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|Conflation of piracy and terrorism in Southeast Asia: Rectitude and utility|
|Adam J Young, Mark J Valencia. Contemporary Southeast Asia. Singapore: Aug 2003.Vol.25, Iss. 2; pg. 269|
|Author(s):||Adam J Young, Mark J Valencia|
|Publication title:||Contemporary Southeast Asia. Singapore: Aug 2003. Vol. 25, Iss. 2; pg. 269|
|ProQuest document ID:||412009431|
|Text Word Count||6090|
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|Abstract (Document Summary)|
Since 11 September 2001, the conflation of "piracy" and "terrorism" in Southeast Asia has become common in the mass media and government policy statements. The root causes and factors which enable piracy and terrorism are indeed similar, and the perpetrators' tactics overlap at the high end of piracy, i.e., ship seizure and hostage taking. However, the objectives of pirates and terrorists are different, and solutions should be fitted to the particular problem. Responses include self-help and foreign naval assistance. But patrols or pursuits by foreign navies in Southeast Asian waters would raise sovereignty concerns. Thus foreign assistance in the building of indigenous maritime enforcement capacity appears to be a more viable long-term solution. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
|Full Text (6090 words)|
|Copyright Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Aug
In March 2003, the New York Times reported attacks on several chemical tankers in the Strait of Malacca region by assailants with automatic weapons.1 Two of the ships were sprayed with bullets, while another was boarded silently. While some attributed the attacks to "terrorists", it was later revealed that the perpetrators were apparently only after equipment and other valuables. In other words, they were "pirates", albeit unusually violent ones. A significant portion of piracy incidents worldwide occur in Southeast Asia.2 And since the events of 11 September 2001, the conflation of "piracy" and "terrorism" has become common in the mass media and government policy statements, both within and outside the region.3 But piracy and terrorism may have different causes, objectives and tactics and thus may require different responses. This paper examines the rectitude and utility of the conflation of "piracy" and "terrorism" into a single general threat to maritime security.
The precise definition of "piracy/pirates" and "terrorism/terrorists" has been problematic for national and international policy-makers alike. The standard international legal definition of piracy is that used in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), Article 101, which was in turn borrowed from the 1958 United Nations Convention on the High Seas.4 Here piracy is defined as violence on the high seas, that is, beyond any state's territorial waters. The obvious problem with this definition when applied to Southeast Asia is that most sea robberies occur in territorial waters. Thus such incidents are not legally considered piracy. There is therefore no international agreement regarding prevention of, and enforcement against, most "maritime violence" or "sea robbery", and arrest and prosecution is dependent on the state in whose jurisdiction the crime occurs. The process is further complicated in Southeast Asia because uncertain or unresolved boundaries complicate the question of legal jurisdiction over the crime.
To address these problems, the International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has defined piracy as "an act of boarding or attempting to board any ship with the intent to commit theft or any other crime and with the intent or capability to use force in furtherance ofthat act".5 This very broad interpretation includes almost any violence at sea. We will use the IMB definition as a working definition of piracy for this paper.
Terrorism is also a complicated concept and definitional consensus has been difficult. For the purposes of this paper the working definition for maritime terrorism is that of "political piracy"6: "...any illegal act directed against ships, their passengers, cargo or crew, or against sea ports with the intent of directly or indirectly influencing a government or group of individuals".7 This definition does not address issues such as state sponsored terrorism, and criminal activity associated with terrorism, but it will suffice as a working definition.
Piracy and Maritime Terrorism: A Typology
Maritime raiding in Southeast Asian waters dates back to the earliest maritime polities like Srivijaya, Malacca, Aceh, Johor, Makassar, and Sulu.8 "Piracy" was a complex socio-political-economic activity whose legitimacy was often justified by trade rivalries and even warfare. The political aspects of this early "piracy" are not easily understood in the Western context. The closest equivalent was the privateering undertaken with approval from rival maritime states in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, or the activities of piratical petty states that dotted the ancient Mediterranean.
Thus the "pirates" of Southeast Asia did not often fit the "Blackbeard" criminal image. Trade was a vital dimension of maritime polities in Southeast Asia, much as it is today, and protecting that trade, or destroying the trade of one's rivals, was a political as well as an economic tactic. Moreover, the political, economic, and social aspects of maritime raiding played important roles in many cultures.9 However, by the late nineteenth century, large scale maritime raiding or "piracy" was largely eliminated in Southeast Asia by European colonial powers. Nevertheless, it was never completely eradicated and in recent years has made a spectacular comeback, although it is certainly not state-supported.
