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Prepared by

Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence

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Revised Edition, Number of Prints: 500, June 2014, İstanbul / TURKEY

ISBN: 978-975-409-675-0

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DISCLAIMER: The context of this book does not reflect the official opinion of the Turkish Naval Forces. Responsibility for information
and views expressed in the book lies entirely with the authors.
Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


III Preface (Rear Admiral Harmancık)

3 The Dimensions of Maritime Security
Joseph Szyliowicz

13 Joseph Szyliowicz

Coordinating the Response to Maritime Security Threats:The U.S. MOTR Plan

25 Brian Wilson

New Approaches to Maritime Security

Taner Albayrak

Global Maritime Situational Awareness

Laurent Etienne, Allen Hjelmfet, Ronald Pelot, Mélanie Fournier

Africa – Crucible for Maritime Domain Awareness

89 Edgar Bates

Distinguishing between Piracy and Terrorism: Somalia and International Law

99 Upendra D. Acharya

Irregular Migration by Sea

119 Özlen Çelebi

Strategic Dynamics of Omani Maritime Security Policies

Sigurd Neubauer

Safety and Security Management Implementation for Handling of

157 Class 1 Type Dangerous Cargoes at Ports
Yusuf Zorba & Mehmet İnanır

Maritime Infrastructure Protection

Christopher Ledger

Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Use of Commerical Shipping by Terrorist Groups and their Cooperation

199 with other Terrorists Groups and Transnational Criminal Organizations
Michael McNicholas

Engagement of land-based anti-piracy mission in Somalia

215 Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur

Nuclear Terrorism and Maritime Security

225 Şebnem Udum

Turkey’s Contribution to Maritime Security & Naval WMD Response Center

245 Sümer Kayser

253 Conclusions

257 About the Contributors

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


We owe a significant debt to Rear Admiral Ömer Faruk Harmancık Director of

MARSEC COE and Commander Sümer Kayser, the Deputy Commander of MARSEC
COE who organized and directed the Workshop. Their efforts were instrumental in
the highly successful Workshop which convened at Aksaz Base, Marmaris. This book
is a product of the Workshop which was held between 14 and 16 November, 2012. We
are indebted to the MARSEC COE staf, CDR Tunç Gür, LT CDR Serdar Hüseyin Sayar,
SCPO M. Barış Yılmaz, CPO Mutlu Öztürk and CIV EXP Ahu İlknur Gülenler. From
very beginning of the workshop until the final stages of submitting the manuscript the
COE Staff did a marvellous job. It would be unthinkable to be involved in a Project of
this kind without their efforts.

Joseph S. Szyliowicz, Özlen Çelebi

November 2013

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


Faruk Harmancık
Director of MARSEC COE

Turkey is concurrently a European, Asian, Balkan, Caucasian, Middle Eastern,

Mediterranean and Black Sea country that ties three continents together and has a
paramount geostrategic position. Furthermore Turkey acts as a natural bridge for
transportation of Caspian and Central Asian natural resources to the west in 21st
century. %70 of the world’s natural energy resources is located around Turkey.

Turkey struggles to reflect peace, stability, democracy and tolerance to her

surroundings. This situation demands consistent effort, patience and simultaneous
concentration of energy in multiple points. Turkey’s desire and energy towards this
course is a result of long-defended principles, geography and known historical realities.

Today, new security problems emerge besides conventional security problems as

a result of globalization. Turkey’s foreign policy, geostrategic, economic and cultural
realities and peaceful principles emplaced by Great Atatürk act as a compass that helps
overcome new security problems.

Guided by this compass, Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence

is trying to add value to regional and global peace by concentrating on piracy, WMD
and maritime C-IED, smuggling, illegal migration and terrorism at sea which are in the
maritime dimension of 21st century’s new security problems.

Maritime security defines all the activities governments and commercial and
private organizations will carry out in order to prevent and respond to and recover from
any kind of attack that may occur in the maritime domain. These activities are possible
through continuous and real-time info sharing about maritime activities between
governments and their institutions, in other words through maritime situational

After the summit held in Lisbon in 2010, military aspect of the subject in NATO
took over with the concept of “Security through Cooperation” which is in the new Strategic
Concept. After the summit, Allied Maritime Strategy, Maritime Situational Awareness
Concept and Maritime Security Operations Concept were published respectively. Help
of the “Smart Defense” project which is a solution that will overcome the constrictions
in every country created by economic crisis and defense budget cuts, cleared the way for
multinational projects in Chicago Summit in 2012. Turkey declared Maritime Security
Centre of Excellence as a Smart Defense project in the aforementioned summit.

Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Vision of Maritime Security Centre of Excellence is to become a centre producing

proactive strategies related to maritime security as an internationally efficient and
effective academic institution.

In order to achieve this vision 1st Maritime Security Workshop was held between
14th and 16th of November 2012 in Marmaris/Turkey. Workshop was organized in 4
panels and subjects of the panels were as follows; Maritime Situational Awareness,
Uphold Freedom of Navigation, Piracy Nexus Terrorism and Fight Proliferation of
WMD. 15 international academics and 38 observers from government, private sector
and universities participated in the workshop and shared their point of view.

This publication will aid in looking from a broader perspective to maritime

security related subjects and will be a model for the publications that will be prepared
after the future workshops.

I hereby thank all personnel who worked hard for the 1st Maritime Security
Workshop organized by Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence.

Rear Admiral (LH)
Director of MARSEC COE

Global Maritime Security: New Horizons



Joseph S. Szyliowicz


Maritime security concerns have changed dramatically in recent decades due to

a range of factors. Technology has played an important role in this transformation. It
has led to the emergence of container based transport and the creation of intermodal
global supply chains but it has also created new destructive threats and destroyed the
gap between social and physical distance. As a result, old threats like piracy pose an
enhanced challenge and new threats like terrorism have acquired great destructive
power. A successful terrorist attack on a port, for example, would devastate global trade.
The U.S. has actively adopted policies to counter such threats, as have international
organizations such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World
Customs Organization (WCO) to tackle the security of ports and container transport
but vulnerabilities remain.

Keywords: technology, terrorism, weapons, ports, U.S. policy, international

agreements, piracy, criminal organizations, intermodalism, supply chains

I. Introduction

Maritime security, despite its common usage, is not an easy term to define because
it involves a wide range of concerns. These include the traditional reasons why countries
have for centuries developed naval forces—the defense of a country’s maritime interests
which includes control of the seas bordering the state, as well as the ability to project
its naval power where necessary to protect the state. In recent decades, however, the
security concerns have expanded greatly because of a new threat – terrorism – and the
enhanced threats posed by new criminal activities, including modern piracy. Hence,
maritime security now involves domains that extend far beyond traditional war fighting
and the prevention of pirate attacks and smuggling. It now involves protecting a state’s
territory and marine infrastructure on land as well as in its territorial waters from any
potentially damage that originates at sea. Such damage can result from a wide variety
of criminal activities of all sorts such as trafficking in weapons, people, and drugs as
well as environmental issues such as illegal fishing and the dumping of illegal waste.
The consequences of such acts have serious social, economic, political and human
implications. Moreover, the concern with terrorism has added new and complex
dimensions since any attempt to achieve security necessarily requires attention to a
wide range of facilities ranging from ports to containers to ships of all kinds including

Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

cruise ships, bulk cargo ships, container ships, tankers, and small vessels. Moreover, a
very large number of private and public stakeholders are involved ranging from many
governmental departments to ship owners, flag states, port operators, shippers and
importers. Keeping nations and global supply chains safe under these conditions, is no
easy matter and represents a major challenge to international and regional organizations,
national governments and private stakeholders. Widespread appreciation of the nature
and significance of this challenge has been accompanied by recognition of the need for
a multi-dimensional conceptualization of maritime security.1

II. The Impact of Technology

The primary causal factor responsible for these changes is to be found in the
technological developments of recent decades, especially in communications and
transportation. Together they have fueled the phenomenon commonly referred to as
globalization. Though scholars disagree when globalization started, there is general
agreement that it has accelerated greatly in recent years and has led to the creation
of global supply chains that continually grow in size and importance, albeit with
fluctuations depending on economic conditions. Hence, an overwhelming percentage
of global trade (80% by value, 90% by volume), is seaborne2 This volume of trade involves
an estimated 46,000 ships which pick up and deliver cargoes at over 4000 ports.3

The key technological innovation which greatly reduced costs and the time
needed for loading and unloading cargo, a process which essentially had not changed for
centuries, was the development of the container in the 1950’s. Since then it has become
the most common means of goods movement because of its numerous advantages –
ease of handling, reduced costs, and potentially enhanced security of the goods being
transported. Altogether over 400 million containers carry 90% of all cargo.4 Coupled
with the ability to communicate quickly and effectively, new business practices such as
“Just in Time” production emerged which transformed the ways and locations in which
goods are manufactured and moved from origin to destination.

Containerization has affected all aspects of the supply chain. Specialized ships
have been built that carry ever larger numbers of containers, the latest over 16,000
twenty foot containers. Ports too have undergone change as old ones have expanded
and new ones have emerged since manufacturing no longer has to take place close to

1 NOTE: This paper draws upon some of my previously published work, especially “Globalization and Transportation
Security” as well as excellent seminar papers written by Mr Steve Olson and Ms Courtney Schultz who also contributed
further through additional research and her critical insights. A modified version was published as Joseph Szyliowicz and Luca
Zamparini, “Maritime Security: Issues and Challenges” in Joseph S. Szyliowicz, Khalid Bichou, and Luca Zamparini, eds.,
Maritime Transport Security: Frameworks and Policy Applications (Edward Elgar, forthcoming).
2 J.P. Rodrigue, ‘Ports and Maritime Trade’, in Barney Warf (ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Geography, (London: Sage,
3 Wikipedia, “Ship”,
4 Rodrigue, op.cit

Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

the docks Some have been created explicitly to handle containers (e.g. Gioia Tauro in
Italy). Production and manufacturing have been increasingly outsourced as reduced
transportation costs have given countries with inexpensive labor a big advantage over
manufacturing in the more advanced countries. As a result, the flow of goods from
developing to advanced countries increased dramatically --between1990 and 2008, the
number of TEU containers climbed from 28.7 million to 152 million.5 The movement
of containers is not limited to the oceans. An intermodal system has emerged consisting
of trucks and railways which now move goods to and from the ports. This integrated
system has not only expanded the security frontiers significantly but has also added
numerous difficulties since additional organizations and staffs are involved.

Technology has not only created a network of integrated global intermodal supply
chains but has also created a variety of new weapons with great destructive possibilities.
Terrorists have traditionally relied on explosives and have, indeed continued to use them
in many ways such as ramming a boat loaded with them against a ship – as occurred
in the attack against the U.S.S Cole in October 2000, while it was harbored and being
refueled in a Yemeni port.

However, terrorists now have potential access to more deadly weapons. Perhaps
the most pernicious are cyber-attacks which can be launched from anywhere to
wreak havoc in many aspects of the global supply chains. Such attacks are already
widespread against both private and governmental facilities and difficult to defend
against since offensive malware, viruses and similar attack programs develop much
faster than defensive ones. For example, the Stuxnex virus, identified in 2010, had gone
undetected for months. Other deadly possibilities are now available to terrorists. The
most destructive and the one of greatest concern is an attack with a nuclear device.
Fortunately, building such a bomb is no easy matter but a “dirty bomb”, a radiation
dispersal device, which is simpler to manufacture can have equally damaging impacts.
Nor can one ignore an attack using bio-chemicals such as plague, botulism, sarin, and
anthrax, all of which are relatively easy to produce and disseminate and stockpiled by
many governments. Moreover, with many of these elements, people might remain
unaware of the attack for several days until the symptoms appeared, thus enhancing its

The importance of securing the global supply chain is obviously a matter of

great international concern. There are two fundamental reasons. The first involves the
smuggling dimension. Terrorists may seek to direct their attack against a non-supply
chain target. However, the weapons for the attack have to be transported so that even
though the attack may not be directed against the intermodal chain itself, the more
secure the chain, the less likely bio-chemical or nuclear materials will be smuggled into
a country for an internal attack. The second, reason is obviously to prevent an attack
that aims to disrupt the chain itself, perhaps by exploding a dirty bomb in a container
at a major port. Such an event will have calamitous consequences for international

5 Idem

Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

trade and economic development in many countries. All trade would likely come to
a sudden halt creating havoc as there would be a sudden increase in energy prices as
well as shortages of foodstuffs and medicines that would lead to immense suffering
for millions of people in poor countries. In financial terms alone, the cost has been
estimated at $1 trillion.

