Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008

The Somali Pirates

Many used to be fishermen before their waters were overfished by foreigners. These days, they trawl for bigger prizes: tankers and freighters, which they hijack and hold for ransom. The number of pirate attacks in the vital shipping lanes off Africa's east coast spiked in 2008 to almost 100. Now an armada of international forces escorts ships in the area. "[We] are living between life and death," one of the sea bandits said. "Who can stop [us]?"

Lev Grossman