Reported incidents of piracy worldwide have dramatically increased over the last 5 years, peaking at 469 in 2000. A significant portion of these incidents occurred in Southeast Asian waters, increasing from 22 in 1997(10) to 164 in 2002. Indonesian waters alone accounted for 119 out of 469 reported worldwide incidents in 2000, 91 out of 335 incidents in 2001, and 103 incidents of a total 370 reported incidents in 2002.11 Over the same period, reported incidents in the Strait of Malacca and in Malaysian waters declined due to the increased effectiveness of the Royal20Malaysian Maritime Police.12 Although there are yearly fluctuations in total reported incidents and the total number of incidents has decreased in the last two years, the long-term trend has been an increase in such incidents. Of more concern is the increase in the violence of attacks including hijackings, hostage taking and the use of firearms.
These statistics raise several important issues,13 including foremost, their reliability. The statistics of the IMB, and its information collection and dissemination, are a valuable resource for tracking and combating piracy, as demonstrated by its role in locating the hijacked Alondra Rainbow.14 However, one problem with IMB statistics is that incidents may be underreported by commercial shippers.15 One reason is that by reporting an incident, the ship may be idled for days, and at operational costs of about US$25,000 per day, this is a powerful incentive to not report a theft not approaching this cost. Furthermore, reported incidents may damage the owners' reputation as a commercial shipper.16 On the other hand, the IMB's broad definition of piracy includes everything from petty theft in port to hijacking and this broad definition could inflate total incidences of piracy. Finally, the ratio of violent attacks to the total number of incidents is difficult to assess due to probable underreporting by commercial shippers. Only if violence occurs, and people seriously injured, are the cases likely to be reported. Thus the statistics could have a "violence" bias. Thus while the threat of piracy is indeed very real, accurate assessment of the phenomenon based on IMB statistics can be somewhat problematic. And a distorted picture of piracy could affect the choice of the most suitable methods of responding to this threat.
Another challenge to analyzing appropriate responses to piracy is the diverse nature of the crime. Piracy encompasses a wide spectrum of criminal behaviour ranging from in-port pilferage, to hit and run attacks, to temporary seizure of the ship, to long-term seizure, and to permanent theft of the ship. This spectrum corresponds to an escalating scale of risk and return. As the risk and potential return increase, so does the threat and degree of violence. Indeed, the more there is at stake, the more the attackers are willing to use violence. Additionally, as the risk, return, and the potential for violence increases, so does the apparent degree of organization of the attackers.
By far the most common type of piracy is hit and run thefts where criminals sneak aboard ships, generally at night, and steal what they can immediately lay their hands on, like cash and electronic equipment, with an average take of US$5,000 to US$15,000 in value.17 These crimes tend to be opportunistic (that is, not executed with a great deal of forethought) and generally accompanied by little or no violence, involving sneak thieves armed with knives, often boarding ships in port. Crew members are often not aware of their presence until they are gone. This is a low investment crime, and has a lower return, which translates into less violence. This of course does not mean that there is not an apparent willingness to use force. In one incident, assailants boarded a ship at dock and were surprised by the ships' crew who used anti-personnel aerosols. But in the scuffle, one of the attackers threw a metal object, which hit a crewmember, causing a severe head wound.18 Nevertheless, as long as resistance is not encountered, these incidents are predominantly non-violent.
Temporary or short-term seizures of ships represent the next step up in the spectrum of risk, potential return, potential for violence, and level of organization of attacks. Seizing the ship, especially if it is moving, requires boats, grappling hooks, and enough people with the means to control the crew. This necessitates some degree of coordination and organization. Some capital investment is required for boats and arms, training (or finding experienced people for boarding), coordinating a large group, and possibly for obtaining inside information regarding what a particular vessel is carrying. One example is the Valiant Carrier incident.19 The ship was carrying fuel oil (a valuable and easily resaleable commodity), and was attacked four hours out of Singapore in the Malacca Strait. Using Molotov cocktails to distract the crew (on a fuel oil ship!), twelve attackers boarded and rounded up the crew, taking the captain and his family to open the safe. A deck officer was severely stabbed, the master electrician was wounded and the captain's seven-month old daughter was injured as well. The bridge was unmanned during the attack, greatly enhancing the possibility of collision or running aground. The attackers jumped overboard and were picked up by waiting boats. These short-term seizures clearly present danger to sealanes, ports and the environment, and they raise the concern that such acts could easily be accomplished by terrorists. For these two types of piracy, the threat of violence is obviously real, but should not be overstated.