The probability of such an event has been highlighted by the unexpected discovery
of a container loaded with radioactive materials at the port of Genoa in 2010. This
container which was officially carrying copper for an Italian customer had originated in
Saudi Arabia and been trans-shipped via Gioia Tauro to Genoa. The inhabitants of the
area were, naturally, very worried but had to live with this situation for several months
before the danger was eliminated, at a cost of €800,000.

Technology has not only created appealing targets and provided terrorists with
devastating weapons, it has also created a new global context that makes it easier than
ever for terrorists to operate. Violence is, unfortunately, often the result of interactions
among people. Such interaction, the “social distance” can be a function of cultural
heterogeneity, lack of equality or of integration. Historically, social distance and physical
distance were separated due to the difficulties of travel, thus limiting the areas in which
violent acts could be carried out. It was no easy matter for a group in one part of the
world to launch an attack against one some distance away. Technology, however, has
erased physical distance so that any aggrieved group can attack its perceived oppressors
wherever they may be. Thus there are no safe havens. Donald Black has summarized the
situation as follows: “For most of human history, social geometry largely corresponded
to physical geometry…Terrorism has mostly been impossible…the aggrieved civilians
have had little or no physical access to enemy civilians. At the same time, those physically
close enough were not social distant enough. Although both the social and physical
geometry of terrorism are necessary conditions for its occurrence, then neither alone is
a sufficient condition” 6. As a result, today, distant threats pose difficult new challenges.

Historically, terrorism has not been a major concern in maritime security, apart
from piracy. A number of incidents such as the 1985 hijacking of an Italian cruise ship,
Achille Lauro, during which a 69 year old disabled American tourist was murdered, the
attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, and an attack on a French tanker in the Gulf of Aden
in 2002 captured global headlines. Still, only ten terrorist attacks between 1977and 2007
have involved maritime facilities or ships7. The most sophisticated and devastating
attack occurred in 2008 when terrorists hijacked a boat and landed in Mumbai where
they attacked several locations, killing 174 people. However, German intelligence
recently uncovered an Al Qaeda plan to highjack a cruise ship and then start killing
passengers while demanding the release of prisoners8. Hijacking a ship is a pirate tactic
and raises the scepter of a link between terrorists, and pirate and other criminal groups.
6 Donald Black,), “The Geometry of Terrorism”, Social Theory, 3, 2004, p.20.
7 Rand Database of Worldwide Terrorism Incidents;
8 Robertson et al., CNN, May 1, 2012

Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

III. Crime and Piracy

These activities are as old as mankind but, because of the technological changes
discussed above, they have been transformed from largely localized problems into
global issues whose impact cannot be compared to the situation that prevailed in earlier
eras.. Criminal organizations are no longer local or national but have evolved into the
equivalent of multinational corporations. They ship their illegal goods – human beings,
drugs, weapons, stolen goods across the globe exploiting every opportunity wherever it
may exist to enhance their profits. Thus they sell weapons to terrorist and other groups
in Africa and elsewhere and smuggle drugs into Europe and the U.S. Terrorist groups
are probably involved in such activities as a way to raise funds.

Piracy may also be an attractive way for terrorist groups to obtain resources or
even to develop a new mode of attack. Heretofore, the area around Somalia has been the
most dangerous area but significant progress has been made in reducing piracy there.
Last year, pirates succeeded in capturing 13 vessels, compared to 49 in 2010 and 28 in
2011, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). That success can be
explained by the European Union’s heavy naval presence, improved intelligence sharing
and measures implemented by shipping companies such as providing armed security
aboard more secure merchant vessels. The 2009 implementation of the Djibouti Code
of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships has
also played an important role.

The significance of these developments should not, however, be overstated.

Piracy still imposes heavy financial and human costs not only on the maritime industry
but also on the countries from which they operate. First, the cost remains enormous
-- an estimated 7 billion USD in 2011. These figures do not include the human costs
imposed on the captives or the costs imposed on Somalia and are probably even higher
due to widespread underreporting. Moreover, the number of hijackings off the coast
of Nigeria has greatly increased as oil tankers have become a target of choice. And,
pirates are becoming increasingly international, extending their reach from national
bases to neighbors -- from Nigeria, for example to Benin and the Ivory Coast, usually in
cooperation with powerful local elements.

Clearly, piracy already presents an enormous challenge. However, it could pose

an even much bigger threat because it is conceivable that as anti-piracy measures
become more effective over time that the radical ideology propagated by al Qaeda and
its splinter groups could become increasingly attractive. Or terrorists could simply
adopt pirate tactics.

Hence, it is easy to imagine a situation where terrorists, supported by a pirate

group, hijack an oil tanker not just to steal the oil or collect the ransom but to blow it up
in a major port or one involving a liquefied natural gas carrier that is detonated at a major
port or near a flotilla of ships in the open seas. In short, the piracy issue must be viewed
not only as an economic and human problem but within an anti-terrorist framework.
Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

IV. The Role of Ports.

The main ports in the world are very attractive targets because of their role as the
main hubs of the global supply chains and the difficulties of achieving a high level of
security. Their vulnerability stems from a number of factors. First, they are normally
accessible by both land and water thus an attack could be mounted from either side
and, even, perhaps, from the air. Moreover they are accessed by passenger ships, cargo
and container vessels, trains, cars, trucks and entertain a large number of workers and
visitors. Ports also cover very large areas in the vicinity of crowded metropolitan centers
and also host storage and processing facilities for a variety of hazardous materials.
Some ports, those dealing with liquid natural gas, are potentially very attractive targets
but cannot be considered sufficiently protected against attack. Moreover, ports are
normally used for the temporary storage of a large number of containers; each of them
representing a potential threat for the port and the adjoining metropolitan centers.
Lastly, ports depend on a number of other critical infrastructures, such as information
technology and energy, to operate, thus rending them susceptible to cyber-attacks.

An added difficulty in achieving security of a port involves the number of agencies

and actors involved. For example, the port of Long Beach employs more than 30,000
workers who in 2011 handled more than 6 million containers (TEUs) aboard about
5,000 vessels with cargo valued at more than $155 billion9. Its security, like that of any
major port requires effective interaction between ship owners, insurance agents, port
and facility operators, naval forces, non-governmental, local, national and international
organizations, police, fire and harbor commissioners, and intelligence. Such interaction
is complicated by the different structures, cultures, and interests, reflected in their
security postures, of each organization. Moreover, security initiatives have to be financed
and issues such as how much is needed and the role of the national government, of port
owners and of the various operators in providing needed funds are always troublesome.

The goal should be to create effective resiliency, that is to create a situation where
a port can absorb an attack in a way that would enable it to quickly resume normal
operations. Given the issues discussed above, doing so represents a formidable challenge
that few ports have yet confronted effectively.

One important reason for this state of affairs is that most policies are directed
towards preventing an attack. That is evident in the policies adopted by the US, the
leading national actor in efforts to safeguard global supply chains. It has enacted the 24-
Hour advance vessel manifest rule, the Customs-Trade partnership against terrorism
(C-TPAT), and the Container Security Initiative (CSI). The first which began to operate
on February 2003 obliges carriers to present documentation 24 hours before the cargo
is loaded on any vessel departing for a U.S. port. The C-TPAT initiative represents an
effort to enroll corporations in the effort to secure supply umber certain standards are
met, the goods imported by that company flow quickly through customs.


Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

The CSI seeks to identify and screen high risk containers before they arrival at
a US port. To that end, the US has signed bilateral agreements that allow it to assign
US customs inspectors in 58 major foreign ports. The effectiveness of such a policy,
however, depends on the integrity, reliability, and honesty of all the key personnel at
the foreign ports but some ports are located in countries where corruption and other
criminal activities are not unknown. Of particular concern is the issue of a nuclear
weapon being smuggled in a container. The original goal was a 100% radiological
screening of inbound containers but that goal could not be met and was subsequently

The problems identified above indicate the difficulties that the U.S has
encountered. The cooperation of foreign governments is a obviously essential if the
US is to develop an effective maritime security system but Janet Napolitano, the head of
the Department of Homeland Security has publicly stated that the achieved degree of
cooperation is not adequate.11

Thus, although U.S. ports, ships, and coastlines are today more secure as a result
of all the measures that have been implemented and the billions that have been spent, it
is clear that the level of maritime security retains important vulnerabilities. One expert
who recently who assessed the state of transportation security gave port security only
a D+ rating in 200612 . Though seven years have elapsed, and improvements have taken
place, there is general agreement among experts that vulnerabilities remain13.

The lack of cooperation also limits the effectiveness of the various international
programs that have been implemented to enhance maritime security. The Achille Lauro
hijacking led to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) adoption of various
resolutions including, in March 1988, the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful
Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA), amended in 2005, which makes
it a crime to attack or endanger a ship Following the 9/11 terrorist attack, the IMO
adopted the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) in 2004
which was implemented through chapter XI-2 on Special Measures to Enhance Maritime
Security of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS which
was adopted in 1914, following the sinking of the Titanic. The ISPS code established
enhanced security standards both for ships at sea and for port facilities. It mandated
the implementation of a Ship Security Plan (SSP), the installation of ship alarms and
Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), and the appointment of a Ship Security Officer
(SSO), a Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP),a Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO), and
a Company Security Officer (CSO) . The Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful
Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA) which came into force in 1992
11 Reuters, January 7, 2011
12 Stephen Flynn, Homeland Security Report Card, Council on Foreign Relations, 25 October, 2006
13 In the case of the fundamental CSI program, for example, see

Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

criminalizes any attempt to attack or endanger a ship and was amended in 2005 to deal
explicitly with the transport of biochemical and nuclear weapons.
In 2005, the World Customs Organization (WCO) adopted the SAFE Framework
of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade which established minimum
standards and principles for all its members. These include the harmonization of
advance electronic cargo information, the adoption of a risk management approach
and the inspection of outbound cargo when requested by a receiving country .

Such international efforts have yielded some positive results but since each
country interprets the codes according to its particular socio-economic and political
configuration, these codes are not implemented uniformly around the world. Hence
the level of maritime security that actually exists in different countries varies to a
considerable degree, thus endangering the secure operation of the global supply chains.

V. Conclusions

Technology has created a global maritime trading system of unparalleled scope

and complexity whose secure functioning is a positive factor that can promote economic
growth around the globe. It has also provided states with new ways to enhance maritime
security. At the same time, it has created new, extremely destructive weapons that can
be utilized by terrorists to seriously damage that system and impose heavy costs upon
the world community. Moreover, by eliminating physical distance terrorists now have a
global reach and can strike anywhere at any time.

Terrorists also now have a variety of targets that are more or less vulnerable,
ranging from hijacking or attacking ships at sea to attacks on ports and there is little doubt
that some pirate organizations cooperate with criminal organizations. The probability
that linkages with terrorist groups also exist cannot be totally discounted given the great
sums generated by hijacking ships and al-Qaeda’s known interest in attacking shipping.
The struggle against piracy and criminal organizations should, therefore, be viewed as
part of an anti-terrorist campaign. It too requires international cooperation in such
fields as intelligence, the deployment of naval forces, and socio-economic development
as well as the development of national naval capabilities.

