Somali Maritime Predation: Traditional Piracy or a New Form of Terrorism?

Twyman-Ghoshal, Anamika ORCID: 0000-0003-4076-6687 (2018) Somali Maritime Predation: Traditional Piracy or a New Form of Terrorism? In: Historical Perspectives on Organised Crime and Terrorism. Routledge, pp. 135-156.

11931 Twyman-Ghoshal (2018) Chapter 8 - Somali Maritime Predation - Traditional Piracy or a New Form of Terrorism from 'Historical Perspectives on Organised Crime and Terrorism'.pdf - Draft Version
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Piracy off the coast of Somalia is different from other forms of piracy around the world. The Contemporary Maritime Piracy Database (CMPD) shows that Somali piracy takes place mainly in the high seas, occurs during the daylight hours, targets vessels in motion, and is more likely to be armed and threatening. Furthermore, rather than theft, the motivation is to hold the ship for ransom. With the emergence of Somali piracy and its threat to international trade, there has been a suggestion by some that these piratical acts constitute maritime terrorism. This argument is not new, in fact, it has been discussed in the past for the piracy in Southeast Asia and beyond. There are suggestions that a coupling of the overlapping threats of piracy and terrorism would provide a more integrated and efficient enforcement strategy. The question posited here, is whether Somali piracy is in fact a form of maritime terrorism and if coupling these threats is a sound policy decision. The discussion will tackle arguments that have suggested that piracy and terrorism are fundamentally the same type of crime. The question is an important one, as the re-defining of piracy as terrorism or terrorism as piracy is more than mere semantics; it has a direct impact on the policies implemented to combat violence at sea. The focus of this chapter is on Somali piracy, the reason for which is twofold. Firstly, as already mentioned, Somali piracy has a distinctive nature, in that it is not motivated by the appropriation of goods like many other piratical acts around the world, instead the focus has been ransoming. Secondly, and perhaps even more significant, is that Somali piracy has generated previously unseen international community responses, some of which have piggy backed off counter-terrorism operations in the Horn of Africa. This reality means that in practical terms, Somali piracy has already been associated to terrorism. To explore whether piracy and terrorism are in fact the same type of crime, this chapter begins with exploring what these two phenomena are and the underlying motivations of such acts. The discussion begins with the legal definition of piracy as encapsulated in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) as well as the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation 1988 (SUA). The latter was created specifically as a response to an act of maritime terrorism, providing an opportunity to examine the value of bringing piracy and terrorism within one international legal instrument. The discussion will then look beyond the legal definition, cataloguing the various types of behaviours captured by the term piracy. Next the analysis turns towards the even more challenging task of defining terrorism by exploring its core features. To further explore the distinctions between terrorism and piracy, the argument is then explored through the lens of motivational typologies. Somali piracy is explored, looking specifically at the multivariate causes and motivations of piracy off the coast of Somalia. The chapter then examines reasons for the conflation of piracy with terrorism to identify whether it is problematic to applying counter-terrorism strategies to maritime piracy. The chapter concludes with a discussion on why such a conflation is problem for maritime piracy and some viable alternatives.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology.
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology. > HV6001 Criminology
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Society and Learning
Depositing User: Anamika Twyman Ghoshal
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2022 09:35
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:24

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