Long-term seizure of boats is similar to short-term seizure except for the duration and purpose of control. There is also an increase in risk, potential return, violence and level of organization. The goal is no longer to simply steal whatever can be taken in 30 minutes or so, but rather the whole cargo. Although the duration of control is significantly longer, the main goal is still the theft of goods on board the ship. This necessitates having a location to dock and unload cargo, or another ship to which to transfer it, a buyer of the cargo, and a plan to deal with hostages (crewmembers), provided they were not murdered in the initial takeover. The case of the M.V. Marta is an example of this type of piracy.20 In 1990, the Marta set out from Bangkok for Busan (Republic of Korea) with a cargo of over US$2 million worth of tin plate. Four heavily armed assailants, with obvious prior knowledge of the shipment, boarded the ship and overpowered the crew. They sailed the ship southwards for two days. The cargo was then offloaded by barges and crews with fork-lifts. After sailing on for a couple of more days, the captain was drugged and taken hostage by the pirates as they escaped. But the rest of the crew and the ship were released. Apparently the perpetrators were quite experienced as they bragged: "...that this was the sixth such successful attack they had made in the last eighteen months."21
The most serious form of piracy is the fourth type-hijacking. Those seizing the boat for its cargo intend to eventually abandon the boat. But hijackers are intent on permanent seizure and thus something must be done with the crew. The tactics of hijackers are almost identical to those perpetrating short and long-term seizures. They involve armed assailants boarding the vessel while enroute, controlling the crew, and taking over the ship. However, in permanent seizures, the pirates need a location where the boat can be disposed of, or in some cases repainted, re-flagged and returned to service.
The Alondra Rainbow incident was a classic case of hijacking. The Alondra Rainbow was carrying a cargo of aluminium ingots from Indonesia to Japan when it was intercepted and boarded by four heavily armed pirates. The crew was held hostage and their lives were threatened for a week. They were then set adrift and later picked up by a Thai fishing vessel. The IMB coordinated dissemination of information on the incident and the description of the ship was spread throughout the maritime world. A Kuwaiti freighter spotted a similar vessel in Indian waters, renamed the Mega Rama and flying a Belize flag. Quick checks by the IMB Piracy Reporting Center revealed that there was no such ship registered in Belize.22 The Indian Coast Guard promptly detained the vessel and arrested those aboard. The pirates eventually confessed, revealing a complex ring involving two ship name and flag changes, plus the unloading of 3,000 metric tons of aluminium and people willing to buy and resell it. Because the potential return of the attack is so high, the organization necessary so extensive, and the ultimate disposal of the crew necessary, hijacking is at the high end of the spectrum of the risk, potential return, violence, and level of organization. And it obviously raises concerns that terrorists could undertake similar actions for political purposes.
Piracy is an economic crime done for financial gain, and therefore the principal causes can be sought in prevailing economic conditions. The Asian economic crisis deeply impacted Southeast Asian countries, creating an incentive for those at the lower end of the economic scale to turn to illegal sources of income. This economic collapse also triggered widespread political instability, most notably in Indonesia, creating an environment where people could more easily pursue their illegal methods of income generation. Indeed, economic collapse, combined with endemic governmental corruption and loose political control, creates an environment in which piracy may be ignored or even tacitly enabled by corrupt military elements who may share in the "booty".23 Another factor encouraging piracy in Southeast Asia is the relative security provided by the permeable, poorly controlled and in some areas uncertain international maritime boundaries which allow pirates to easily cross borders and escape pursuit.
