A second tourist kidnapping near Lamu, on the Kenya coast, raises concern that Somali criminal groups, pirates, or Islamists may have found a new soft target. Retired French journalist Marie Dedieu was seized Saturday.
The Somalia famine has exacerbated divisions within the Islamist militant group Al Shabab, whose more pragmatic leaders want to allow Western food aid into the areas they control.
The size of the ransom and the amount of media attention for Paul and Rachel Chandler has set a 'bad precedent' that could put others in danger from Somali pirates, analysts say.
There were fewer attacks by Somali pirates in the first quarter of this year than during the same time last year, but their reach is extending far beyond the Gulf of Aden.
When it comes to taking on Somali pirates, France is emerging as the most effective naval force. French officials announced Sunday that the French frigate Nivose had captured 35 suspected Somali pirates and four mother ships since Friday.
Owners of a Greek-flagged oil tanker dropped a record ransom payment of $5.5 million to $7 million on the deck of the ship today, prompting Somali pirates to release the Maran Centaurus.
The Greek-owned Maran Centaurus was seized Sunday more than 800 miles east of Mogadishu fully loaded with an estimated 2 million barrels of oil heading for New Orleans from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Lethal or nonlethal weapons? The attack on the US-flagged Maersk Alabama reignites the debate over how to stop Somali pirates.
It has massed troops on the Somali border. Islamist militias have threatened retaliation if Kenya acts.