18 Nov. Washington Times Op-Ed by Austin Bay - Pirates Arrghh Still Around.

In June 2005, I received two briefings from CENTCOM naval officers on coalition naval operations off Africa's Somali coast and in the Red Sea. Chasing pirates is a key mission. Stopping piracy protects African and Arab fishermen and shippers, so it's good politics. There's also little doubt al Qaeda has paid local pirates to smuggle personnel and weapons.

Naval patrols off Somalia, however, didn't deter last week's audacious -- and unsuccessful -- pirate assault on the cruise liner Seabourn Spirit. Somali pirates in small boats attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. The liner's captain and crew maneuvered their ship, using it as a weapon -- it's big, and it generates a massive wake. The liner also employed a directional "parabolic audio boom-box." The nonlethal "sonic weapon" emitted an eardrum-shattering sound. The frustrated pirates retreated...

The spike in media interest may give Jack Gottschalk and Brian Flanagan a belated best-seller. Their Jolly Roger With an Uzi: The Rise and Threat of Modern Piracy," published by Naval Institute Press in 2000, documented the rise of "new piracy," to include smuggling and maritime scams, and terrorists at sea.