“And know that whatever ye take as spoils of war, lo! a fifth thereof is for Allah, and for the messenger and for the kinsman (who hath need) and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if ye believe in Allah and that which We revealed unto Our slave on the Day of Discrimination, the day when the two armies met. And Allah is Able to do all things.” — Qur’an 8:41
“Pirates in Haradheere agreed last week to hand al Shabaab insurgents a 20 percent cut of ransoms but a deep distrust prevails between the two sides.”
“Somali Islamists want to do ransom deals on board,” by Mohamed Ahmed and Abdi Sheikh for Reuters, March 1:
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somali Islamist rebels have demanded their fighters be allowed to board hijacked vessels anchored off the coastal town of Haradheere to monitor the payment and division of ransoms, escalating risks to hostages.
Islamists clamped down hard on piracy when they briefly ran much of Somalia in 2006, but with ransoms rising they now want a share of its earnings.
Hardline Islamist militants have surrounded the pirate base to pressure gang leaders and their investors into accepting the order, pirates and residents said on Monday, after a number tried to sail ships up the coast.
If rebels are allowed to board the vessels, hostages risk becoming stuck in the middle of dangerous rows or, worse, being kidnapped by al Shabaab rebels, who claim ties with al Qaeda.
Shipowners fear any proven link between pirates and Islamist fighters will make it legally difficult to pay ransoms without running foul of counter-terrorism legislation.
Pirates in Haradheere agreed last week to hand al Shabaab insurgents a 20 percent cut of ransoms but a deep distrust prevails between the two sides.
“They demanded we allow six of their fighters to board each of our hijacked ships. We have not left our houses since Wednesday. Worse, we are constantly receiving threatening text messages,” he said, adding negotiations had begun again….
Despite a flotilla of international warships patrolling the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, pirates continue to rake in tens of millions of dollars in ransoms each year.
Al Shabaab set up an office in Haradheere after last week’s deal.
“Negotiations are going on and again I reckon the pirates have no other option but to accept al Shabaab’s order,” said local elder Ahmed Wardheere, who was involved in negotiations over splitting the ransom….