Similar issues are also relevant when considering port security. The difficulties
are great – funding, volume of containers, number of private and public stakeholders,
the nature of ports, different national security standards – but there is no doubt that the
policies followed by the United States, despite some weaknesses, along with the various
international codes enacted by the IMO and the WCO have enhanced maritime security.
Still, the countries of the world continue to face an ongoing threat to the world’s supply
chains and more effective international cooperation is essential if the threat is to be
effectively minimized.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


Black, Donald (2004), “The Geometry of Terrorism”, Social Theory, 3, 2004, 14-25.

Eggers, William (2005), Prospering in the Secure Economy, New York, Deloitte-Touche.

Papa, Paola (2013), ‘US and EU Strategies for Maritime Transport Security: A
Comparative Perspective’, Transport Policy, 28, 75-85.

Papa, Paola and Luca Zamparini (2012), ‘Security of Hazmat Transports in Italy’ in

Genserik and Luca Zamparini (eds.), Security Aspects of Uni- and Multi-modal Hazmat
Transportation Systems, Berlin, Wiley, pp. 203-217.

Rand Database of Worldwide Terrorism Incidents;


Robertson, Nick, Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, “Documents reveal al Qaeda’s plans
for seizing cruise ships, carnage in Europe”, May 1, 2012, CNN

Rodrigue, Jean Paul (2010), ‘Ports and Maritime Trade’, in Barney Warf (ed.)
Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Sage, London.

Wikipedia, “Ship”,

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Joseph S. Szyliowicz

Rivers, coastlines, lakes, and seas have been critical channels for the movement
of goods and people since antiquity. Thus, although the term “maritime security” is a
recent one, naval power has been an important element since ancient times. The siege
of Troy as depicted by Homer in his famous poem, the Iliad, for example, apparently
involved a Greek fleet of almost 1200 ships and some sea battles such as the one at
Salamis between Greece and Persia in 480 BC and at Lepanto between the Ottoman
Empire and a coalition of European states in 1571 are widely regarded as an important
turning point in world history.1

1985 was another turning point. That year, four Palestinian terrorists hijacked a
cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, and murdered a wheelchair bound passenger, Mr Leon
Klinghoffer. That event transformed maritime security from an issue of concern to
states and private maritime interests solely during times of conflict to one that required
constant vigilance. Moreover, an entirely new approach was required since ships,
ports, and other maritime facilities everywhere had suddenly become potential targets.
Moreover, given the impact of globalization and the resulting growth in international
shipping, a successful attack that impacted the maritime supply chain, would have a
devastating impact on global trade. Not only would it wreak billions of dollars of damage
on the nation attacked, devastating the economy, but it would inflict considerable costs
on countries everywhere.

Until now, a navy’s principal role had remained unchanged for centuries, it
was to enable a state to successfully engage in a naval conflict with another state, with
occasional actions against pirates and smugglers. Now it was evident that the threats
to a country’s security that can emanate from the seas had multiplied and a country’s
maritime security could no longer be determined only by the strength and capability
of its naval forces. Now states confronted numerous and unprecedented challenges
that had to be confronted with a variety of new institutions and organizations.
Navies continue to play an important role in any state’s national security efforts, but
they too now had to change, to develop a range of new capabilities to deal effectively
with such novel threats as terrorism, smuggling of weapons of mass destruction, and
drug trafficking as well as an upsurge in piracy. That the Turkish navy recognizes the
importance of these developments is exemplified by its establishment of the Maritime
Security Center of Excellence (MARSEC COE) at its Aksaz naval base. This volume
contains the proceedings of the first workshop sponsored by the Center in October 2012
which brought together a distinguished group of scholars and practitioners to discuss

1 The editors wish to express their appreciation to Professors Yusuf Zorba and Hakkı Kişi for their willingness to act as
reviewers for this volume and, especially, to Mr Edgar Bates for his reviews and other contributions.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

the new face of maritime security. Their contributions, as we shall see below, deal with
many of the major issues involved in the multi-faceted concept “maritime security”.

The most pressing issue, terrorism, obviously called for international action
since a successful one would obviously have global implications. Just as the RMS
Titanic’s tragic accident in 1912 had led to the adoption of the first Safety of Life at Sea
convention (SOLAS), in 1914 so the hijacking of the Achille Lauro led to international
efforts to enhance maritime security. Fortunately, though it had taken fourty four years
for an international body focused on the safety of ships and crews to be created, an
international regulatory agency, the International Maritime organization (IMO) was
now in place.

The IMO moved quickly to expand its concerns into security issues, enacting
its first security regulation, A.584(14) and, in 1986, issuing MSC/Circ.443, “Measures
to prevent unlawful acts against passengers and crews aboard ships”. Two years later
it published the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety
of Maritime Navigation (SUA). A number of other important legal instruments
were subsequently adopted to deal with piracy, ferries, ports, and drug and chemical
smuggling.2 Despite these measures, however, maritime security was not accorded
a high priority by any country, perhaps because most terrorist attacks were directed
against aviation with only a limited number of attacks against shipping.

Another devastating terrorist attack, the one that destroyed the twin towers in
New York on September 9, 2011 however, galvanized international maritime security
efforts and within a few months, the IMO’s Assembly enacted resolution A.924(922)
which “called for a review of the existing legal and technical measures to prevent and
suppress terrorist acts against ships at sea and in port, and to improve security aboard
and ashore”. At the international conference which followed a year later, the SOLAS
convention was amended to include a new International Ship and Port Facility Security
Code (ISPS) containing mandatory and recommended requirements for governments
and shipping companies. In regards to ships, the ISPS code calls for security plans and
officers, security equipment and company security officers. Ports are expected to have
plans and officers. Both are expected to control access, monitor cargo and people and
have security communications. Many additional resolutions and circulars designed to
further enhance various aspects of maritime security have since been enacted so that an
international regime has been created. These new regulations have led to the adoption
of various operational measures that have not only enhanced the security of ships, ports,
and global supply chains but they have also served to create a new security culture in
the maritime sector, albeit one that varies depending upon a government’s maritime
priorities and perception of the nature and degree of the risks that it confronts.

The USA, for obvious reasons, has taken the lead in the effort to ensure the
security of its ports and the global supply chain. It adopted the Maritime Transport

2 Chris Trelawny, Maritime Security: Implementation of the ISPS Code” February 2005

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Security Act (MTSA) in 2002 and has enacted other security measures most notably the
Container Security Initiative (CSI), the Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism
(C-TPAT), and the 24-hour advance vessel manifest rule, commonly known as the ‘24-
hour rule’. Many other countries primarily in the Western hemisphere have followed
the US lead and introduced a wide range of maritime security regulations which often
adapted or incorporated US security provisions. These often implement the rules and
regulations of the international maritime security regime.

The issue of how to improve maritime security is greatly complicated by the

growing economic and personal inter-connectedness which characterizes the modem
world as technological changes in transportation and communication have resulted in
ever greater movements of goods and people. The scope and scale of the global
maritime system can best be illustrated by a few statistics: 80% of world trade by
value and 90% of volume is sea trade, 4,000 ports ship cargo around the world, 46,000
ships are engaged in international trade including about 3,000 container vessels, the
largest of which carries almost 20,000 twenty foot equivalents (TEUs).

To date we have been spared a disaster involving a weapon of mass destruction

smuggled into a port city via a container. These could take many forms ranging from
a nuclear bomb to some kind of radiological dispersal device (RDD) that explodes
and disseminates radioactive materials or some deadly chemical and biological agent.
Conventional weapons, such as high explosives, however, have been used to successfully
attack ships and ports. The USS Cole , for example was struck while it was being refueled
in a Yemeni port in 2000. The M/V Limburg was also attacked in a similar fashion off
the coast of Yemen two years later.

The consequences of that attack included the spilling of 50,000 tons of oil being
into the coastline, an event that highlighted the need to consider environmental issues
as part of maritime security. In addition to pollution and overfishing which destroy
livelihoods, climate change which is already having global impacts can also have negative
local, national and even regional consequences. Many have argued, for example, that the
wave of piracy that has endangered shipping off the coast of Somalia is due to illegal fishing
which deprived local peoples of their livelihood. Whatever the cause, the hijacking of ships
at sea, whether passenger or cargo, whether by pirates seeking loot or terrorists seeking
to advance a political agenda remains a significant maritime security issue. It is easy to
imagine, for example, a high-jacked vessel loaded with dangerous chemicals exploding in
a port.

That terrorists pose an ever changing challenge is evidenced by their evident

willingness and ability to adopt new and more sophisticated tactics. The 2009 Mumbai
attacks, for example, orchestrated by the Lashkar-e-Taiba, involved capturing a ship,
landing commando style and mounting deadly attacks on multiple locations. Also
noteworthy is that they were equipped with the ability to access Global Positioning

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

This ability to use high tech equipment raises the possibility that terrorists can
utilize a new and powerful weapon – the keyboard. Global supply chains are highly
dependent on the transmission of information of all sorts. A successful cyber-attack
could cripple communication systems or transmit false data, thus halting global trade.
And, the tragic reality is that cyber-attacks are now a common place occurrence and
difficult to defend against. Nor can one overlook the possibility of other innovative
terrorist initiatives -- a mine laying operation for example or even the development of
an underwater attack -- after all, drug cartels are known to be using submarines with
low profiles and low radar reflectivity in their smuggling operations.
Technology, however, has often been called a two edged sword and in regards to
maritime security powerful efforts have been made to develop new tools to enhance
security. For example, harbor surveillance systems have been developed and the US
has created (and continues to refine) a Coastal Surveillance System (CSS) that provides
real time information about the kinds of vessels that are operating off the coasts and in
ports and waterways from AIS and radar sources to stakeholders at all levels.
Such systems are not only important tools in the fight against terrorism but
also in the struggle against criminal activities. This struggle too has been complicated
by globalization which has led to the internationalization of criminal organizations.
National boundaries seldom prove a barrier to their operations which encompass
activities that range widely and include smuggling drugs, weapons of all sorts, and
human beings. Human trafficking is often spurred by domestic turmoil and creates
difficult humanitarian challenges as well as security ones since persons with criminal or
terrorist objectives can easily mingle among the refugees. Such problems are especially
serious for advanced countries with large coastal areas.
Moreover, there is increasing concern about the interrelationships between
criminal and terrorist groups. These used to be separate as crime bosses were concerned
primarily with profits not with political ideology but this separation is widely believed
to be shrinking as terrorist groups engage in criminal activities in order to raise funds
for their operations or to smuggle their personnel and weapons and do so cooperatively
with established criminal groups.
Despite all the efforts at developing and implementing policies and programs
designed to deal with such issues and to safeguard ports and ships, there is little doubt
that, though much has been achieved, serious problems remain due to the plethora of
actors – national governments and their often diverse security organizations, the wide
range of private sector interests ranging from shippers to private security firms to port
operators to ship owners, and the difficulties in establishing and enforcing appropriate
standards internationally. Such issues as well as the ones discussed above have, not
surprisingly attracted the attention of scholars, practitioners and policy analysts
concerned with the theoretical, empirical, and policy dimensions involved. The
MARSEC COE workshop was structured so as to deal with the many issues discussed
above and this volume presents the papers according to that schedule.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Rear Admiral Faruk Harmancik, the COE Director, opened the proceedings. He
presented the new challenges that must be confronted if maritime security is to prevail
and the background that led to the creation of MARSEC-COE. Its mission is to help
deal not only with terrorism but with all the other security issues as well so as to help
promote global peace and stability, goals based on principles established by Mustafa
Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

He was followed by Professor Joseph S. Szyliowicz who delivered the Keynote

Address. He began by presenting an overview of the many dimensions inherent in the
concept “maritime security” and discussed the forces that have created this complexity.
These included globalization which has led to ever increasing amounts of goods and
numbers of people travelling across the globe. Technology, has played a vital role
especially through the introduction and widespread use of containers. Coupled with
information technologies, they have led to the creation of complex maritime supply
chains that handle the enormous demands of global trade. This system, however, is
vulnerable to terrorist attack at many points and has been exploited by criminal gangs
for their own purposes. Moreover technology has eliminated physical distance making
it possible for terrorists to attack from any part of the world. To deal with this challenge,
the international community has, especially since 9/11, enacted new rules and regulations
to safeguard ports which have many vulnerabilities and shipping. These have been
supplemented by national efforts, often promoted by the U.S. which has been an active
leader in developing and implementing security policies and practices. Despite all these
efforts to enhance maritime security, the US like all other nations continues to confront
many problems in its efforts to deal with the terrorist threat and the other challenges
posed by the global need for maritime security.

