MOGADISHU, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Somali pirates said on Saturday that a captured British couple had been moved on shore from a container vessel and that there was a dispute between different groups over the two Britons.
Gunmen kidnapped Paul and Rachel Chandler, both in their 50s, last Friday soon after they left the Seychelles archipelago in the Indian Ocean and took them to the Somali coast.
One pirate told Reuters on Friday they had agreed on a $7 million ransom for the Britons, but others said it would only be decided once the couple were in a secure place on land.
The two Britons were moved from their yacht to a large container ship because the pirates feared foreign forces might try and rescue them. The gang that seized the Britons is finding a safe place on land to hold the two sailors.
"We were displeased by the men holding the British people. They were our friends. We helped them when a rescue operation was likely," pirate Hassan told Reuters.
"But they disrespected what we did for them. They took the pair yesterday to land and broke off relations," he said. "We are warning them it will lead to disaster for them. We will spare no efforts to foil them if they insist on separating from us."
I know the British policy is not to pay ransom, but perhaps if they scattered a large number of one pound notes in the general vicinity while broadcasting "Abdullah betrayed you!" and/or "Muhammad sold you out!" over loud speakers, the resulting choas would allow for an easy rescue.
Raymond Ibrahim had this piece abour 6 months ago:
"What Piracy? This is the Same Old Jihad"
I have been following this case in the Australian news since it was first reported.
What stands out to me is this - the couple who were kidnapped were nowhere near the Somali coast, nowhere near the Gulf of Aden. They were a mere 60 miles/ 100 km off the Seychelles. Did you see that line in the report just posted?- 'kidnapped...soon after they left the Seychelles Archipelago". Specifically, they were just 100 km from the Seychelles capital, Victoria.
The Seychelles is not a Muslim country. Its population is overwhelmingly Christian (mostly Catholic) and its Muslim presence is 1 %, less than its Hindu component (2 %). It is a World Heritage site because of its spectacular coral reefs; and it is full of plush resorts.
Somali Muslim pirates seized an English couple with their yacht, 100 km by sea from Victoria, capital of the Seychelles.
How long till the jihad raiders attack one of the resorts, or one of the smaller outlying islands, burning churches, killing the men and carrying off women and children, as happened to Baltimore in Ireland once upon a time, and as happened to many coastal communities in Europe during the heyday of jihad muslim sea raiders? Or how long until an entire resort full of wealthy European tourists is held hostage a la Beslan? Or simply attacked for maximum deaths, like Mumbai November 08? If I were the Seychellois government I would be thinking very hard about homeland defence. Seychelles needs a navy - or help from a non-Muslim power with a navy.