Terrorism is distinct from piracy in a very straightforward manner. Piracy is a crime motivated by greed and thus predicated on immediate financial gain. Terrorism, and its maritime manifestation, political piracy or maritime terrorism, is motivated by political goals beyond the immediate act of attacking or hijacking a maritime target. There is some overlap however between acts of piracy and actions of secessionist groups in the maritime arena such as the ransom kidnappings purportedly by members of Abu Sayyaf in the Southern Philippines and those by alleged members of the Free Aceh Movement. In the latter case, pirates attacked and held for ransom crew members in waters off Aceh.24
Worldwide, there have been two key events that have put maritime terrorism on the political map. These include the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in the Mediterranean Sea in October 1985, and most recently, the attack on the French supertanker Limburg in Yemeni waters on October 2002. In addition to these incidents, the level of concern regarding maritime terror has heightened since September 11 by the widely disseminated, and largely accepted, fact that al Qaeda possesses some 15 cargo vessels.25
The Achille Lauro was by no means the first maritime terrorist incident, but it received international publicity, particularly since an American was killed during the attack. The Achille Lauro incident raised several important issues and concerns, including the almost complete lack of security and preventative measures which made it easy for a handful of Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) operatives to seize the vessel. Apparently, the PLO operatives had planned to carry out an attack on the Israeli port of Ashdod but a waiter happened upon them cleaning their weapons, thus forcing the situation. At this point the PLO operatives seized control of the Achille Lauro and "toured" the eastern Mediterranean. Eventually the Egyptian authorities negotiated the release of the vessel in exchange for returning the PLO operatives to Palestine. However, because an American had been killed in the ordeal, then U.S. President Reagan ordered two F-14 Tomcats to overtake the Egyptian plane returning the PLO operatives, and to escort it to Sicily where the Palestinians were arrested by Italian security.26 The lack of security and the ease with which the cruise ship and its passengers were seized shocked the U.S. government and raised concern regarding other potential soft targets, including other maritime targets.27
The attack on the French supertanker Limburg serves as a recent, and poignant, reminder of the potential of maritime terrorism. Apparently, a small boat, presumably packed with explosives, came alongside the Limburg off the coast of Yemen and soon after a large explosion rocked the ship. The ship caught fire and began leaking oil.28 This attack came just a week before the anniversary of the similar attack on the USS Cole, also in Yemeni waters. These attacks further solidified U.S. security concerns regarding maritime terrorism.
Piracy and terrorism overlap in several ways, particularly in the tactics of ship seizures and hijackings. And some of the conditions which allow it to thrive are also similar to the causes of terrorism, for example, poverty, political instability, permeable international boundaries, and ineffective enforcement. However, the political objectives of terrorists distinctly separate their motives from those of pirates. Indeed terrorists want to call attention to their cause and to inflict as much harm and damage as possible. Pirates want to avoid attention and will inflict only as much harm and damage as is necessary to accomplish their mission.
Although the circumstances that allow piracy and terrorism to develop are similar, the root causes are different. For pirates, the motivating factor is economics; for terrorists it is generally political and religious ideology stemming from perceived injustices, both historical and contemporary. Thus while the tactics of combating maritime terrorism and piracy may be similar, long-term solutions may require different approaches.
Countermeasures and Their Effectiveness
The Achille Lauro incident indirectly led to the United Nation's International Maritime Organization's (IMO) sponsorship of the 1988 Rome conference from which emerged support for a Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation Convention (SUA).29 SUA was meant to: "...fill many of the jurisdictional gaps highlighted when the acts endanger the safety of international navigation and occur on board national or foreign flag ships while underway in the territorial sea, international straits or international waters. The Convention requires States Parties to criminalize such acts under national law and to cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of their perpetrators".30 Although the Convention was developed in large part in response to the 1985 Achille Lauro incident and with the objective of combating terrorism,31 it is also now being promoted as an anti-piracy measure.32
United States Initiatives
Since September 11, 2001 (9/11) the United States has viewed extremists in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand as potential threats to world commerce flowing through Southeast Asian seaways. The nightmare for the United States is that a supertanker will be hijacked and driven into Singapore port, or some other large port, or sunk in the Malacca Strait, possibly by use of weapons from afar, thus seriously disrupting or detouring the flow of oil to East Asia, and potentially blocking U.S. naval mobility and flexibility as well. And the United States has little confidence in the capacity and will of Southeast Asian countries to prevent such a disaster.
Thus the United States and other maritime powers are pressing other countries to ratify the 1988 SUA Convention. But so far, only other maritime powers like Canada, major European countries, Australia, China, and Japan have ratified it. Some Southeast Asian nations fear that the obligations under the SUA Convention could compromise their national sovereignty and that the Convention could eventually be expanded to even allow maritime forces of other nations to pursue terrorists, pirates, and maritime criminals in general into their waters. Thus, no Southeast Asian state has ratified it.
