Monday, November 3, 2008

A Bounty Of Death For Pirates In Somalia

The M.V. Iran Deyanat was a dead weight tonnage bulk Carrier in a very big hurry. The ship owned by a state run company controlled by the Iranian military set sail from Nanjing, China in late July.

The Iranian vessel had a twenty eight member crew including two Russians,two Pakistanis and a Syrian. Its manifest describes a plan to unload Iron Ore and other products in Rotterdam and proceed to the Gulf of Aden. However, its arrival in the Gulf was unusual because the ship was several days early.

Speed was also a priority as the vessel next moved in a westerly direction toward the Suez Canal. At that point, it was attacked by 40 Somali pirates in high speed boats, all armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades.

The Iran Deyanat was captured by the pirates of Somalia and the ship was taken to Eyl, a fishing village off the northeastern coast . The pirates issued a two million dollar ransom demand for the ship and its crew. It was a ransom demand that would extract a heavy price.

In the days that followed, as the pirates attempted to assess their bounty, things would take a terrible turn. Upon opening one of the ship's seven heavily-secured containers, they found it filled with a "gritty, sand-like" substance. In the next several days, a number of the pirates suffered severe skin burns and loss of hair, and within two weeks sixteen pirates were dead.

Today, the ship remains in Eyl and there is a international bidding war underway to purchase the ship and understand its contents. The ship has been sanctioned and Iran cannot access the vessel while the United States Navy as well as the French are sitting off of the coast to seize the ship if it should get underway.

So, the mystery of the M.V. Iran Deyanat continues. The question is what caused the bounty of death for those pirates in Somalia? As of now, it is impossible for anyone to say. However chemical experts indicate that the pirates symptoms sound inconsistent with chemical poisoning, but may well be the effects of an exposure to radiation.

Meanwhile, Russian sources make an ominious claim. They describe the ship as "an enormous floating dirty bomb, intended to detonate after exiting the Suez Canal. The detonation would have been in close proximity to the coastal cities of Israel, sending a deadly radioactive cloud onshore.

If this explanation turns out to be true, its an act of war by Iran against Israel and the world's first known attempt at a dirty bomb attack. Indeed, a bounty of death for Pirates in Somalia needs to be watched closely, since it may eventually become the biggest international news story of the year.

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