(03/14/2017) Officials confirmed on March 14 that pirates hijacked an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia. The hijacking occurred in an area overseen by the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is based in Behrain. The raid marked the first official hijacking of a large commercial vessel in the area since 2012.
The Aris 13 was carrying fuel from Djibouti to Mogadishu when it was approached by two small boats and boarded by over two dozen men. While the pirates’ intentions were unknown, officials speculate that the hijacking may become one the Trump administration’s first international tests.
Somalia had been the subject of numerous piracy incidents over the years; however, hijacking has been at an all time low due to international effort to patrol near the country. While most Somali pirates hijack ships for ransom, no ransom demand was made by the hijackers during the recent attack.
According to reports, the pirates had been sailing through the ocean searching for at least a day in search of a foreign ship to attack.
The oil tanker is now anchored. It remains unclear who exactly was behind the attack, however, an investigation is currently underway to uncover the details surrounding the incident.