Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


'Our sources say it contains chemicals, dangerous chemicals'
September 29, 2008 8:53 AM   Subscribe

A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates. Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill "within days" of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died.
posted by VicNebulous (96 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Despite the delcious name, yellow cake is not edible.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:01 AM on September 29, 2008 [17 favorites]


Can't get page to load; is there a mirror?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:02 AM on September 29, 2008


The ship's name was "October Surprise."
posted by plexi at 9:03 AM on September 29, 2008 [19 favorites]


"Deyanat" is Iranian for "Cthulhu mummy boat".
posted by Mister_A at 9:04 AM on September 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


So now the pirates have tanks and WMDs? At least this will settle the interminable ninja vs pirate debate.
posted by roofus at 9:04 AM on September 29, 2008 [22 favorites]


And then they sang a rollicking sea chanty. Arrrr!
posted by yhbc at 9:05 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can you cure radiation poisoning with fruit or is that just scurvy?

It's much harrrrrder to be a pirate these days.
posted by rmless at 9:07 AM on September 29, 2008


Crude mirror. Awfully fishy that no one else has this story, even on Google News.

A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates. Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill "within days" of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died.

Andrew Mwangura, the director of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, told the Sunday Times: "We don't know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them had died. There is something very wrong about that ship."

The vessel's declared cargo consists of "minerals" and "industrial products". But officials involved in negotiations over the ship are convinced that it was sailing for Eritrea to deliver small arms and chemical weapons to Somalia's Islamist rebels.

The drama over the Iran Deyanat comes as speculation grew this week about whether the South African Navy would send a vessel to join the growing multinational force in the region.

A naval spokesman, Lieutenant-Commander Greyling van den Berg, told the Sunday Times that the navy had not been ordered by the government to become involved in "the Somali pirate issue".

The ship is owned and operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, or IRISL, a state-owned company run by the Iranian military.

According to the US Treasury Department, the IRISL regularly falsifies shipping documents to hide the identity of end users, uses generic terms to describe shipments and operates under various covers to circumvent United Nations sanctions. The ship set sail from Nanjing, China, at the end of July. According to its manifest, it was heading for Rotterdam where it would unload 42500 tons of iron ore and "industrial products" purchased by a German client.

At Eyl, the ship was secured by more pirates — about 50 on board, and another 50 on shore. But within days those who had boarded the ship developed mysterious health trouble. This was also confirmed by Hassan Allore Osman, minister of minerals and oil in Puntland, an autonomous region of Somalia. He headed a delegation sent to Eyl when news of the toxic cargo and illnesses surfaced. He told one news publication, The Long War Journal, that during the six days he had negotiated with the pirates, a number of them had become sick and died. "That ship is unusual," he was quoted as saying. "It is not carrying a normal shipment."

The pirates did reveal that they had tried to inspect the ship's cargo containers when some of them fell sick — but the containers were locked.

Osman's delegation spoke to the ship's captain and its engineer by cellphone, demanding to know more about the cargo. Initially it was claimed the cargo contained "crude oil"; later it was said to be "minerals". And Mwangura has added: "Our sources say it contains chemicals, dangerous chemicals."But IRISL has denied that — and threatened legal action against Mwangura. The company has reportedly paid the pirates 200000 — the first of several "ransom instalments", but that, too, has been denied. Mareeg

posted by crapmatic at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2008


http://www.somaliweyn.org/pages/news/Sep_08/23Sep20.html
posted by gman at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2008


Ha ha! /Nelson

So next year Talk Like A Pirate Day will look like a zombie flash mob?
posted by geekyguy at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Full Story
posted by Suparnova at 9:12 AM on September 29, 2008


Long War Journal article
posted by lukemeister at 9:12 AM on September 29, 2008


Oh great, we've found something scarier and more effective than a nuclear Iran: Somali pirates.
posted by DU at 9:13 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love how this story morphs from "pirates die strangely" to "toxic cargo" without pausing for any critical thinking at all.

As if the pirates were in perfect health before boarding. And strange that the vessel's crew don't seem to be affected. Hmmm....
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:15 AM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


There are no news stories about this at all, and the only articles referencing it are on websites and forums with scary-sounding reactionary names.

My earlier pirate joke notwithstanding, I'm inclined to wait until a real news source has the story to even start being concerned.
posted by yhbc at 9:16 AM on September 29, 2008


And strange that the vessel's crew don't seem to be affected. Hmmm....

