Piratene som herjer utenfor kysten av Somalia samarbeider med de islamistiske organisasjonene i landet. Jane`s Terrorism and Security Monitor (JTSM) sier at islamistene bruker piratene til å smugle våpen og forsyninger, og gjengjelder tjenesten med å stille baser til rådighet for piratene:
The London-based newsletter says pirates are also training Somali hardliners in naval tactics.
The links are traced to 2007, after Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia.
The Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), which took control of much of southern Somalia in 2006, had cracked down on pirate operations in Hobyo and Harardheere.
They even freed a dhow captured by the pirates in August 2006.
But after the UIC were ousted, various Islamic groups formed links with the pirates.
Bruno Schiemsky – who formerly monitored UN arms shipments into Somalia – says these links take a variety of forms:
* Islamists have used the pirates to bring in arms shipments and foreign fighters, providing weapons and training in their use in return. They also help with bases from which the pirates operate
* Hardliners, known as the Shabab, now have a degree of control over several pirate groups and provide operating funds and specialist weapons in return for a share of the ransoms being paid to free the ships and crew
* As many as 2,500 young Somalis have been trained by the Shabab at points all along the Somali coast
* The Islamists are using the pirates to train their own forces in naval tactics so that they can provide protection for arms being smuggled in Somalia from Eritrea.
JTSM skriver at to skipslaster i mai gikk til Sheikh Hassan Abdulle Hersi, også kjent som Hassan Turki, en islamist-leder som holder til i det sydlige Somalia nær Kismayo. En last havnet i hovedstaden Mogadishu, og en annen ble brakt inn i Mogadishu havn der forretningsmenn angivelig skal ha bestukket havnemyndighetene til å tillate lossingen.
Det er rapportert om at en last som ankom Somalia i juli inneholdt store mengder våpen, inkludert spesialist-rifler, tunge maskingevær, anti-tank missiler og anti-luftvernvåpen såvel som ammunisjon. Denne lasten skal ha blitt levert i Puntland i det nord-østre Somalia.
The maritime force organised by the Shabab – along the lines of the Sea Tigers operated by the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers – is said to be located in southern Somalia.
They are reported to be 480 strong, and the article says they will operate off the coast of Somalia and northern Kenya.