Effect on Homeland Security

In order to mitigate the ripple effects on US Homeland security, industry experts want specialist teams from commercial security firms deployed on every ship that sails in the danger zone in east Africa

African piracy a threat to U.S. security?

WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) — Pirate attacks on merchant vessels in Africa pose a threat with ripple effects for U.S. homeland security and must be tackled as such, security industry experts say.

The industry’s experts want specialist teams from commercial security firms deployed on every ship that sails in the danger zone in east Africa, where most recent piracy incidents have taken place.

“Success at sea by the early Somali pirates has attracted major organized-crime syndicates, Muslim extremists and a more robust and sophisticated confederacy of operatives,” Jim Jorrie, chief executive officer of ESPADA marine services argued in the March 2012 issue of Homeland Security Today magazine.

“While this is all happening half a world away, it has put more operating cash in the hands of extremists, including al-Qaida — and that should be of no small concern for us in the United States,” Jorrie said.

About one-fifth of merchant marine ships using the route between the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the East African coast already use security teams on board.

Several regional nations have deployed naval units to protect merchant vessels but the numbers of vessels still exposed to danger from pirates remains high.

Rising piracy in the region has involved several levels of deterrent action by U.S. and NATO forces, regional navies and security arrangements not directly linked to government or private security firms in the West. Western security agencies aim to change that and secure a greater share of the business growing out of a growing threat.

Jorrie said the piracy networks could be expanding.

“Most disturbing, the United Nations and Interpol have seen………[access full article]

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