Was I the only one to imagine all the jimmying and prying that probably went on?
posted by jon_kill at 9:16 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The story as written makes no sense- what happened to the initial crew and why didn't they get sick? If your group of pirates is slowly dying off, why are you still negotiating- you've got no hand? (choices are "stay and die" or "leave", no?) Why would Iran send chemical weapons to Somalia of all places? Because of a tenuous "islamic" tie?
posted by Challahtronix at 9:17 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is wank.
posted by troy at 9:17 AM on September 29, 2008


serious response: I would hope that we're being much more careful of the migration from rumour to fact, when it comes to stories concerning states where there is an obvious pro-war agenda on. That being said, presumably the original crew didn't try to break into the cargo.

jokey response: it's just the security system. I used to have a Civic hatchback that did the same thing.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:20 AM on September 29, 2008


If these pirates had any balls at all, they'd cut their building loose and float down Wall St., engaging far worthier prizes.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:20 AM on September 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


Sounds like Repo Man 2.
posted by docpops at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


The van der Berg guy cited is a legit South African media liason, looks like.
posted by mwhybark at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2008


A little bit more There are about 10 pirated ships anchored off Eyl at the moment. Russians are sending warships after the latest pirating of a vessel carrying 33 tanks and ammunition. The Somali pirates have been busy this year.
posted by adamvasco at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2008


background:

Piracy in Somalia
Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa
posted by mandal at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2008


Too late, savimbi.
posted by Mister_A at 9:25 AM on September 29, 2008


Commander Clement: [about pile of dead bodies] What happened?

Betty: Plague!

Commander Clement: Plague?

Betty: All sudden like! Lucky I was out.

Commander Clement: That man's got a sword in him!

Betty: He fell on it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:26 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Crude mirror. Awfully fishy that no one else has this story, even on Google News.

Yeah -- I discovered the same thing after posting...can't find it anywhere.
posted by VicNebulous at 9:27 AM on September 29, 2008


Oh, and to recap:

Pirates got tanks! Pirates got nukes! Methane fountaining to surface in Arctic! Putin head rears! Global economic depression set for January 20 onset!

RUN AWAY!
posted by mwhybark at 9:27 AM on September 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


presumably the original crew didn't try to break into the cargo.

Yes, but why aren't they dying now, after the apparently Lovecraftian horror has been released?

Prediction: Pirates nab boat. Some pirates and crew were killed or wounded during the initial gunfight. Some pirates and crew are now succumbing to wounds and infection subsequent to the gunfight. International press stretches truth to make good story.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:28 AM on September 29, 2008


Sounds like the plot for an X-Files episode/movie.
posted by orange swan at 9:28 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


From The Times:

The Iranian owners of MV Iran Deyanat, a chemical tanker hijacked in August, paid the $200,000 demanded by the hijackers, but the gang refused to free the ship and crew, saying that the money had been only a first instalment of what was needed.
posted by mandal at 9:34 AM on September 29, 2008


I guess it's always possible that a mystery will drag in some extra bidders.
posted by mandal at 9:34 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you were going to ship 30-odd tanks or dangerous chemicals or whatever through waters rife with piracy, wouldn't you hire an escort?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 9:34 AM on September 29, 2008


Sounds like the plot for an X-Files episode/movie.

Season 2, episode 2: The Host.

Or the beginning of The Thing.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:36 AM on September 29, 2008


More detail here.

Abdinur Farah told Reuters from the deck of a seized Iranian ship.

He said the Iranian ship with 28 crew members including two Russians, two Pakistanis and a Syrian would soon be freed once the $2 million ransom agreed upon was paid.

"The bargaining about the ransom is over and pirates are just waiting for the money," he said.

"Puntland requested the pirates two weeks ago to hand over this Iranian ship, saying that it is carrying weapons to Eritrea. I have seen food and other odd items on the ship but I do not know what is hidden underneath."


-

Iran denies agreement on $2m vessel ransom

-

US offers pirates $7m bribe for Iran ship entry
posted by suedehead at 9:38 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you were going to ship 30-odd tanks or dangerous chemicals or whatever through waters rife with piracy, wouldn't you hire an escort?

I dunno, I was thinking the opposite: what a great way to make it someone else's problem.
posted by rokusan at 9:40 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you were going to ship 30-odd tanks or dangerous chemicals or whatever through waters rife with piracy, wouldn't you hire an escort?

