Tag Archives | pirates

Navy Turns To Online Gamers In Fight Against Somali Pirates

wargames_video_boxIf you have spent the past fifteen years in a dank basement playing video games while immersed in a thin layer of Dorito crumbs, the U.S. military needs you to sort out the geopolitical mess around the Horn of Africa for them, please. AFP reports:

The Office of Naval Research plans this month to launch the US military’s first online war game to draw on the ideas of thousands of people instead of the traditional strategy session held inside the Pentagon’s offices.

“Piracy off the Horn of Africa has been an enduring problem that has many stakeholders. We selected this topic for the pilot scenario,” Schuette said.

The game will have three rounds over three weeks, with players in the first stage faced with a piracy scenario and asked to propose brief, Twitter-length solutions. Players will be presented with boxes labeled, “Innovate” and “Defend,” with questions such as: “What new resources could turn the tide in the Somali pirate situation?” In the second round, there are more scenarios to grapple with and then in the third, players are grouped in teams and will come up with a more detailed “action plan.”

The precise details of the war game scenarios are being kept under wraps for the moment by the game designers, the Institute for the Future, a non-profit group based in Palo Alto, California.

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£250m Pirate Treasure ‘Stolen’ by Americans

From The Daily Mail:

The treasure hunters who recovered gold and silver worth an estimated £250million from a shipwreck off Cornwall spirited their haul to the United States in an apparent attempt to stop Britain staking a claim.

In a highly secretive operation, American firm Odyssey Marine Exploration worked on the wreck of an English ship, believed to be the 17th Century Merchant Royal, less than 40 miles from the British coast.

But Odyssey carefully avoided landing their treasure on UK soil.

If the 17 tons of coins, gold ornaments and tableware had been brought ashore, Odyssey would have been obliged to inform the Government’s Receiver of Wreck, which would probably have impounded the haul, triggering a potentially lengthy legal row about ownership rights.

Instead, the trove was secretly moved to the tax haven of Gibraltar. Odyssey then chartered a jet to take hundreds of plastic containers brimming with coins to the United States on Thursday, where they have been analysed by Nick Bruyer, an expert in antique coinage.

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Somali Pirate Exchange Lets Investors Bet on Hitting a Ransom Jackpot

From Popsci:

Now Somali civilians can invest cash or weapons into pirate companies and hope for a share of the ransom money.

Forget pirate radio, how about the pirate stock exchange? Somali pirates have created a stock exchange of sorts to fund their hijacking activities, Reuters reports.

The U.S. and other nations have committed naval warships and even aerial drones to the shipping lanes around the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, but pirates from lawless Somalia have continued to attack ships at will.

Now even landlubber Somali civilians can invest in one of 72 “maritime companies” and hope that their favorite pirate band strikes it rich with the successful ransoming of a captured ship and crew. People don’t even need to invest cash – RPGs and other weapons also accepted at the main pirate lair of Haradheere.

One wealthy former pirate told Reuters that the stock exchange had won local support by making piracy into a “community activity,” which may underscore the root of the problem for nations seeking to battle piracy as a symptom.

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