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The trouble with pirates

The story of a French family abducted in the Indian Ocean.

This week in Norfolk, Va., an American jury began hearing a piracy case, the first in more than a hundred years. Five Somalis are accused of firing assault weapons on the USS Nicholas, which was patrolling the waters off Somalia last April.

Gone are the days when the notion of pirates conjured quaint fictional images of rogues and daredevils. The pirates of Somalia are increasingly players in the war on terror. Somalia is a safe haven to some of the most extreme, and often brutal, Islamist radicals — Al Shabab. They control large areas of the country, and according to The New York Times, now some are also allied with pirates, in order to get some of their ransom money.

This segment is part of a documentary called “The Trouble with Pirates” that depicts, in real life drama, the danger they represent. In this portion of the film, we watch a family struggle to survive as hostages at sea.



  • Blooner1

    Why this TV segment tried to make the French Military out to be the bad guy is odd. WIthout their actions the entire family and occupants of the yacht would have been killed by the Pirates.

  • Jeremy Turner

    I agree with Blooner1… This seems like objective opinion rather than straight facts. These people made a terrible decision to enter a known hostile area and put themselves and their child at risk. They should be charged for endangering the welfare of a child and billed for the efforts of the French military. Every decision made by those on the yacht was insanely arrogant and in poor judgement.The outcome of the incident is very unfortunate, any loss of life is a regretful. You can’t expect to travel freely in a hostile environment without incident, especially that area, if you don’t have the means to defend yourself don’t go.

  • Srbaughman

    its time to take back our freedom and get rid of these villians. shoot them and do like rambo would do quit messing around.

  • Anonymous

    The husband was shot and killed by French forces, not the pirates. From the woman’s point of view, the French government’s first goal was to attack/stop the pirates, rather than to protect the family.

  • Sandy

    As I see it there were two poor decisions: The family and their friends deciding to continue after being warned off by the French military in the chopper and then the French man or woman who pulled the trigger on an unarmed man. Regretful, both of those decisions.

  • Correction

    What is your evidence for this statement? Somali pirates have NEVER killed hostages unless they were actually being attacked, and in this case, the French killed their own citizen. Why don’t you check your facts before spouting? The pirates view the hostages as valuable merchandise that are worth nothing to them dead. There have been several cases on record where pirates released hostages after receiving little or no ransom, simply because they made the cost-benefit analysis that they could not afford to hold onto their hostages without attracting serious firepower — while it was equally clear that they would receive no money. Those cases are rare, since the pirates usually succeed at getting some kind of ransom, but as a matter of course they do not ever try to kill hostages, whether they are compensated or not.