I might. And she'd likely be good with her hands. But I don't know that she'd be able to take all those pirates.
posted by mandal at 9:42 AM on September 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


So we suddenly care about pirates when they steal shit and get mysteriously sick? Why doesn't the world seem to care about them when they are just, you know, stealing shit?
posted by Meatbomb at 9:43 AM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Is our pirates learning?
posted by Mister_A at 9:52 AM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is a viral for a video game, isn't it?
posted by From Bklyn at 9:59 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Time to send in the ninjas.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 10:00 AM on September 29, 2008


I thought Jin and Michael blew up the boat at the end of last season.
posted by gimonca at 10:04 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lovecraftian horror

March 23rd the crew of the Emma MV October Surprise landed on an unknown island and left six men dead; and on that date the dreams of sensitive men assumed a heightened vividness and darkened with dread of a giant monster's malign pursuit, whilst an architect had gone mad and a sculptor had lapsed suddenly into delirium!
...
What of all this - and of those hints of old Castro Cheney about the sunken, star-born Old Ones and their coming reign; their faithful cult and their mastery of dreams? Was I tottering on the brink of cosmic horrors beyond man's power to bear?
...
Everyone listened, and everyone was listening still when It lumbered slobberingly into sight and gropingly squeezed Its gelatinous green immensity through the black doorway into the tainted outside air of that poison city of madness.

Poor Johansen's van den Berg's handwriting almost gave out when he wrote of this. Of the six men who never reached the ship, he thinks two perished of pure fright in that accursed instant. The Thing cannot be described - there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked or stumbled. God! What wonder that across the earth a great architect went mad, and poor Wilcox raved with fever in that telepathic instant? The Thing of the idols, the green, sticky spawn of the stars, had awaked to claim his own. The stars were right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do by design, a band of innocent sailors had done by accident. After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu Yellowcake was loose again, and ravening for delight.
posted by mwhybark at 10:08 AM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's unlikely it's nuclear. Also, they cannot offload the cargo off ship because then it would be obvious what it is. Several foreign navies are just off Eyl, preventing the ships from being moved out. If the Iranians make a deal for the ship, the US can and will inspect it once it moves away from Eyl. (Reports are that the US has counter-offered whatever the Iranian price was).

There is a lot more going on here than meets the eye. The symptoms don't appear to fit the profile of any known chemical agent or nuclear agent. The crew was also not sick.

Looking forward to more info.
posted by arimathea at 10:10 AM on September 29, 2008


Meatbomb: I'm sorry if I'm doing this wrong, but I think that the scary implication is supposed to be radiation or chemical weapons.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:10 AM on September 29, 2008


docpops : Sounds like Repo Man 2.

Exactly. How did they get from dangerous "minerals" and "industrial products" directly to yellow cake uranium or chemical weapons? They completely skipped over the possibility of the hold being full of dead aliens.

Well, when that ship is glowing green and flying all over the place, those of us who saw this coming will be the ones laughing.
posted by quin at 10:18 AM on September 29, 2008


It would be nice to see this level of international concern when the pirates were just raping and killing poor people.

The US has offered USD 7m to the pirates, who hijacked an Iranian ship in the Gulf of Aden, to receive entry permission and search the vessel.

The hijackers have yet to respond to the USD 7m offer, but a source close to the pirates told Press TV that the pirates are likely to accept the bribe and allow the Americans onboard the vessel.

The US the naval fleet off the Somali coast alleges that The Iran Diyanat was carrying 'uranium and chemical weapons'.

Iran's shipping company, however, has declared that the Iranian bulk carrier hired by a German company had no weapons or uranium on board and was carrying 42,500 tons of minerals and industrial products.

Ibrahim Mohammad-Nabi, Deputy CEO of Iran's shipping company also confirmed that no Russian or Syrian nationals were aboard the vessel, rejecting claims made by another Puntland minister that an international crew operates the ship.

Pirates have stepped up attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden, as Somalia's current transitional government has failed to shackle the pirates in the key commercial shipping lane.

RB/MMN

posted by mecran01 at 10:19 AM on September 29, 2008


There is a lot more going on here than meets the eye.

