No we're not talking about a professional sports team but this news.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Armed pirates attacked a Malaysian barge in the Malacca Strait and kidnapped two Indonesian crew, in the first high sea abduction in the busy waterway in more than two years, a global maritime watchdog said Tuesday.The Malacca Straits is one of the most travelled and most visited shipping channels in the world. Approximately twenty to twenty-five percent of the world's sea trade pass through these waters.
The incident late Monday marked the third pirate attack in the strait this year, but the first since July 2005 in which ship crew were kidnapped, said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.
The barge was carrying steel billets from Malaysia's northern state of Penang to Belawan in Indonesia when it was raided by some 10 gun-toting pirates, Choong said.
They destroyed all communication equipment on board before fleeing with the ship master and chief engineer, both Indonesian, he said. Another six Indonesian crew were unharmed, he said, adding that the vessel is now in Belawan for investigation.
The strait is notorious for robberies and hijackings, but the number of attacks has fallen since Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, which share the waterway, launched coordinated maritime and air patrols in recent years to curb piracy.
Some 65,000 vessels pass through the Malacca Strait each year, carrying half the world's oil and more than a third of its commerce.
Pirates are a perennial nuisance in that part of the world. They can still be found in parts of Indonesia, Malaysia and The Philippines. When all is said and done, pirates pose nothing but a local threat.
The greatest in these straits would be a terrorist. The sinking or venting of a large oil tanker, could have catastrophic consequences.(The waters are as shallow as 25m) Some people dismiss the threat, terrorists like Bin Laden prefer dramatic targets. How about a strike lets say close to Singapore? Singapore has a population of over 4.5 million people, and has a very busy port. A terrrorist attack near there would be certain to gain the dramatic television coverage many terrorists seek along with death and destruction.
Bottom line- Terrorists can attack anywhere, that's why a defensive strategy is unlikely ever to work. There are just many vulnerable spots in the world.
Linked to- Adam, Amboy Times, Big Dog, Outside the Beltway, Pirate's Cove,