Indeed, some Southeast Asian states feel the Rome Convention only makes sense for those countries with already established maritime dominance, or unchallenged maritime boundaries. For countries with a recent colonial history and relatively newly won independence, as well as disputed or porous maritime boundaries, the Rome Convention could be a serious compromise to both their national pride and domestic support for their governments. However, if "piracy" and "terrorism" are fused into a general threat to maritime security, developing countries may find outside "help" easier to accept and to "sell' to their domestic polity. So it may be in the United States' interest to conflate piracy and terrorism to persuade reluctant developing countries to assist maritime powers pursue pirates and terrorists in their territorial and archipelagic waters.
However, for practical reasons, the SUA Convention may not be the appropriate instrument to combat piracy. The enumeration of offences under its Article Three, even if interpreted broadly, will clearly cover only the serious but admittedly less common incidents of vessel hijackings and not the most common forms of piracy and armed robbery at sea, specifically in the Southeast Asian region.33 Thus more than 95 per cent of the piracy and sea robbery incidents reported thus far would not be covered by its application. There is indeed a need for standardized international law that will facilitate the prevention and prosecution of piracy, but the Rome Convention may not be it.
Meanwhile, the United States has undertaken, in co-operation with India, a proactive attempt to control both piracy and terrorism in the Strait of Malacca. This effort uses U.S. and Indian warships to escort commercial vessels of "high value" transiting the Strait. However, naval patrols by major powers may not be the most effective or politically acceptable way to combat either piracy or terrorism.
First, these patrols have created suspicion in Southeast Asia regarding the real goals of the Indian and U.S. naval presence in the Strait of Malacca. In the wake of the Cold War and September 11, the United States and India have developed a new political and military relationship. Indeed, it appears that the Bush administration desires a full-fledged alliance which would make India the United States' foremost military ally in Asia. Apparently India agreed to the joint patrols in return for the resumption of arms sales to India, specifically the "Fire Finder" radar system.34 This suggests that the Indian and U.S. naval presence in the Strait is not just to combat piracy and terrorism, but is part of a broader attempt to assert a U.S.-friendly Indian naval presence in the region. Thus for the United States, the joint patrolling is the beginning of a larger military engagement with India.35 And for India, the joint patrolling of the Malacca Strait is evidence and endorsement of its claim that its interests stretch up to and include the Strait.
Although this may be seen by some as a reasonable attempt to create a security order in the region, others such as Indonesia and China could well view this development as a threat to their regional authority and influence. Additionally, when the 1988 Rome Convention is considered in this context, it could be interpreted as a device to allow the dominant naval powers to undermine the authority of regional powers. When one considers the current U.S. military and political actions in the Muslim world, such actions by the United States and historically dominant India may not be universally viewed as positive or constructive by Muslim Southeast Asia. Indeed, the potential ability of these patrols to curb piracy and terrorism may not balance their potential to undermine security relations in the region.
There are also practical issues regarding the effectiveness of U.S. and Indian naval anti-piracy/terrorism patrols in the Strait. Of significant concern is the arrest authority of foreign naval vessels in waters under another country's jurisdiction. Commercial ships may exercise their rights to transit through international straits, and accordingly naval vessels may escort those ships under this regime. But their authority is generally limited to their own flag vessels. "Enforcement is largely left to the navy, which possesses the hardware of enforcement but lacks the power of arrest. This role is also at odds with international practice in which navies typically operate on the high seas leaving patrolling of territorial waters to coast guard-type bodies".36 Perhaps the purpose of the U.S./Indian naval escorts is simply to deter would-be pirates and terrorists by the sheer intimidation of their presence, regardless of their legal authority, or to act as the eyes and ears of local maritime security forces.
There is also a question regarding the appropriate size of the pursuit craft. In the shallow waters where most pirates operate, high-speed patrol craft are of more practical value.37 Pirates tend to be highly mobile groups that operate based on intimate local knowledge of the waters and can easily lose larger pursuers in the maze of islands in Southeast Asia.
Indigenous Efforts and Self-Help
Indigenous Southeast Asian enforcement capacity is generally insufficient, although Malaysia has increased its enforcement effectiveness in recent years. Air surveillance and pursuit would be an important adjunct, but most Southeast Asian nations, and particularly Indonesia, cannot afford the number of aircraft necessary to adequately patrol their vast coastal region. International assistance in developing the indigenous patrol capacity of Southeast Asian maritime nations is a long-term solution to promoting regional security and would minimize the sensitive presence of foreign naval vessels.