I could have told you that based on the sources that are running the story and the ones that aren't. Why is it that no one other than the Long War Journal are finding any info on this? Why would such an important story have to come from this guy?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:21 AM on September 29, 2008


There is actually some more information in sites other than the LWJ, but those sites do not like to raise their profile.
posted by arimathea at 10:23 AM on September 29, 2008


It would be informative about the value of the cargo, if the US can provoke Iran into a bidding war over this ship.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:27 AM on September 29, 2008


Pollomacho, consider that the two links I posted upthread are from Press TV, a news channel funded by the Iranian government. (It's odd, though -- you'd think that Iran would be trying to keep this under wraps.)
posted by suedehead at 10:27 AM on September 29, 2008


Everything I've found that says anything about sickened pirates cites the LWJ. The Press TV articles say nothing about the sickened pirates, only "industrial chemicals" being on board.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:31 AM on September 29, 2008


I was going to ask why in fuck these ships aren't protected by navy vessels, but apparently they are. And still no results. So how about convoys? Wouldn't armed convoys back and forth past Somalia get by?

By the way, piracy in Somali waters goes both ways:
An estimated 700 foreign-owned vessels were engaged in unlicensed fishing in Somali waters in 2005, according to the Somali fishery country profile compiled by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). However, the agency said it was "impossible to monitor their fishery production in general, let alone the state of the fishery resources they are exploiting. There is also strong suspicion of illegal dumping of industrial and nuclear wastes along the Somali coast."
If local fisherman can't earn a living honestly, and all they know how to do is zoom about in boats, you can see how many would easily turn to piracy. Any navy force hunting pirates there should also be hunting illegal fishing boats and waste dumpers.
posted by pracowity at 10:36 AM on September 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's glad to hear that the health of Somali pirates is monitored so closely though.
posted by Artw at 10:45 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


There is also strong suspicion of illegal dumping of industrial and nuclear wastes along the Somali coast.

If you were going to ship 30-odd tanks or dangerous chemicals or whatever through waters rife with piracy, wouldn't you hire an escort?

Hmm, anyone putting two and two together? Iranian warships sailing around gathers suspicion, but an Iranian boat chartered by Germans and sailing from China on its own might make a little cash by dropping off a little "ballast" on it's way around the horn.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:46 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


They should rename it the Neal Stephenson sea.
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's people!
posted by Vindaloo at 10:58 AM on September 29, 2008


Arrr, I need to lie down some.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:00 AM on September 29, 2008


did ye be eatin of the carrrgo, stinkycheese matey
posted by mwhybark at 11:05 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jeez, I was supposed to be on that ship.

Fortunately, I lost my ticket in a game of cards to a cheerful young artist, a young Mr. Dawson. Nice fellow, but said he'd had trouble with ships before. Wonder what happened to him?
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:05 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


This cargo be cursed, says I. Tis the black spot. Ergh.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:09 AM on September 29, 2008


...but what about the bond stooge?
posted by jimmythefish at 11:15 AM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


The ship set sail from Nanjing, China, at the end of July. According to its manifest, it was heading for Rotterdam where it would unload 42500 tons of iron ore and “industrial products” purchased by a German client.

It was in Nanjing to undergo several surveys and certifications. Impressively it earned it's International Load Line Certificate while under pirate control.
posted by jwells at 11:28 AM on September 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Did ye espy the glabrous tentaclees, matey? Did ye breathe of its' fishy scent, the vairry scent of hell itself?

'TIS THE MONSTARR OF THE DEEPING VAST, I TELLS YE
posted by mwhybark at 11:32 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


And, aye, I knew well when me eye I laid upon her, midst the fuming airs of far Nanjing. Here be a ship and crew what's ne'er fated for to see the fair skies and free coast of Gloucester once more, arr.
posted by mwhybark at 11:35 AM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


(Reports are that the US has counter-offered whatever the Iranian price was)

Q: Why did the US get into a bidding war to buy a stolen ship from pirates?

A: The War on Terror!
posted by Meatbomb at 12:07 PM on September 29, 2008


It spake to me it did, tho it moved nor mouth nor eye. "Ye shall die a thousand deaths in me right awful belly," it said. And I was afeared and drank too much rum.
posted by Mister_A at 12:08 PM on September 29, 2008


Also, here's a photo of the Iran Deyanat.
posted by jwells at 12:12 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


It would be informative about the value of the cargo, if the US can provoke Iran into a bidding war over this ship.

