Navies seek "pirate cultural adviser"

No S#*t.   We don’t have enemies anymore, only future facebook friends. This job opening doesn’t explicitly call for a Muslim, but I suspect they are looking for one.

By Colin Freeman/  The Telegraph

It must rank as one of the most unusual recruitment adverts ever placed, even by the standards of the European Union: the search is on for a “pirate cultural adviser” to help naval commanders understand the foes they face along the coast of Africa.

The right candidate – who must have knowledge of the “business model and modus operandi” of pirates in the Indian Ocean – will be asked to teach officers of the EU navies protecting shipping in one of the world’s busiest waterways how best to tackle the growing threat.

Some 400 sailors are currently held captive, with pirate gangs earning tens of millions of dollars a year in ransoms. The job is expected to include advising naval commanders on pirates’ religious practices and their habit of chewing qhat, an amphetamine-filled plant which renders users hyperactive.


But swashbuckling Long John Silver types with a knowledge of pirate lore may be disappointed: the post is expected to be filled by an ex-military figure with expertise in shipping, insurance and ransom negotiations. And rather than scouring the taverns of Bristol or Penzance for likely talent, the commanders have contented themselves with placing the advertisement on the website for EU Navfor, the European antipiracy task force based at the Nato HQ in Northwood, London.

“The job title may sound ambiguous, but what we are really looking for here is someone who can help us know the enemy better,” said Commander Harry Harrison, a spokesman for EU Navfor. “The intention is to seek advice on the Somali pirates’ methodology and tactics, which are constantly evolving.”

The adviser will also work with naval intelligence teams to develop possible cases for prosecution. Cdr Harrison said EU Navfor might also be interested in Somali applicants with detailed knowledge of the country and its clans.

The salary is not disclosed in the advertisemtn: asked if it might be paid in pieces of eight, Cdr Harrison stressed that there was nothing “romantic” about modern day piracy. “These people are not Johnny Depp or Keira Knightly messing about in Pirates of Caribbean, they are crooks who take sailors hostage,” he said.

Colin Freeman’s new book about Somalia:“Kidnapped: life as a Somali pirate hostage”, is available from Monday Books (

4 thoughts on “Navies seek "pirate cultural adviser"”

  1. * habit of chewing qhat, an amphetamine-filled plant which renders users hyperactive

    Which they can import into Oz, subject to regulations. Piracy off the Somali coast today – car-jacking in the CBD tomorrow.

  2. This is 2011! Why do we still have pirates?

    The answer is NOT that we need another “cultural adviser” to deal with pirates. What a load of bollocks!!!

    What we need is the political will to put a stop to piracy.

    The US Constitution empowers the federal government to deal with piracy on the high seas. Any Commander in Chief who can’t be bothered to send the US Navy and the Marines to clean out pirates is guilty of gross dereliction of duty.

  3. Gosh, I have some advice. They’re Muslems admiring and imitating Muhammed the caravan-robber. Muslem pirates have been a problem for as long as Islam has existed. No need to study their culture; just travel accompanied by a naval vessel or air escort, and shoot when you see them coming and until their boat explodes. And bomb every village where you think any hostages are held. Keep bombing. Keep shooting. Eventually they will quit, for at base, all Muslems are cowards. And brute and deadly force is the only thing they ever understand.

  4. World champions in grievance mongering:

    Needless to mention that pirates should be dealt with on the spot. The Somali coast should be carpet-bombed and Somali’s generally forbidden to immigrate or to infiltrate anywhere in the western world.

    Somalis on trial in France for yacht hijacking

    Six Somali men accused of taking a French couple hostage on their yacht went on trial in Paris on Tuesday in France’s first prosecution of alleged Somali pirates.

    They are facing charges of hijacking, kidnapping and armed robbery after they allegedly seized the yacht and its crew, Jean-Yves Delanne and his wife Bernadette, both aged 60, off the coast of Somalia in 2008.

    They face life in prison if convicted.

    The six, aged between 21 and 35, were captured and flown to France after French special forces stormed the yacht, the Carre d’As IV, and rescued the couple. A seventh suspect was killed in the raid.

    One of the suspects was a minor at the time of the crime but the court granted the defence’s request to hold the trial in public and not behind closed doors.

    The suspects had reportedly demanded a ransom of $2 million (€1.5 million) for the couple’s release.

    But in the French courtroom on Tuesday only one of them admitted to taking part as an “underling” in the hostage-taking.

    “I was in such a financial situation, I have six children, it was then that I crossed paths with someone who recruited me,” said Ahmed Hamoud Mahmoud, a fisherman who is accused of being one of the leaders of the operation.

    Another Somali suspect claimed he himself was “kidnapped” by pirates who commandeered his boat to carry out the operation.

    One suspect spoke of being grabbed by pirates when he got into trouble in the Gulf of Aden en route to Yemen to look for work, while another said all he did was cook the food.

    Their trial, which resumes Wednesday and is expected to last to November 30th, marks the first time France has brought alleged Somali pirates to court.

    Somali suspects in three other cases are currently awaiting trial.

    Dozens of ships, mainly merchant vessels, have been seized by gangs off Somalia’s 3,700-kilometre coastline in recent years.

    The pirates travel in high-powered speedboats and are armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. They sometimes hold ships for weeks until they are released for large ransoms paid by governments or owners.

    AFP (fr) (

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