African pirates continued their string of bold, unprecedented attack against the West today. Commander Ciro Pinto reported to Italian media that six black men in a small white opened fire on luxury liner Msc Melody, all late Sunday.
The pirates prepared to board the ship where they planned to loot passengers and plunder the women, but fortunately the Italians hired elite Israeli private forces to keep guard on the ship.
As the Africans approached and were ready to claim the vessel, the Israeli forces stealthily emerged and opened a barrage of fire on the African flagship vessel.
“It felt like we were at war,” Pinto said in his media interview.
After a prolonged gun battle, the Israeli forces were able to make the bandits surrender and then flee back to African land in retreat.
Even though none of the ship’s 1,000 passengers or 500 crew were hurt, the psychological damage to the passengers and the industry is present: are cruise ships safe anymore?
Until the threat of African piracy is totally eliminated, the answer to that question is no. Last week US military was forced to engage Somalian pirates after they kidnapped an American captain of a cargo ship en route to Africa to deliver humanitarian food aide. The captain was only released after the US Navy executed a secret mission where naval snipers were forced to kill the pirates.
For the sake of cruise industry and citizen safety, the US must take action against Somalia and African pirates. The best solution will be satellite monitoring and use of smart bombs to wipe out any suspected African pirate’s cove and village.
Pirates have attacked more than 100 ships off the Somalian coast within only the last year, causing more than $1 million in damages and unreasonable psychological trauma.
Civilian ships are typically encouraged to hire private security forces or arm necessary guards, due to liability and potential threat issues that can mount on a ship. With the problem of piracy in the African/Arab coastal regions, this policy has become necessary as a permanent military solution is not yet in place.
Pinto confirmed that the pirates who attacked his ship used automatic weapons, firing upon the ship as they attempted to dock a ladder to it, so as to take all the passengers hostage. Fortuantely, thanks to the security forces and problems with the ladder, they were not able to board.
Next time may not end so fortunately, and soon our politicians need to declare an international war — US lead — against any and all pirates. Our military vessels should engage in battle against any pirate vessel, wiping them off the face of the Earth. Pirate attacks are an act of war and a military retribution is necessary to ensure the industry of tourism remains healthy and the lives of innocent travelers remain safe.