I'm staring at that sentence and fighting the urge to cross out "bidding" with a ftfw.
posted by rokusan at 12:26 PM on September 29, 2008


The US Department of Treasury maintains a list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons whose property is "blocked" called a SDN list. Here's the (warning, very large) text link to the list. Guess what's on it:

IRAN DEYANAT Bulk Carrier 43,150DWT 25,168GRT Iran flag (IRISL);
Vessel Registration Identification IMO 8107579 (vessel) [NPWMD]
posted by jwells at 12:46 PM on September 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Argh, me parchmentshop revisions of yon engravure of ye MV Octobre Soupris have come to naught! Twas truly an accurate rendering, clearly and with verity depicting the jolly roger unfurl'd proudly abaft the bow and Leviathan all-aclutch! But then an unlucky swell moved my hooked appendage to release ye belaying pin marked SAVE? YES NO in such wise that all my work was undone.

Now 'tis I who must go aloft once more for to refurl the foul'd riggins. Arr. And with me mateys Mister_A and the redoubtable stinkycheese all insensate 'pon the foscle.

Arrh, 'tis untoward and 'gainst nature, I'll aver, 'tis untoward.
posted by mwhybark at 1:00 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have to admit I don't really understand how come the ship with THIRTY TANKS on board came to be hijacked by some dudes with a few RPGs.

TANKS!!! for FSM's sake - even if they didn't fire on the pirates, they could have just, you know, dropped one over the side onto them as they tried to scale the side of the ship.
posted by kcds at 1:02 PM on September 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sir:
My name is Danjuma Sule, one of the sons of major Gen Gumel Danjuma Sule, The late Nigeria's former minister of mines and power in the regime of the late former Nigeria's military Head of state, Gen Sanni Abacha.
I am the captain of a hijacked Iranian ship in the Gulf of Aden that has been seezed by pirates. If you send me 7m USD I will give you permision to seach the vessel.

It is on this basis I am seeking for assistance. Waiting for your immediate response.

Regards,
Danjuma Sule (Capt. Iranian Navy)

------

I kid.
But I did hear (2nd hand - not verified) a Russian missile frigate was headed towards there.
This made my testicles shiver. True or not. True - obviously things are touchy right now, what with all that’s going on elsewhere (SA and in their backyard). If it’s not true than either it’s a cover story (even scarier) or it’s just rumor b.s. (ahh - sigh of relief). Whatever the case it’s in the “more shit I don’t need this week” pile.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:17 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


TANKS!!! for FSM's sake - even if they didn't fire on the pirates, they could have just, you know, dropped one over the side onto them as they tried to scale the side of the ship.

With what, a handcart?
posted by atrazine at 1:23 PM on September 29, 2008


Gravity gun.
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on September 29, 2008


The US Department of Treasury maintains a list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons whose property is "blocked" called a SDN list.

From that link:
"SDN vessels must themselves be physically blocked should they enter U.S.
jurisdiction. Freight forwarders and shippers may not charter, book cargo on, or otherwise deal with SDN vessels."

I'm assuming most any Iranian vessel would be on that list? I wonder, was it chartered by German clients, and how does being on the SDN fit in with being destined for Rotterdam? Do foreign ports, especially of friendly European countries, not respect the SDN?
posted by shunshine at 1:40 PM on September 29, 2008


Impressively it earned it's International Load Line Certificate while under pirate control.

That seems really fishy, great find on the links. Could just be a delay in issuing the certification, I suppose, or a little catchup now that it's under international scrutiny.

Assuming it really is hauling something nasty, I'm leaning towards the previously stated opinion that is was destined for dumping, rather than anything weaponizable.
posted by shunshine at 1:42 PM on September 29, 2008


a Russian missile frigate was headed towards there.

Neustrashimmy (sp?) and the USS Howard are on the way, to get back the tanks - per my local newspaper.
posted by pompomtom at 2:40 PM on September 29, 2008


>There is actually some more information in sites other than the LWJ, but those sites do not like to raise their profile.

Which sites, specifically?
posted by darth_tedious at 3:41 PM on September 29, 2008


darth_tedious, it would appear that arimathea has been 'gotten to.' i was wondering the same thing myself...

but i'm also curious as to why the refs to neal stephenson. why not gibson? this seems like some weirdness he'd concoct. what am i missing in the stephenson worldview?
posted by artof.mulata at 5:00 PM on September 29, 2008


Yeah, the obvious reference here is Spook Country. Not that it seems unlike something Stephenson might also write about, though.

