The Pirates of Somalia
Inside Their Hidden WorldBook - 2011
For centuries, stories of pirates have captured the imagination of people everywhere. But the recent gangs of daring, ragtag pirates off the coast of Somalia, hijacking huge ships owned by international conglomerates, have brought the scourge of piracy into the modern era. The world sees nothing but opportunistic bands of local bandits, but Jay Bahadur, the only Western journalist to venture so deeply into this world, truly sees how it operates.
In The Pirates of Somalia, Bahadur ventures to Puntland, a region in northeastern Somalia, and tells of the pirates' lives beyond the attack skiffs: how they spend their money, how they conduct business, how they think and why they risk their lives in often suicidal missions. In the remote pirate havens of Somalia, Bahadur sits down and talks with some of the pirates, their cheeks bulging with khat (the local drug of choice), their cellphones ringing as the men conduct their business. Bahadur also talks to some of the security personnel tasked with combating piracy, as well as with former pirate hostages who lived on their ships for months while awaiting news of a ransom.
The Pirates of Somalia is a major first book by a young freelance journalist who talks his way into one of the world's most dangerous places.