Islamic extremists are preparing to unload anti-aircraft guns and grenades from a Ukrainian ship captured by Somali pirates, the Times of London reports, though the ship, taken Thursday as it approached Kenya, is surrounded by US and European warships. Speaking via satellite phone, the seized vessel’s captain said one of his 21-member crew had died and the captors wanted $20 million in ransom.
The death was due to illness, he said. A pirate told AFP his crew wasn’t frightened by the Western ships and wanted only money, “nothing less, nothing more.” In the past, local piracy has been focused on cash, but this year, a youthful Islamist wing has joined the pirates, an analyst said. “This has now gone beyond money,” he noted.