The first panel was devoted to “Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) /Maritime
Situational Awareness (MSA)” and chaired by Professor Yusuf Zorba. If such awareness
is to be achieved, cooperation among different organizations is clearly essential and
Mr Brian Wilson’s presentation, “Maritime Inter-Agency Co-operation” emphasized
the challenges that confront those seeking to create a secure maritime space given the
overlapping national authorities, gaps in jurisdiction, and the potential involvement of
multiple government agencies. He noted that dealing with Somali piracy had required
establishing partnerships diplomatically and in law enforcement channels. Such
cooperative arrangements are also required when dealing with other illicit activities
across the globe but doing so requires overcoming significant obstacles.

Developing an integrated approach requires action at two levels, the national as

well as the international. The United States established the Maritime Operational
Threat Response (MOTR) Plan in 2006 in order to create a process that would
enable it to provide a coordinated response. Several other countries have
implemented similar frameworks in recent years to ensure that their governments
respond effectively to maritime security threats. These are increasingly lethal,
complex and transnational, thus imposing a greater need for international
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

cooperation. Some cooperative arrangements have been created including

the Contact Group on Piracy and the Annual International Drug Enforcement
Conference. As a result of all these efforts, valuable lessons have been learnt
on how to overcome barriers such as organizational cultures and priorities at
both the national and international level. These include, among others, the need
for leadership and resources, a clarity of roles and responsibilities, appropriate
participation and formal agreements.

Dr. Taner Albayrak then addressed “New Approaches to Maritime Security”.

He emphasized that though ports and shipping promote economic developments
worldwide they also provide vast opportunities for terrorism and crimes of all sorts
which threaten their safe, secure and efficient operation. In the era of globalization,
today’s threats are quite different from those of the past. Terrorism has acquired an
even more disruptive nature. To make matters worse, all these threats are coupled
with environmental risks. Now there is compelling need to identify our maritime
interests, threats and risks in order to seek and promote innovative solutions using new
methodologies and technologies.

Education must be at the core of any new approach because human resources are
the weak point of supply chains. Statistics show that the majority of cargo crime, about
80%, is perpetrated with the support of insiders and scholars have claimed that mistakes
determined by scarce training of personnel have led to accidents and security incidents.
To deal with this problem, Piri Reis University undertook a detailed analysis of the
weaknesses of the existing system including the ISPS code. It found that although it
has led to improved security, it contains gaps and bottlenecks, is interpreted differently
by various public and private actors and thus has not provided the desired level of
port and ship security. The most effective way to overcome these gaps and problems is
through training and education. Accordingly Piri Reis University has developed and
is implementing the Module Enhanced Training Programme for European Security
Personnel (METPROM).

A group of practitioners and scholars then addressed the technical issues involved
in Maritime Situation Awareness. Allen Hjelmfelt, Laurent Etienne, Mélanie Fournier,
and Ronald Pelot in their “ Maritime Traffic Analysis for Coastal Security and Safety “
pointed out that positions sensors are being more widely used and monitoring coverage
extended thanks to satellite tracking. These sensors generate real time data about ships
movements and behaviors. Maritime Situation Awareness relies on the quality and
quantity of the data and collaborative networks have been created between countries
in order to share their data feeds. Such data need to be correlated with other sensors
that are able to detect suspicious vessels. Sometimes, the amount of traffic data is too
big to be analyzed by human operator. Moreover, all these data sources have different
characteristics which raise technical and research issues if they are to be fused so as to
generate a real time Maritime Situation Picture. Data mining tools can be combined

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

with expert knowledge to detect and highlight a subset of potential threats for further
investigation by traffic monitoring operators. The sharing, combination, and analysis
of all these different data sources lead to scientific problems that have yet to be solved.
Thus different and complex problematic and process issues are involved and need to be
resolved if Global Maritime Situation Awareness is to be achieved.

The next speaker, Mr Edgar Bates, also focused on this technology, though from
a socio-cultural and political viewpoint. He emphasized in his presentation, “Africa –
Crucible for Maritime Domain Awareness” that it is critically positioned at the nexus
of the technological and cultural implications of networking. Thus, though there is
an impetus for data sharing across government and non-governmental organizations
and the general goodwill for building maritime partnerships, the development of
information sharing environments confronts serious difficulties. Both at national
level and at the regional level, authorities responsible for defense, border control,
customs, marine pollution, fisheries control, maritime safety and security, vessel
traffic management, accident and disaster response, search and rescue as well as law
enforcement are collecting information for their own purposes. Using the Maritime
Domain Awareness Capability Maturity Model to analyze the situation in Africa, Bates
found that the determinants of trust, globalization, networking and economic wealth
did not completely explain why countries achieve a more secure maritime environment,
because there are other factors that are more difficult to capture in a scientific and
analytic fashion, like the degree of national will. Thus, while the technological means
may exist, more research that clarifies such factors is desirable. Still, there is no doubt
that information sharing standards, agreements, and policies are required if the cultural,
organizational and legal hurdles that support these well recognized silos of information
are to be overcome and an effective system of maritime domain awareness established.

The second panel, “Upholding Freedom of Navigation” was chaired by Dr.

Taner Albayrak. Dr. Upendra Acharya, the first speaker, presented a paper, entitled
“Distinguishing between Piracy and Terrorism: Somalia and International Law” in
which he explored the ways that various international conventions and resolutions
defined piracy and terrorism. He found that an important distinction exists between
international laws of piracy and international laws of terrorism. He, therefore, argued
that a fundamental distinction exists between terrorism, which, much like a virus, infects
its constituents in an effort to further political or ideological purposes whereas piracy,
like bacteria, is caused by an unhealthy environment which supports poor standards of
living. Accordingly, the piracy issue in Somalia must be treated in terms of its causes.
Pursuing a policy based on a perceived nexus between piracy and terrorism will, on
the one hand, incentivize terrorists to bring pirates under their umbrella, and, on the
other, encourage pirates to transform themselves from criminals pursuing ‘private
ends’ (material gain) into criminals pursuing political and ideological causes. This
transformation would have a gravely detrimental impact on national and international
systems of governance, their apparatus and their resources.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Dr.Özlen Çelebi’s paper focused on another major issue in maritime security,

“Irregular Migration by Sea”. Though such movements have a long history, the last
two decades have witnessed a major increase in the volume and the numbers of people
involved. Destination countries view such efforts to enter their territory as a security
issue, as do some international agencies and have increased their efforts to police their
coastlines. The real security problem, however, is for the migrants who are fleeing
economic or social or political insecurity experiences. Perceiving irregular migration
as a security issue leads the erosion of the human rights of the migrants. They are the
ones in need of support and protection against life threatening dangers as they are very
vulnerable, especially in a plastic boat at a sea.

The third speaker, Mr Sigurd Neubauer, analyzed the “Strategic Dynamics Of

Omani Maritime Security Policies”. Thus he provided a detailed analysis of a specific
case on how geographic location and regional issues shape how a country defines its
maritime security interests and determines its policies. Strategically positioned across
the Gulf of Oman from Iran, north of Yemen, and east of Saudi Arabia, Oman achieved
rapid economic growth, facilitated by its, oil riches, arguably by its policy of neutrality.
Yet though neutral, it still shares with Iran the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial waterway for
oil shipments that Iran has threatened to close due to its charged relations with the Gulf
Cooperation Council countries and the United States. Such a location, coupled with
its geographic proximity to the Indian Ocean, where Somali pirates operate, has made
maritime security a key pillar of the country’s neutrality based foreign policy strategy.

The fourth speaker, Asst.Prof.Dr. Yusuf Zorba presented a paper entitled “Safety
and Security Management Implementation for Handling of Class 1 Type Dangerous
Cargoes at Ports” which he co-authored with Mr Mehmet İnanır. The purpose of the
study is to examine safety management systems at ports handling dangerous cargoes ,
to show the seriousness of the situation in terms of security and to increase awareness
of danger of carriage of hazardous materials. A significant portion of the goods that
are transported by sea consist of explosive materials which are increasingly utilized in
a great variety of industrial fields. Accordingly the issue of safety in the handling of
dangerous goods at ports has become an important issue of debates and regulations
because of their destructive potential for people and the environment.

This study focused on the relationship between the concepts of safety and security
and culture, by estimating, given the probability of accidental events for Class 1 type of
dangerous cargoes and the results and impacts that may occur around a port, using the
ASAP-X excel that are also used by NATO. The most fundamental point that emerges is
that in order to diminish a major accident with devastating consequences, it is necessary
to compose and develop a control mechanism and to provide good education and
training to administrators and workers. Creating a culture that promotes safety also
benefits port security.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

The third panel was entitled “Political Measures & Legal Challenges Against
Sea-Based Criminal Activities”, was chaired by Mr. Christopher Ledger. His paper,
entitled “The Case for a More Systemically Resilient Approach”, analyzes the impact
of piracy and maritime crime on the coastal nations and their global implications. The
major areas of concern are those where large new deposits of oil have been discovered.
These resources could not only promote development in poor countries which possess
significant socio-economic and political weaknesses but change the strategic significance
of various maritime areas. However, for their potential to be realized, maritime crime
and piracy must be brought under control. The littoral countries have to be helped to
develop the capability to police their marine infrastructures and to protect their coast
lines to at least the 12 nm limit. In this effort the focus should not be, as it has been
heretofore, on the deployment of expensive warships or the provision of inappropriate
maritime assets but on the development of skills to operate and maintain appropriate
security technologies. The maritime shipping community, including the flag statey s,
is an important actor who has not established adequate rules and standards and should
from now on be held accountable if it fails to play a more positive role in combatting
piracy and crime.

Mr. Michael McNicholas delivered the second paper, “Use of Commercial

Shipping by Terrorist Groups and their Cooperation with other Terrorists Groups and
Transnational Criminal Organizations”. He pointed out that terrorist groups exploit
passenger and cargo ships of all kinds to transport their people, weapons and materials
to particular locations. Their ability to do so is facilitated by the “business alliance”
that links terrorist groups and criminal gangs of all kinds. Frequently, the owner of the
ship or its crew is complicit, thus facilitating the operation. Mr McNicholas presented
a plethora of case studies and relevant graphics to demonstrate how widespread such
practices are, primarily involving the Americas. There terrorists are known to have
secreted themselves on cargo vessels since the 1980s. Weapons too have been smuggled
since the beginning of this century. These activities pose an obvious and dangerous threat
to the operation of ports and ships. These operations present a formidable challenge
to the security of various nations and, indeed globally. Hopefully the terrorists’ usage
of innocent ships, cargoes and containers can be mitigated, at least in part, through the
design, implementation, and management of an appropriate strategy. Such a strategy
should be based on a layered port defense that involves various security “rings” that
begin with a governmental and intelligence one and ends with the vessel itself.

