleet of foreign navies patrolling the pirate-infested waters.

The number of different countries and jurisdictions involved create many legal complications to effective anti-piracy efforts.

For example, if US naval forces board a Greek-owned Panamanian-flagged ship with a Chinese crew to arrest Somali pirates and transfer them to Kenya, no fewer than six countries are involved.

Piracy “poses an enormous challenge to the international legal system”, UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, Mark Bowden, said at an international conference on piracy in Nairobi on December 10.

Experts have outlined a programme that would allow naval coalition countries to transfer detained pirates for prosecution in coastal countries such as Kenya, Yemen, Djibouti or Tanzania.

Yet all agree that piracy cannot be effectively tackled without a stronger strategy aimed at restoring law and order ashore.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution authorising states combating piracy to conduct operations on land in Somalia.


Above: Missile Destroyer Haikou 171 of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet.  She departed with two other Chinese warships on a mission to the Gulf of Aden near Somali on anti-pirate patrol on Friday.  Many in the West see this as a sign of renewed cooperation between China and other military powers.

It allows states to “take all necessary measures that are appropriate in Somalia” to suppress “acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.”

Pirates have operated almost unimpeded in the northern breakaway state of Puntland and further south along the coast of Somalia, which has had no functioning institutions for years and is in the throes of an ever-worsening conflict and humanitarian crisis.

Related:
China Warships Depart on Anti-Piracy Mission Near Somalia
.
 Somali Pirates: Living The High Life While Neighbors Suffer Extreme Poverty, Government Collapses

Read the rest:
http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=29421

Mumbai attackers more tech savvy than the police

December 14, 2008

When the attackers arrived on the shores of Mumbai last month, they had studied satellite images of the city, were carrying handheld GPS sets and were communicating with their handlers via the Internet and satellite phone.

Many of the Indian police they encountered did not even have walkie-talkies.

The Mumbai gunmen not only overwhelmed security forces with their weaponry and willingness to die, but also with their sophisticated use of technology, security experts said.

By MUNEEZA NAQVI and MIN LEE, Associated Press Writers

“These (terrorists) are well aware of the technology available and also know that the police are several steps behind. And a lot of this technology is extremely easy to use and to learn,” said Pavan Duggal, a technology expert and New Delhi-based lawyer.

India‘s underfunded and poorly trained police force is simply unable to compete, experts said.

“Crimes that involve technology usually make the police very nervous,” Duggal said.

An Indian policeman stands guard at a police complex believed ... 
An Indian policeman stands guard at a police complex believed to be housing the lone surviving gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab from the recent attacks in Mumbai December 11, 2008. Indian police will charge the lone surviving gunman of last month’s Mumbai attacks on 12 counts, including waging war against the state, officials said on Wednesday.REUTERS/Arko Datta (INDIA)

To prepare for their Nov. 26 assault, militants examined the layout and landscape of the city using images from Google Earth, which provides satellite photos for much of the planet over the Internet, said Mumbai’s chief police investigator, Rakesh Maria.

The 10 gunmen also studied detailed photographs of their targets on laptop computers, Maria said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/ap
_on_re_as/as_india_shooting_technology_1

This Nov. 26, 2008, file photo shows a gunman walking at the ... 
This Nov. 26, 2008, file photo shows a gunman walking at the Chatrapathi Sivaji Terminal railway station in Mumbai, India. The lone gunman to survive the Mumbai terror attacks was a petty street thug from a dusty Pakistani outpost who was systematically transformed into a highly trained suicide guerrilla over 18 months in jihadist camps, India’s top investigator into the attacks said Saturday. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, 21, was one of the 10 men who came ashore on small rubber raft Nov. 26, divided into five pairs and attacked some of Mumbai’s best known and most beloved landmarks.(AP Photo/Mumbai Mirror, Sebastian D’souza, File) CREDIT MANDATORY

What We Know About Mumbai Terrorists: Mad Dogs Off The Leash

December 3, 2008

In Mumbai, it is now apparent that the terrorists that struck the hotels and other sites, killed nearly 200, tortured Jewish prisoners before putting them to death, and threw around hand grenades indiscriminately, were not your grandparents terrorists.

Because the Indian police captured one terrorist alive and a wealth of material and forensic evidence, we know several facts about the Mumbai terrorists:

–The surviving terrorist has told authorities he and the others were trained in Pakistan by the Islamist militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

–The terrorists were well armed with modern, first-rate automatic weapons and hand grenades.

–They used every conceivable modern technology to assist them in their deadly task: cell phones, GPS, Blackberries, text messaging and other tools were found.

–They had prepared physically and mentally for a long siege.  The dead terrorists are “beefy” well muscled men who seem to have worked out physically for months recently. There is some evidence that the terrorists used steroids.

–The susviving terrorist has spoken about mental and Islamic readiness and the fact that none of the terrorists had any fear of death.

–The terrorist, though Islamic fanatics, used cocaine, LSD and other drugs to assist them to stay awake and “one the edge.” Syringes, paraphernalia, and steroids were found on some of the terrorists.

–At least one terrorist wore a shirt bearing the Versace logo; a kind of Muslim taboo.  The use of the logo indicates that these men are unafraid to embrace what some Muslims consider “decadent.” 

The wearing of the “decadent” logo might seem a small, seemingly unimportant fact. But it could be evidence, combined with the drug use and other evidence, that these terrorist are unencumbered by any religious, cultural,  moral or other restrictions.

A criminal psychologist schooled in terrorism told Peace and Freedom, “these are mad dogs off the leash.”

Related:
Mumbai Terror Survivor Bought Cheap and Promised Pay “Dead or Alive” By Pakistan Handlers

This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with ... 
This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with a “Versace” logo carrying an automatic weapon as he enters a train station in Mumbai, late November 26. The man, Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, is being interrogated in a safe house in Mumbai, reports said.(AFP/NDTV/File)