Pirates set up virtual offices

A while back some person took issue with my interest in pirate groups as legitimate organizations with democratic processes and some semblance (even in criminality) of internal rule of law.  New findings reinforce the importance of studying how modern pirates organize:

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.

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.

That’s more sophisticated than I would have guessed.  I’m not sure why London would be the place to run such an operation, but the remote control center indicates a pretty advanced method of pillage and plunder.


2 responses to “Pirates set up virtual offices

  1. With organization like this, it seems like ‘pirates’ are really more like ‘terrorists with boats’.

    What a weird job, though….”What do I do? Oh, I’m a pirate consultant. I help pirates select targets, and sometimes I help them set ransom levels, although that’s not my official area of expertise…”

  2. Pingback: Week in Public Organizations, 18May2009 « PublicOrgTheory

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