The final paper by Mr. Abdülkadir Muhammed Nur was entitled “Anti-Piracy:
Land Based Soft Power Solutions”. It discussed the effectiveness of anti-piracy policies
in a specific case, that of Somalia, which had stimulated an international response. He
pointed out that the offshore anti-piracy maritime mission in Somalia involved immense
financial and human costs, yet had become in-effective and had only slightly reduced
the piracy attacks offshore Somalia. Although tackling piracy in-land does not receive
much attention, it definitely represents an effective way to tackle piracy as scholars and
experts have noted. Some of the billions spent on the offshore anti-piracy maritime

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

mission should be diverted to the establishment of a stable Somalia with capable

government institutions including the Somali Naval forces, supportive atmosphere to
the Somali young generation, fishing cooperatives, and development initiatives. These
land-based soft power solutions can not only cost less but would also make better use
of funds if they were spent on projects to stabilize Somalia, build Somali naval and
security forces, developing an anti-piracy security network, establishing and enhancing
Somali maritime academies, and generally promoting the development of Somalia and
its maritime economy.

The last panel, the fourth, chaired by Professor Mustafa Kibaroglu, was éntitled
“The Fight Against Proliferation of WMDs” in “Nuclear Terrorism and Maritime
Security”, Dr. Şebnem Udum discussed the risks at and through the sea which have
remained understudied. Her analysis of the relationship between maritime security
and nuclear terrorism demonstrated the place and the significance of sea in nuclear
terrorist attack scenarios, pointing out that taking advantage of the vulnerabilities
of the maritime domain in order to carry out a terrorist attack (or more specifically
nuclear terrorism at sea) and threats to maritime security are two different but related
issues. In the first case, terrorists exploit the vulnerabilities of the maritime domain,
such as the lack of sufficient controls for cargo in order to attack the state. The second
is designed, to paralyze trade, probably with serious environmental consequences.
Though many scenarios can be anticipated, a nuclear attack confronts many difficulties.
Still, though the probability is low, it remains a scenario that, despite various national
and international projects, agreements and resolutions requires the international
community to strengthen the legal and other safeguards that are already in place.

The final paper in the workshop was delivered by CDR Sümer Kayser who discussed
“Turkey’s Contribution to Maritime Security and the Naval WMD Response Center”.
He noted that Turkey is situated in a region where the danger of WMD proliferation
and utilization is very high. Accordingly, Turkey monitors regional developments very
carefully and seeks to work collaboratively with other nations to diminish the danger.
These efforts include Turkey’s participation in the international Proliferation Security
Initiative (PSI) and its hosting of the PSI’s exercise in 2006 which enabled the large
number of countries that participated to improve their relevant skills and capabilities.
Turkey also established, in 2010, the Naval WMD Response Center which has expertise
in such areas as boarding operations, weapons disposal, and medical countermeasures.
It is a stakeholder in MARSEC COE since the latter seeks to mitigate the problems
caused by such factors as different national perspectives and lack of coordination by
working collaboratively with the world’s navies.

Professor Joseph Szyliowicz brought the workshop to a close by thanking its

organizers for having surpassed even the high standards expected of internationally
renowned Turkish hospitality. He noted that all had presented papers of a high level
that had provoked intellectually stimulating discussions of many important issues
and problems. These included, inter-alia, the significant role of the private sector, the

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

relationship between safety and security, the promise of technology and the barriers to
its effective use, the relationship between piracy and terrorism, how best to deal with
the WMD threat, processes of national and international decision making in regards
to maritime security, differences in the substance of these policies and the need to
harmonize and strengthen many areas. Thus though significant progress has been
achieved in enhancing maritime security in recent years, much remains to be done.
Hopefully this conference and, indeed all the work sponsored by MARSEC-COE will
contribute to the dawn of an era when people and goods can travel on safe and secure
oceans, free of criminal activities and pollution. This optimistic prospect and the issues
mentioned above are discussed in detail in the conclusion to this volume.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

- 24 -
Global Maritime Security: New Horizons




Brian Wilson


Illicit activity unfolds daily on the oceans, a vast operating space with overlapping
national authorities, gaps in jurisdiction, and the potential involvement of multiple
government agencies. Responding to security threats in this environment poses
considerable challenges. Nowhere was this more evident than in the response to
Somali piracy, which underscored the necessity of collaboration among diplomatic
and law enforcement channels. This sort of partnering is equally valuable in addressing
maritime threats that also include weapons smuggling, drug traffickers, and illegal
fishing activities, among others, occurring globally.

Frameworks that provide a structured process to share information and

coordinate responses recognize that few issues and even fewer solutions fall under the
ambit of a single agency or nation. In the United States, the Maritime Operational Threat
Response (MOTR) Plan, approved in 2006, created a process for information sharing
and interagency coordination in the response to maritime threats. Similar frameworks
in several other countries have similarly emerged in the past decade to ensure a whole
of government response to security threats.

Maritime threats -- which are increasingly, lethal, complex and transnational

-- impose a greater demand on interdependence. Challenges exist, in part, because
governments are generally aligned in a vertical manner, whereas threats and the responses
are largely horizontal, spanning multiple agencies. Across the globe, coordinating
frameworks – both at the national and multinational level – are transforming the
maritime security landscape. This article discusses why collaboration is necessary today,
how multinational constructs and the U.S. process are designed, and what studies of
interagency collaboration show.

I. Introduction

Current maritime threats—from piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the Gulf of Aden,
to weapons smuggling, oil poaching, drug trafficking, and illegal fishing—highlight
increasingly lethal, complex and transnational security challenges. Collaboration

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

is particularly essential because illicit activity occurs in a vast operating space with
overlapping national authorities, gaps in jurisdiction, and the involvement of multiple
organizations within a government.

The development of frameworks that facilitate information sharing and

harmonized responses recognizes that few issues and even fewer solutions fall under
the ambit of a single agency or nation. In the United States, for example, the Maritime
Operational Threat Response (MOTR) plan creates a process for information sharing
and interagency coordinated decision-making. MOTR and frameworks in other
countries are reshaping tactical maritime security cooperation.

While the onus of resolving maritime threats traditionally has rested with naval
or coast guard assets, the response spectrum now extends into diplomatic, investigative
and judicial venues. The intersection of multiple agencies, each potentially possessing a
separate chain of command, operating procedures and authorities, poses considerable
coordination and governance challenges.

Responses are especially challenging in time-sensitive environments where threat

signals are ambiguous or uncertain. Is a container that tests positive for radiological
substances a threat or does it contain harmless scrap metal? How about an inbound ship
that fails to respond to repeated radio contacts? Or an anonymous fax that asserts a ship
with a million lemons is biologically contaminated. Multiple civil and military agencies
could be involved, but who is in charge, how will information be disseminated from the
operational to national level, what is the forum to make decisions and who can determine
desired national outcomes? More broadly, what is the decision making process?

Mechanisms in the United States, India, Canada, Australia, Philippines, the

United Kingdom, and Singapore, among others, seek to ensure coordinated interagency,
or interministerial, responses to maritime threats. Also referred to as a whole of
government approach,1 the most effective processes provide a degree of consistency,
compel information sharing and connect agencies on a regular basis. To be sure, most
naval and coast guard actions unfold without interagency involvement. However,
whole of framework constructs recognize the response to threats requires resolution
and coordination at the national-level. The development of collaborative frameworks
represents a critical, but infrequently examined, component of the maritime safety and
security landscape.

More than 90 percent of global trade moves on the oceans, transported in

millions of containers on 50,000 merchant ships flagged by approximately 150 nations.

1 Andrea Baumann, Center for Security Studies (CSS); Whole of Government: Integration and Demarcation, No. 129,
March 2013, available at: “There is of yet no
internationally agreed standard model for WGAs (whole of government approaches). One would search in vain for a uniform
definition of such integrated approaches. In principle, WGAs aim to improve coordination within a given government. In
addition, however, states sometimes also aspire to coordinate their activities with those of other state or non-state actors, as a
coherent overall strategy at the governmental level is often seen as being necessary, but not sufficient. This is generally referred
to as a “whole of system” approach.”

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Because commerce, and specifically, the maritime industry is globally integrated, illicit
activity in one geographic area or disruption to sea lines of communication frequently
has regional and global implications.

Criminal and terrorist exploitation of the maritime domain has stoked considerable
action at the United Nations and at the International Maritime Organization, among
other venues. Such efforts have allowed states to respond more effectively, but strategic
diplomacy does not address which agencies within a government may be involved or
how they will be integrated. Those decisions occur at the national level.

Civil and military departments now participate in the response to drug

smuggling, migrant trafficking, maritime oil smuggling and poaching, piracy, terrorism
and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In the absence of a process that
mandates coordination, the response can become mired in information stovepipes,
miscommunication and redundancy. Decisions affecting a nation may be made without
a complete situational picture.

A head of state may certainly direct the desired national outcome and specific
courses of action. In those cases, coordination is not an issue. However, because of the
volume of issues, one person cannot address every matter that unfolds in the maritime
domain, such as whether to board a ship, what action to take regarding a dosimeter
that is registering positive, how detainees will be transported to the prosecuting state or
the details of public affairs guidance. When there is time for a coordinated response,
someone must decide which agencies need to be involved and when more senior-level
review is appropriate.

This doesn’t work well (or consistently) on an ad-hoc basis. Personnel in one
agency may not know whom to contact in other agencies, nor necessarily be empowered.
Information discarded by one agency may be the critical piece for another to positively
identify a threat. Even with information flowing effectively, there may be uncertainty
regarding who needs to be involved, what is unfolding and what the next steps are. An
effective response requires formal agency integration.

One process for ensuring governmental coordination is the United States’

Maritime Operational Threat Response (MOTR) Plan, which acknowledges the
challenges of maritime threats by providing a framework to accelerate decisions and
ensure information is expeditiously disseminated. The MOTR Plan establishes a process
to integrate multiple departments for discussions, assessments and decisions through a
network of national-level command and operations centers. In six years, the plan has
been used more than 1,000 times.

The MOTR plan is certainly not the only construct that seeks to integrate
government agencies. In India, an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) was established to
ensure a whole-of-government response to counter piracy operations or any maritime
crisis. The IMG is chaired by the Additional Secretary, Shipping and includes Joint
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Secretaries from Ministries of External Affairs, Home Affairs, Defence, Information

and Broadcasting and representatives from the Navy and Intelligence Bureau.

Coordination in maritime policy is also under study by European nations. A

European Union policy paper stated “an integrated governance framework for maritime
affairs requires horizontal planning tools that cut across sea-related, sectoral policies
and support joined up policy making.” A recent report by the British Parliament noted
that as many as eight separate governmental departments could be involved in counter
piracy efforts off the Somali coast. “The omission of a clear, single and transparent
strategy suggests an absence of joined-up thinking across departments. A single strategy
is necessary to draw together the many strands of this immensely complicated problem,
to clarify the role of each interested party and to renew confidence in the Government’s
approach to tackling piracy amongst the shipping community….”2

II. Multi-national Constructs

In addition to national-level frameworks, promising multinational constructs

have emerged over the past decade to align action. One such effort is Shared Awareness
and Deconfliction (SHADE) meetings, a military forum that includes tactical and
operational commanders. SHADE meetings have ranged between 30 to more than
100 representatives from multiple organizations as well as Turkey, Seychelles, Egypt,
Bahrain, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States, among others.
Established in December 2008, there have been 25 meetings through 2013. A SHADE
press statement noted, “through regular coordination meetings the militaries have
gained valuable insight in countering the threat of piracy to global shipping.” British
Major General Howes and Captain Reindorp said that SHADE, “is very effective. It is
probably the best example of maritime security co-operation that we have ever seen.”3

Another multinational construct is The Contact Group on Piracy off the Somalia
Coast (Contact Group), established in 2009 following United Nations Security Council
Resolution 1851. The Contact Group has facilitated discussions and coordination with
diplomats, the military, lawyers, international organizations and the shipping industry.