Agreements made in 1992 between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore provided for joint anti-piracy patrols and information sharing. The 1992 Indonesia/Malaysia agreement established a Maritime Operation Planning Team to carry out joint anti-piracy patrols of the Malacca Strait. And a 1994 memorandum of understanding between Malaysia and the Philippines was aimed at coordinating anti-piracy patrols and sharing intelligence gathered from those patrols.38 But these agreements were insufficient deterrents because they stopped short of actually allowing hot pursuit of pirates into a neighbour's territorial waters. The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Coordination Centre stated: "Under no circumstances would we intrude into each other's territory. If we chase a ship and it runs into the other side, we let the authorities there handle it".39 At present, there is only a "hands off" protocol in hot pursuit situations between Indonesia and Malaysia. Thus, while these co-operative efforts are to be commended, and are credited with constraining the growth of piracy during much of the 1990s,40 they also highlight the continuing difficulties of pursuing criminals across international maritime borders. Such hot pursuit of pirates across borders is necessary to fully address the problem.
Multilateral initiatives to address these issues have thus far been almost absent, or like the SUA Convention, raised more concerns than they addressed. However, the recent announced joint information sharing initiatives concerning terrorism between Malaysia, Australia, Great Britain, Singapore, and New Zealand may prove effective to combating both terrorism and piracy.41 And commercial vessels can protect themselves by employing Ship Loc locational devices, electric fences, high pressure hoses, security lights, and pirate watches,42 although these devices may be too expensive for small coastal trading vessels.
The conditions which allow piracy and terrorism to thrive are similar but their objectives are different. The motivation for piracy is economic while that for terrorism is predominantly political and religious ideology.43 The methods of execution, particularly ship hijacking (although a small minority of piracy incidents), and the political circumstances under which both piracy and terrorism tend to thrive, as well as the political interests of the United States, have led to the conflation of these two phenomena. Ship hijacking by terrorists is a serious potential threat, but there has yet to be such a case in Southeast Asia. Because of the overlap in operational similarities, short-term countermeasures such as enhanced patrols, co-ordination and ship defence will be useful for countering both piracy and terrorism. But long-term solutions aimed at eliminating the root causes of piracy and terrorism may have to be fitted to the particular problem.
Although the indigenous capacity in Southeast Asia is insufficient to combat the problem, naval patrols by outside maritime powers are perceived as a challenge to national sovereignty. This, and onerous obligations, could also account for the reluctance of Southeast Asian nations to ratify the 1988 Rome Convention. Naval patrols by India and the United States in the Malacca Strait may be perceived in Southeast Asia as part of a much broader regional security plan whose scope goes well beyond combating piracy and terrorist threats in the Strait of Malacca. Furthermore, their practical effectiveness is questionable. The arrest authority of foreign naval vessels exercising rights of transit through international straits is unclear. Beyond this legal jurisdictional issue, the sheer size of these vessels may inhibit their effectiveness in pursuing pirates and would-be terrorists using small high-speed craft who have intimate knowledge of the surrounding waters. Moreover, traditionally, it is not the role of the military to function as police.
To attack the problem of piracy at its root, there should be more concerted efforts at assisting both state and capacity building in Southeast Asia. Piracy is largely driven by poor economic conditions, and by addressing that issue a major cause of piracy can also be addressed. However, the organized crime syndicates responsible for major ship hijackings such as the Alondra Rainbow may not be curtailed by economic development because the potential returns of hijacking are so high. Nevertheless, by promoting state building efforts, and assisting the development of coast guards and internal security apparatuses, these crime syndicates may be dealt with more effectively. Addressing the threat of terrorism qua terrorism is more problematic, and involves more complicated and sensitive questions of religion, ideology, sovereignty and foreign policy. Perhaps standard anti-terrorist approaches such as disrupting the finances and leadership of the sponsoring organization may be effective in the short term. But by helping these states develop their own surveillance and enforcement capacities, long term, and longer lasting, solutions will be possible. Ultimately, some nations may have to provide greater cultural and religious "space" for these dissident groups. Thus to combat the threat of piracy and maritime terrorism, both indigenous countries and external maritime powers should focus on what has created the threat, rather than its symptoms.
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