Skip Navigation
NPR News

The Pirates Are Winning!

by JJ Sutherland
Oct 20, 2010

Share this

Explore this

Reported by

JJ Sutherland

Related Topics at

Jeffrey Gettlemen of the New York Times has spent more time with Somali pirates than anyone else I read. His reporting has been comprehensive, brave, and thrilling reading. He has a piece in the New York Review of Books that has some fascinating insights into the world that piracy has created.

This excess has created a budding pirate culture. Pirate weddings are elaborate two- or three-day affairs, stretching deep into the night, with bands—and brides—flown in from outside Somalia and convoys of expensive 4x4 trucks. The prettiest young women in pirate towns dream of a pirate groom; little boys can hardly wait until they are old enough to sling an AK-47 over their shoulder and head out to sea. In these places, the entire local economy revolves around hijacking ships, with hundreds of men, women, and children employed as guards, scouts, cooks, deckhands, mechanics, skiff-builders, accountants, and tea-makers.

Must read of the day.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.