Issues addressed at the Contact Group include best management practices,

vessel tracking, judicial capacity and frameworks to transfer prisoners. Participation in
both SHADE and the Contact Group is voluntary and neither is conducted under the
direction of the United Nations or International Maritime Organization.

To increase coordination against illicit narcotics trafficking, representatives from

the United States and Central and South American nations meet twice a year (and
regularly on a bilateral basis) to discuss operations and legal authorities. Separately, an
2 Piracy off the coast of Somalia – Foreign Affairs Committee; available at:
3 Id.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

annual International Drug Enforcement Conference, led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration, significantly contributes to cooperation.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan remarked, “Criminals don’t respect

political boundaries in their nefarious activities, so we will cooperate with one another
to find lasting solutions to the problems they pose.”
Collaborative action against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) at sea has also occurred. Participation in Proliferation Security Initiative
(PSI), which was launched in 2003, commits supporting states to share information and
disrupt WMD transport. Approximately 100 countries—including Turkey, Bahrain,
Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—have endorsed PSI principles.4
Regardless of the venue or mechanism, the integration of naval forces with other
government agencies is widely valued. Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin
stated in June 2011 “that to deal effectively with maritime security challenges [there
must be…] greater inter-agency coordination…Our armed forces needs to synchronize
its actions in operations in specialized areas to complement the efforts of our agencies.
Addressing maritime security challenges necessitates our armed forces to collaborate
with civilian agencies whose expertise and procedures are relevant and useful in fully
addressing maritime security challenges. Constant consultations and communications
among agencies are vital to ensure that each concerned agency procedure would allow
for smooth interface among concerned actors and avoid overlaps in operations.”

III. National-level Frameworks

The process detailed in the MOTR Plan guides the U.S. Government’s coordinated
response to migrants, drug smugglers, fishing incursions and piracy, among other
threats. It brings together national-level representatives and at times, those at the tactical
level through e-mail, phone calls and secure video teleconferences. Coordination is
mandated, and the plan is used on a near daily basis. Those are not the only contributing
factors to its effectiveness, though.

MOTR works because it imposes order, even a script, on handling international

incidents. It mandates the timely sharing of information and it creates a matrix of agency
contacts and subject matter experts. The process begins when a national-level agency
requests MOTR coordination to address a maritime threat or resolve disposition issues.
The process can also be used as a vehicle to share information. MOTR is not used when
another national level process or mechanism exists to address the threat. Moreover,
MOTR does not supplant or replace agency authorities, nor does it prevent agencies
from acting in self-defense or taking other action in accordance with their authorities.

Rather than allowing agencies to argue over who should take the lead in the
response to a threat that could involve several agencies, the MOTR process pre-
4 See:

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

designates who will lead and who will provide support. In the infrequent cases when
discussions reach an impasse, the issue goes to the National Security Staff for resolution.

MOTR discussions often center on the response to a threat, such as the boarding
of a ship or the disposition of people, cargo or the vessel following an interdiction.
Agency authorities, capabilities and responsibilities and courses of action are addressed,
culminating in a decision regarding the desired national outcome. Each coordination
activity seeks to generate an agreed upon summary, as well as identify uncertainties and
ambiguities, assigning their resolution to participants. The response to a threat could
be resolved in one coordination activity or could span several weeks. The facilitator is
responsible for tracking follow-through action on action items.

Critical to any crisis response is the timely flow of information and the effective
assessment of data. An examination of crisis management by Arjen Boin, et al., The
Politics of Crisis Management, Public Leadership Under Pressure, sagely noted “Because
of large organizations and ingrained bureaucracies...information gets filtered, watered
down, distorted, polished, or squeezed under the table for reasons wholly unrelated to
the situation at hand.”

MOTR removes most of those concerns by compelling information sharing at

the earliest possible opportunity and including tactical-level personnel, if possible, on
coordination activities. Even though agency compliance is required, information flow
can still be a challenge with dozens of fusion centers as well as operations centers across
the United States.

To provide consistency and transparency, agency representatives are aware of

what information they will be asked to provide and what decisions they may be asked
to evaluate. Action taken under MOTR is documented and the written summary is
distributed to participating agencies and to others in the government with an official

The process drives representatives toward a desired national outcome, as opposed

to an agency-desired outcome. For example, if pirates are detained onboard a military
platform, the navy or coast guard objective may be to clear the decks as soon as possible.
Investigative or diplomatic issues may take days or weeks, during which time those
detained could possibly have to remain onboard. A ship may not be fully capable of
conducting other missions with detainees onboard. Reconciling competing agency
priorities requires a structured process.

Another central component of a coordination framework is operational guidance.

The MOTR Protocols are a separate document, approved at the Assistant Secretary level.
The protocols complement and support the MOTR plan by providing issue-specific
direction (e.g., public affairs, approaches to other governments and coordination with
state and local agencies) and contact information. Agency representatives review and
update the protocols periodically.
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

The development of an agency contact matrix has also proved invaluable. In

large departments it is not always readily known who has responsibility for specific
threats, such as a fishing violation or drug trafficking case. If there are legal issues, for
instance, who should be consulted and does the location of the threat or flag state of the
involved vessel require yet others to be contacted? And separately, is the representative
to the MOTR process authorized to provide agency clearance on issues and can they
commit their organization to courses of action?

Agency command/operational centers are instrumental to an integrated national-

level process. Departmental command centers are manned 24 hours a day and have
access to subject matter expertise to address emergent questions. Command centers
must be empowered to both receive reports and contact tactical level assets to clarify
information as well as provide direction.

A plan works best when used frequently. The MOTR plan is used almost daily.
In the past year, approximately 335 threats were addressed through the MOTR process.
Awareness, familiarity and training contribute to effectiveness. Dozens of briefings
on MOTR occur annually to senior department officials and command centers. Case
studies are discussed and process questions are addressed at each briefing. An exercise
(referred to as a “wargame”) is held annually with approximately 50 representatives to
discuss lessons learned, agency authorities and hypothetical scenarios.

IV. Examinations of Interagency Collaboration

A workshop facilitated by the Project on National Security Reform in 2011

in Washington, DC, noted that challenges exist where integrating mechanisms are
institutionally weak; a unity of purpose is lacking in the national security structure;
budgets are not aligned with strategic objectives and information sharing is poor.

Multiple benefits, including mission accomplishment and efficiency flow from an

effective collaborative construct. A study by Congressional Research Service in the United
States noted additional benefits include: “ending or reducing policy fragmentation,
making agencies aware of different perspectives and orientations, mitigating conflict
among agencies, increasing agency productivity, reducing redundancy and cutting
costs, heightening the attention to and priorities for cross-cutting programs, changing
organizational cultures and changing bureaucratic and administrative cultures.”5

An analysis on whole of government (WGA) by the Center for Security Studies

in 2013 remarked, “Ideally, the WGA brings added value in the form of greater
coherence, legitimacy, and sustainability of government activities. In practice, for
certain participants, it also brings a loss of influence and restrictions. In principle, all
are in favour of ‘more coordination’ – but no one wants to be coordinated. There is no

5 Frederick M. Kaiser, Interagency Collaborative Arrangements and Activities: Types, Rationales, Considerations;
Congressional Research Service, May 31, 2011; Available at:

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

standard solution for this dilemma. A differentiated application of the WGA therefore
suggests itself, where the intensity of cooperation and the degree of cooperation may
vary according to mode of operation, subject area, and level of implementation.”6

A study by the Government Accountability Office in 2012 on the interagency

noted several important factors and analysis in aligning different organizations within
a country:

Bridging organizational cultures:

• What are the missions and organizational cultures of the participating
• What are the commonalities between the participating agencies’ missions
and cultures and what are some potential challenges?
• Have participating agencies developed ways for operating across agency
• Have participating agencies agreed on common terminology and definitions?


• Has a lead agency or individual been identified?

• If leadership will be shared between one or more agencies, have roles and
responsibilities been clearly identified and agreed upon?

Clarity of Roles and Responsibilities:

• Have participating agencies clarified the roles and responsibilities of the
• Have participating agencies articulated and agreed to a process for making
and enforcing decisions?

• Have all relevant participants been included?
• Do the participants have:
• Full knowledge of the relevant resources in their agency?
• The ability to commit these resources?
• The ability to regularly attend activities of the collaborative mechanism?
• The appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities to contribute?

6 Andrea Baumann, Center for Security Studies (CSS); Whole of Government: Integration and Demarcation, No. 129,
March 2013, available at:

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


• How will the collaborative mechanism be staffed?

• Are there incentives available to encourage staff or agencies to participate?

• If relevant, do agencies have compatible technological systems?

• Have participating agencies developed online tools or other resources that

facilitate joint interactions?

Written Guidance and Agreements:

• If appropriate, have the participating agencies documented their agreement
regarding how they will be collaborating? A written document can
incorporate agreements reached in any or all of the following areas:
• Leadership;
• Accountability;
• Roles and responsibilities; and
• Resources.
• Have participating agencies developed ways to continually update or
monitor written agreements?”7

V. Conclusion

Current threats impose a greater demand on interdependence.   Challenges

exist, in part, because governments are generally aligned in a vertical manner, whereas
threats and the responses are largely horizontal, spanning multiple agencies. Across
the globe, coordinating frameworks – both at the national and multinational level – are
transforming the maritime security landscape.

With any process, it’s important to continually assess what benefit it provides,
what gaps exist and what more is needed. Important lessons can be gleaned from the
coordinated responses to piracy, drug trafficking and fishing violations, among others,
including the need for head of state guidance, frequent training and the development of
implementing, operational-level guidance.

Improvements in technology have dramatically enhanced tracking and

monitoring capabilities along with the speed with which data is passed. But possessing
more information doesn’t necessarily ensure a better response, nor that a threat will be
identified in a timely manner. Unambiguous national-level direction, agency support,
daily use, and trust are required.
7 Government Accountability Office; Managing for Results: Key Considerations for Implementing Interagency
Collaborative Mechanisms; September 2012; available at:

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Coordination constructs have highlighted the value, and difficulty, of collective

efforts. The best processes provide a degree of consistency with protocols and scripts,
compel information sharing and connect agencies on a regular basis. Defining the
conditions under which alignment is required, what information must be passed and
how, along with which agency will have lead and support responsibilities are crucial to
overcoming the coordination challenge.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


Dr. Taner Albayrak


Shipping is an overwhelming means of allowing economic resources to be

transported and hence a major facilitator for economic developments worldwide.
However, against all benefits of the oceans, their main elements- ports and ships,
provide vast opportunities for terrorism and crimes such as piracy and armed robbery,
smuggling of arms, drugs, oil and nuclear materials, money laundering, illegal
immigration and migrant smuggling, human trafficking and environmental crimes.
Ports are complex, multiple-stakeholders environments representing the entrance point
of intercontinental sea shipments into a country. In this places flows of goods converge
and consequently international shipping, logistics, trading communities interact with
each other’s as well as with regulatory bodies. For this reason, port facilities are a key
infrastructure of international supply chains, national logistics systems and directly
responsible for a country’s economy and welfare. Therefore, it is of outmost importance
to ensure that operations are kept safe, secure and efficient at the same time. In the era
of globalization, today’s threats are quite different from those of the past. Terrorism has
acquired an even more disruptive nature. To make matters worse, all these threats are
coupled with environmental risks. Now there is compelling need to set a new paradigm
to develop a clear strategy for maritime security by identifying our maritime interests, as
well as the maritime threats and risks in order to seek and promote innovative solutions
using new methodologies and technologies.

Key words: ISPS Code, port operations, port security, private security guards

I. Introduction

Maritime transport is an important enabler of the world trade and plays a crucial
role in the global system. Today around 90% of the world trade is carried by this
sector. Fuelled by strong growth in container and dry bulk transportation, world seaborne
trade grew by 4 per cent in 2011, taking the total volume of goods loaded worldwide
to 8.7 billion tons. Besides, world fleet reached more than 1.5 billion deadweight tons
in January 2012 (UNCTAD, 2012). There are over 50,000 merchant ships trading
internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over
150 nations and manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality (ICS-
Shipping, 2013). Maritime transport is also a significant exportable service in many
countries and in the process contributes directly to national Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) (Yarbrough, 2006). Seaborne trade continues to expand, bringing benefits for

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

consumers across the world through competitive freight costs. Without shipping the
import and export of goods on the scale necessary for the modern world would not
be possible. Considering the role of maritime trade in the global economy, an attack
or any threat can affect adversely a port for and within a few days could destroy the
regional economy. Therefore, maritime transportation needs to be protected during all
transportation process. This process begins and ends in the ports. Ports are complex,
multiple-stakeholders environments representing the entrance point of intercontinental
sea shipments into a country. In this places flows of goods converge and consequently
international shipping, logistics, trading communities interact with each other’s as
well as with regulatory bodies. For this reason, port facilities are a key infrastructure
of international supply chains, national logistics systems and directly responsible for a
country’s economy and welfare (Altiok, 2011). Therefore, it is of outmost importance to
ensure that operations are kept safe, secure and efficient at the same time.

Port facilities are part of the European Critical Infrastructure and therefore
security needs to be continuously monitored and improved. Typical threats in ports
include theft, sabotage and smuggling of illicit goods (Altiok, 2011; Kothari, 2008).
Other threats that appear are drug smuggling and stowaways, especially when shipments
originate from countries where security standards are lower and could be managed by
simply infiltrating or bribing the local security officers (Medalia, 2004). Terrorism is also
an important threat, since port facilities are located close to residential areas, terrorists
could detonate a nuclear device smuggled in a ship docked at a port. A potential
explosion could cause extensive damage and severe environmental consequences
(Averill, 2010; Medalia, 2004). Likewise, experts believe that a loaded LPG (Liquefied
Petroleum Gas) tanker could be hijacked and detonated in proximity of an export or
import port (Averill, 2010). These risks should not be seen as far from reality, especially
after the terror attacks in New York; even though airplanes were used in the attacks it is
likely that ships could be used for the same scope.

Previous studies have pointed out the importance of acting on the infrastructure
layers of supply chains to ensure higher security; including all transport modes, facilities,
and human resources involved in the movement of goods from the point of origin to
final destination. In particular, it has been highlighted that human resources, including
managers and operators, are the real weak point of supply chains. Statistics show that the
majority of cargo crime, about 80%, is perpetrated with the support of insiders, hence
people working in the supply chain. At the same time, it has been claimed that mistakes
determined by scarce training of personnel have led to security incidents. For instance,
Darbra and Casal (2004) highlight the importance of human resources in accidents
taking place in ports. By analysing a total of 471 accidents in ports in 95 countries the
authors find that about 14% are sabotage accidents, hence unlawful actions.

Because of transnational flows of goods and people; ports and maritime

transport has been exposed to several types of security threats. Piracy, robbery attacks,
terrorist attacks, illegal migrations, smuggling, human and drug trafficking are the most

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

noticeable threats. “The maritime realms of ports are key intersections of insecurity
and security (Chalk, 2008). The broadly conceptualized “maritime terrorism” in both
literature and legislation covers insecurities such as “human causalities, economic losses
environmental damage or other negative impacts, alone or in combination, of minor
or major consequences” (Parfomak and Frittelli, 2007). Since maritime transportation
generates the backbone of the world trade, effective and applicable security measures
are needed to ensure that the international transport system is protected from the acts
of above-mentioned threats. As an effect, a more unified approach of security has been
laid upon ports by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to make sure that
ports comply with international treaties and regulations (Wenning et. al.2007).

Building the defense against any threat to maritime security is essential in

order to achieve safe, secure and efficient shipping, which is the prime objective of the
International Maritime Organization (IMO). Following the tragic events of 9/11, the
twenty-second session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization in
November 2001, unanimously agreed to the development of new measures relating to
the security of ships and of port facilities (IMO, 2013). Besides 9/11 as the prioritized
just cause for the ISPS to take effect, two other attacks also influenced the design of
the ISPS Code: the 12 December 2002 ‘attack on the French tanker “Limburg” off the
coast of Yemen in October 2002 and the ramming of “USS Cole” by a small boat laden
with explosives in 2000’ (Burmester, 2005). The International Ship and Port Facility
Security Code (ISPS Code) is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security
of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and
port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. The ISPS Code is
implemented through chapter XI-2 Special measures to enhance maritime security in
the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974. Both SOLAS
Chapter XI-2 and ISPS Code entered into force on 1 July 2004. The IMO is determined
to design a more systematic maritime security training scheme and this was agreed with
a set of three-level security training and knowledge requirements for the Ship Security
Officer, for shipboard personnel having specific security related duties and for all other
shipboard personnel (Albayrak, 2010). The ISPS Code is the first ever internationally
and widely agreed proactive regulatory framework to safeguard the maritime industry,
seaborne trade, and the world economy from terrorism and aimed to focus on the
cooperation and coordination between ports and ships (Yilmazel and Asyali, 2005).
The dialectic between post-9/11 rhetoric of insecurity actual presence of physical
insecurity in ports, multifaceted and interconnected, pushes all ports ‘to perceive and
manage security threats through integrating local/domestic threat- level into a global
awareness-level (Bichou, 2004).

The introduction of the ISPS Code may have significantly reduced maritime
attacks by terrorists since 1 July 2004 (Timlen, 2007). However, the ISPS Code is not
a panacea against all maritime threats Goh, R., (2006). Recent security breaches and
incidents have shown that ISPS Code did not provide desired level of security for neither
ships nor port facilities. Although these regulations have improved maritime security,

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

gaps and regulatory bottlenecks remain (Ferriere 2005). Mazaheri and Ekwall,2009
summarized the disadvantages of the ISPS Code as higher operative expenses and a high
implementation cost and also ISPS Code Part B may lead to problems due to existence of
discordance. The improper implementation of the ISPS Code in some countries created
some difficulties to the seafarers’, such as refusal of shore leave, identity cards, piracy
procedures and stowaway prevention (Balbaa, 2005). Several authors (Griffett, 2005;
Stevenson, 2005) point out the effect that the ISPS Code has on seafarers’ lives and it
may restrict human rights and limit access to the ship. Ran (2005) and Stevenson (2005)
believe that different interpretations of the code in different countries are one of the
ISPS Code’s weaknesses. Ran (2005) also points out different risk profiles and standards
applied by different nations and applicability of the code to different vessel types.
Effective implementation in port facilities in different countries varies significantly,
which causes numerous difficulties. These difficulties are mostly caused by limited
economic potentials, differing positions on the status of national and international
maritime security system, and finally, different understanding what mitigation measures
should be accepted as appropriate in different countries (Zec et. Al. 2010).

II. New Approaches to Port Security - METPROM Project

Today, many port facilities have to be ISPS-compliant, a process that is inextricably

linked to the establishment and maintenance of certain standards for the organization
of their security.

Many security aspects were thus improved, such as electronic/architectural

measures, but the most important aspect, the organizational/operational part of security,
received relatively little attention. Besides, in many European countries, despite the
increasing numbers maritime private security guards that are employed in port security
somehow put ‘outside’ of the scope of national private security legislation. This is an
alarming trend that could result, among others, in a dramatic lowering of the training
standards of private security staff in ISPS-compliant (and EU Regulation (EC) 725/2004
compliant) areas.

In view of these concerns, a project partnership led by Piri Reis University

(PRU) was established to launch an innovative training project -METPROM (Modular
Enhanced Training Programme for European Security Personnel) – for the port security.
The partnership is composed of several partners who have the necessary knowledge and
experience on either the security issues or those who have developed similar curricula,
software and/or hardware.

Besides the expertise of renowned universities and training institutions in

shipping and port management, transport and logistics chain, harbor-bound oil and
chemical sector, research and education in secure cargo transportation, risk assessment,
security and safety, marine environment protection to develop the most advanced
training standards, the umbrella organizations in the partnership will play key role in
the dissemination of the project.
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Additionally, PRU which was founded by the support and sponsorship of the
whole maritime sector, namely Turkish Chamber of Shipping (TCS) through Turkish
Maritime Education Foundation (TUDEV) will disseminate the project results to the
whole Turkish Shipping Industry.

Another major partner, World Maritime University (WMU), which was

established by the IMO to increase the number of trained specialist maritime personnel
in countries across the world, thus ensuring that international maritime conventions
can be implemented for the benefit of the global maritime community, will be great
asset to achieve the highest standards in maritime transportation on global scale.

II.1. METPROM Project

The METPROM project aims at transfer of knowledge, innovation and integration

of new technology to maritime security training. Review of existing literature on security
training would yield the insights to develop first ideas to identify recommendations
for maritime security training. The training that has special potential for maritime
security would be identified and assessed if it can be supported by exercises using
available innovative technological approaches as e.g. e-learning and simulation based
tools. Presently the scenario based security assessment is limited and the transfer of
knowledge and technology would help enrich maritime security training.

The literature review was complemented by analysis of the existing data with
analytical methods, additional data collection with a comprehensive questionnaire,
which was distributed to key ports and further interviews and brainstorming sessions
with various security stakeholders in seaports and an airport. The literature review and
interviews will help explore what is required in terms of training for different ranks in
overall terms. The studies and investigations include comparisons which will be made
to port facilities and security training in other industries and outside of Europe and
challenges in the harmonization of training will be identified.

The methodology adopted for the development of the first ideas towards the
development of the innovative training environment concept involved a comprehensive
literature review complemented by interview data from a Port Facility Security Officer, an
Airport Security Manager and certified security trainers.  The comprehensive literature
search was undertaken with the help of the Meta library tool that simultaneously
searches several databases to identify pertinent literature. The literature review focused
on security training in other modes of transport like air, road and rail transport. The
review also focussed on the potential integrated use of simulation technologies as a
pedagogical tool for teaching, training and learning. Securing modes of transport is
imperative given their vulnerability exemplified by the 9/11 attack on the United States
using aircraft, the bombing of London trains in 2005 and Madrid and Moscow in 2004
and the terrorist attack on rail commuters at the train station in 2008 in Mumbai.
Merchant shipping is also vulnerable to the threat of abuse by terrorists (smuggling

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

arms and ammunition to fight the Sri Lankan government as in the case of LTTE). This
review focused on diverse transport modes – air, rail, road and ships to learn from and
build upon security training already existing in those modes.

II.2. Analysis of the Legal Environment

The present analysis of the legal environment for private security services across
Europe is based on CoESS (2011). The CoESS (2011) report comprehensively maps
the diversity in the legal terrain for 34 European countries1. WMU has identified the
following pertinent sections for the purposes of the METPROM project. What follows
is the analysis of the identified sections and the implications for METPROM (Baldauf
and Kataria, 2013).

• Legislative coverage – In 100% of the countries, private security is covered

by law. It could well be the case that in some countries (like Austria and the
Czech Republic) the private security is covered by commercial law but the
sector is covered nevertheless.

• Specific legislative coverage – For areas/ segments of the private security

industry specifically covered by legislation regulating the private security
industry, 16 of the 34 respondent countries have specific legislation pertaining
to maritime security (Figure 1). A majority of the respondents do not have
legislation specifically covering maritime security. There is a need for both
maritime security training and accompanying legislation.

Figure 1 - Maritime sector specific legislation for Europe

• The average age for entry to the security profession is 18 and for operational
managers is 19. The entry standards given in the IMO model course 3.24
is, ‘it is assumed that those attending the course will be persons employed
(or to be employed) by a port facility operator and are likely to be assigned
specific security duties in connection with the Port Facility Security Plan’.
The individual port facility requirements like citizenship, character checks,

1 ‘27 EU member states and seven additional European countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Norway,
Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey’

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

criminal background check, psychometric tests, medical fitness tests and

the ilk are beyond the scope of the METPROM project. Project partners
need to identify the entry requirements. For the initiation of the discussion,
entry requirements provided in IMO model course 3.24 will be utilized as
the starting point together with the minimum age of 18 as the data suggests.
However, there is a caveat here as trainees from Slovakia and Estonia would
be unable to find employment in port security in these two countries as the
minimum age of entry into the profession is 21 and 19 respectively.

Figure 2 – Minimum age of entry to the security profession

• For METPROM purposes the entry standards could be re-inscribed as – ‘It

is assumed that the trainees undertaking the course are minimum 18 years
of age and are employed (or to be employed) by a port facility operator and
are likely to be assigned specific security duties in connection with the Port
Facility Security Plan’.

• Mandatory basic guard training – basic guard training is mandatory for

97% of the respondents. This augurs well for the acceptance and uptake of
a harmonised training programme on maritime security to be developed
through METPROM.

Figure 3 – Mandatory basic security guard training

• Training hours – The number of training hours for the 34 European countries
is wide ranging from 0 to 1800 (Figure 4).
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Figure 4 : The variation in the hours of security training across Europe

• The issuance of COC – the COC is issued upon the successful completion of
training in 82% of the respondent European countries. The standardisation/
harmonisation of the certificate is an issue for METPROM and will be
discussed in subsequent avenues.

• Training for operational managers is not mandatory for 56% of the respondent
countries. By including them in the target group definition, METPROM is
aiming to address a wide gap in training provision and seek to harmonise
training across Europe.

Figure 5: COC issued upon the successful completion of training

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Figure 6 : Mandatory training provision for operational managers across Europe

• Sector specific specialised maritime security training only exists in 7 European

countries and this is the wide gap that METPROM seeks to address.

Figure 7: Sector specific specialised maritime security training across Europe

The legal analysis will be used as an input for the content development plan which
will serve as the foundations for the development of course content and evaluation. From
the results, it becomes obvious that the legal framework in Europe varies significantly
from country to country.

The main identified gaps are:

• The limited existence of maritime sector specific security training: only in 7

countries (21%) as opposed to the large gap of 79% (27 countries) where
maritime sector specific security training does not exist.

• There is a large gap of 56% in the mandatory training provision for operational
managers across Europe.

• The COC is not issued in 18% of the European countries post successful
completion of training.
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

• The hours of training vary considerably from 0 to 1800 hours

• There is no maritime sector specific legislation for 53% of the European


METRPOM can contribute to close or minimize the gaps by addressing the

large gap in sector specific training by providing a tailored maritime security training
course. METPROM also seeks to address the wide gap in the mandatory training for
operational managers by including them in the target group definition of the course.
The development of a harmonised certificate (COC) for METPROM to be awarded
post successful completion of the training would serve to harmonise the training and
its evaluation. With several different types of training provided across Europe under
the same label of ‘security guard training’, the standardised award would stand for a
benchmark quality and give credence to the training course. The hours of training vary
considerably and providing a harmonised maritime security training course would
serve as a benchmark standard that would cover all the requirements of (but not limited
to) the ISPS Code and draw upon the best practices as delineated in CoESS manuals
and IMO model course 3.24. While the legislation is beyond the immediate scope of
the METPROM project, it could serve to inform the same regarding sector specific

II.3. Analysis of the ISPS Code

In the second part of the research a comprehensive analysis of the ISPS Code was
carried out by using Pareto and Ishikawa (Fish Bone) analysis techniques. “Security
Breaches and Incidents for Ships and Ports” is determined as main problem in fish head
and through brainstorming sessions; Risk Management Process, Security Awareness,
Standardization, Monitoring and Surveillance Process, Training and Vessel Types are
determined as the causes affecting main problem during implementation procedure of
the ISPS Code. Figure 8 shows the fishbone diagram, which represents the main causes
for all six aspects of analysis.

Risk Management Process: Risk profiles vary regionally. The problem begins at
that point. Threats consist of internal and external effects and directly related to social
and political variations. The port managers and security personnel must be wise and
well educated to evaluate the possible risks in a correct way by paying attention both
internal and external effects. When the topic is evaluated from the context of ISPS
implementations, it is noticed that ISPS Code is only guidance to assess these threats
and take suitable measures against any of them. ISPS Code determines the frame for
assessing and managing risks changing all around the world. Therefore, standard
applications for all nations, which are in different regions, are suggested by ISPS. In brief;
different threats but standard applications. For example, the Port of Rotterdam focuses
primarily on the dangers of terrorist attacks on containers or mass goods (such as oil),
while the Port of New Orleans has faced natural disaster (e.g. hurricane Katrina) and its

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Figure 8 - Fishbone diagram of security breaches and incidents

consequences (Wenning 2007). At that point, countries feeling their selves under
threat produce their own solutions. Australia, Canada, Sweden and New Zealand, for
example, have legislated new measures to strengthen their cargo security pro­grammes
in line with American security standards, for example the Container Security Initiative
(Peterson and Treat, 2008). On a European level, American security standards are
integrated by the EU’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO), almost entirely similar to
the American Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) (Delegation of
EU to US, 2013). As a result, it is worth to mention that threats vary both internally and
externally according to regions but applications are standard in all regions. Therefore,
the duties of contracting governments begin at that point. To access and manage the
possible risks, the need for the well educated and experienced security personnel is
obvious. Governments also have to assess and manage risks with balancing financial
limitations. Financial limitations prevent to make a risk management and security in
a successful way. However, every government must meet up to the expectations of the
IMO, and ports have thus become barometers of security, to be subject to unannounced
inspections by Port State Control and to Port Facility Security Assessments (George
and Whatford, 2007). Nevertheless, vague regulations and suggestions about risk
management compel governments to execute their own initiatives. Hence, the
applications can be different in the same region and states produce their own solutions
to security breaches.

Standardization: For a successful security management use of technological

devices and equipments is very important. But, port authorities are complaining about
the standardization because ISPS Code does not oblige the use of any security devices
and mention standards for them. The ISPS Code set some rules, but in some cases, it is
unable to clarify the standards, especially during the process of determining technological

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

devices used in ports and physical security standards. These non-standard applications
induce some vague areas, especially in port security management and physical security
issues such as the number of security personnel. In some ports, port managers try to
keep the number of security personnel in limited numbers due to financial restrictions.
Therefore, surveillance and controlling the port area become difficult. When the issue
is evaluated from this perspective, the need of setting new standard emerges about the
standardization of security personnel depending on the traffic intensity and area size
of the port. The vague areas on physical security issues are not limited with security
personnel numbers. Fencing is another problem. Designated authorities and also ports
experiences problems regarding fences type. The same problem arises concerning the
technological devices. The importance of technology on maintaining security is well
known. There are some initiatives that mega ports put in force such as CSI and C-TPAT
but no mandatory devices mentioned in ISPS Code like CCTV, fingerprint, X-ray scan,
facial recognition, underwater security devices etc. As a result, there is a need to review
the use of technological devices and physical security standards by evaluating the
potential threats versus cost analysis. 

Monitoring and Surveillance Process: Monitoring and surveillance has been

identified as another major cause because many security breaches occur due to
surveillance and monitoring process deficiencies. Being able to control the movement
of the inner harbor could minimize the possible security threats. That is why
seaside, underwater, access control and container security are important problems.
Especially, container security becomes more important with each passing day.
Unlike tankers, container vessels are more likely to be used as a tool for the delivery
of terrorist weaponry rather than as the subject of an attack. Millions of containers
arrive in Europe, Japan, and the United States each year, and each could potentially
contain explosives, biological agents, or weapons of mass destruction  (Goh, 2006).
The United States has developed unilateral initiatives to address cargo security,
including the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and the Customs–Trade Partnership
Against Terrorism (C–TPAT). These initiatives target security measures along the
entire supply chain, thereby expanding the more narrow focus of the ISPS. These
initiatives may very well provide a model for the WCO in developing internationally
binding cargo security measures (Ran, 2005). But the problem is not limited only
with container security. Controlling the port area is another cause which consist of
seaside, underwater and access control. Seaside control and underwater control is
important from the perspective of terrorism and sabotage. Terrorist can use sea side
in case of any control deficiency. Therefore, some technological measures could be
put into practice to prevent any possible attack.  Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is
a robotic system for underwater operation. ROVs vary in size and configuration, e.g.,
number and type of cameras, mechanical tools, presence of sonar and other sensors.
There are a number of commercially available ROVs specifically designed for harbor
security (Ferriere et. Al, 2005). Another solution method could be using the diver.
This is not an exact solution but can be preferred depending on financial conditions of
port facility.  Access control is also another sub-cause. This problem can be solved by

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

using devices like fingerprint, face recognition and CCTV system. An access control
deficiency was experienced in the case of Kartepe Ferry’s hijacking. The passenger
vessels transport millions of people in a day so the access points of ferry’s ports are
easy to enter for professional terrorists.

Vessel Types: Another potential threat was identified as small crafts and fishing
vessels. The problem at this point is difficulty in detection of the small vessels. Small
crafts packed with explosives are very effective in their attacks, as demonstrated in the
attacks on the USS Cole and the MV Limburg (Murphy, 2005). Small crafts are possibly
threats for ports due to their size and high speed. The results of an attack by a speed
craft filled with bombs to a port which stationed in the metropolis can be very painful.
These vessels are used in Indian Ocean and Aden for piracy attacks as well. Their
negative impact is proved several times. Therefore, fishing vessels are also important
in this type. This was clearly demonstrated in the Mumbai attack when the attackers
arrived in a hijacked fishing trawler (Goh, 2006). Small vessels also can be used for
smuggling. This is the other problematic area. As a result, we can mention that small
vessels are a sub cause of “vessel type” problem and possible threats for ports. In this
context, governments must respond appropriately to any illegal activities, which can be
done by non-ISPS vessels.   

Security Awareness: Security awareness has been identified as another major

cause for Security Breaches and Incidents for ships and ports. During the interviews
with port authorities and recent academic researches, two main sub-causes about
security awareness were detected. Lack of accidents/breaches statistics is the first part.
Lots of ports and ships do not report the accidents or any security breaches especially
comparing with other subjects relating to the shipping such as statistic of non-
conformities during the inspections, near miss reporting, vessels performances, etc.
That is why, a question; “Do the statistics give reliable information?” emerges. Unless
the authorities can detect the security breaches and incidents, evaluation of the ISPS
Code cannot be done in a reliable manner. Hence, security awareness notion must be
mentioned in all areas regarding ISPS and security. The second sub-cause detected
was the lack of sharing experience and feedbacks. Sharing information is significant to
prevent security breaches.

Training: The Global Programme on ISPS implementation was launched in

2002. By the end of 2005, 22 regional seminars/workshops and 87 national training
courses/advisory missions have been organized, resulting in some 4.000 people being
trained globally (Mazaheri, 2008). Despite these numbers; the academicians and port
security managers stated that the ISPS training level was not in an expected level. There
is no standardization in training of ISPS implementation neither in different nations
nor different courses in same nations. So, training has been identified as another
major cause for  Security Breaches and Incidents for ships and ports. Throughout
brainstorming sessions RSO’s complained about the unsatisfied level of ISPS training
programme. The training courses are carried out under different curriculums. That’s

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

why lack of standard curriculum is detected as one of the sub-causes. All countries
set their course programme according to their risk assessment and experiences.
Hence, the ISPS Code’s training curriculum varies regionally. