Somali Pirates: Uh, Hey, We're 'Misunderstood'

No plans to sell weapons to Islamists
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2008 11:24 AM CDT
The pirated merchant ship MV Faina is seen from a US Navy guided-missile cruiser in the Indian Ocean.    (AP Photo/Navy Visual News Service, Petty Officer Jason Zalasky)
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(Newser) – The Somali pirates currently surrounded by US warships aboard a Ukrainian weapons freighter say they didn’t mean to steal the massive heavy weaponry shipment, they tell the New York Times, calling in by satellite phone. “We just saw a big ship,” said the leader. “So we stopped it.” They promise they’re not out to sell the cargo to terrorists. “We just want the money.”

Mostly, the raiders want you to know that they’re not such bad guys. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” said the leader, saying they’re out to stop illegal fishing and dumping in Somali waters. “Think of us like a coast guard,” though perhaps a pricey one —they want $20 million for the weapons. But they’re not worried about those hostile US ships. After all, “You only die once.”