Can someone explain to me how a bulk carrier carries tanks? I thought they only carried, y'know, bulk crap.
posted by hattifattener at 8:09 PM on September 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed by the rush to claim pirate supremacy over ninjas. The whole point of ninjas is that you don't *need* tanks and radioactive waste to get the job done. Those are simply inelegant and awkward western approaches to taking care of business.
posted by mecran01 at 8:19 PM on September 29, 2008


hattifattener, I haven't done the legwork to verify what I suspect the source of the confusion might be, but the tanks are on ONE pirate prize, and the CTHFATGH is on another.
posted by mwhybark at 8:21 PM on September 29, 2008


mecran01, "Ask a Ninja" is SUCH a biased research source.
posted by mwhybark at 8:22 PM on September 29, 2008


Oh, duh. I missed that there were two entirely separate dodgy ships attacked by pirates being discussed here.
posted by hattifattener at 8:55 PM on September 29, 2008


Whatever the case it’s in the “more shit I don’t need this week” pile.
posted by Smedleyman


I know you are popular here on Metafilter - but I didn't know you had the power to effect change in these various clusterfsck events going on.

You are a God Smedley Butler.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:20 PM on September 29, 2008


This feels like one of those stories that will end up at the start of a "released straight to Google Video" documentary about the new war on terror...

"It began innocuously enough in September 2008 when a group of Somali pirates seized a ship in the Gulf of Aden. Little did they know that their misadventure would uncover a vast network of German industrial mineral refineries, Islamic terror, oil barons, the De Beers company and Lloyds of London..."

I would hear that opening and say to my wife..."Hey! I read about that on Mefi!"
posted by salishsea at 11:09 PM on September 29, 2008


“didn't know you had the power to effect change in these various clusterfsck events going on.”

Ol’ Smed’s a God.
I’m more or less just a passenger in this trainwreck like everyone else.
Although if there were more money in privateer work I’d think about it. It's not like this is going to clean itself up.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:42 PM on September 30, 2008


it doesn't end here, mates...

latest ny times article on the subject and a nice interview with the king o' the pirates.

weirdness in this article: no mention of strange deaths from unseen/unsee-able chems or waves of destruction. there is a chat about a shoot out.

and once again the neal stephenson referentials are knocked aside for the gibsonian as said pirates discuss the political implications of their trade and the history of it.

having just read a sheeit-tonne of james l. nelson's pirate books and seeing how there's nowhere less protected than the earth's oceans and seas why don't more people go in for the sweet trade?

and why do i feel that this will be the last comment on this post?
posted by artof.mulata at 2:55 PM on September 30, 2008


artof., the interview (if it's the same one that was getting a good amount of exposure today all around) was with a representative of the folks holding the tanks. No one has tied the tanks to the cthulu-nuke-chemical-whatever.

Although I hear tell the 'king of the pirates' claims to be defending the Somali coast against folks who would dump toxic fucking shit there, so my guess is he's at least informed about the Repo Man garbage barge.

Arr, look ye not upon the unearthly starrrspawn, for IT BAIRRRRNS.
posted by mwhybark at 9:50 PM on September 30, 2008


weirdness in this article: no mention of strange deaths from unseen/unsee-able chems or waves of destruction. there is a chat about a shoot out.

That's because it's a different ship, the Faina, not the Deyanat.
posted by suedehead at 12:10 AM on October 1, 2008


UN envoy decries illegal fishing, waste dumping off Somalia.
Toxic waste dumping is old news in Africa; some of it off Somalia has been Nuclear waste.
posted by adamvasco at 4:04 AM on October 1, 2008


EU force to fight Somali pirates.
posted by adamvasco at 3:01 AM on October 2, 2008


suedehead said, "That's because it's a different ship, the Faina, not the Deyanat."

i don't know who you work for, but your imperialist trick won't work on me.
posted by artof.mulata at 3:22 PM on October 2, 2008


Hijacked tanks 'for South Sudan'
posted by adamvasco at 4:48 AM on October 7, 2008


Somali Pirates living the High Life
posted by adamvasco at 3:19 AM on October 28, 2008


« Older "You know, we spent $3 million to study the DNA of...  |  Beaked Whales "might be the le... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments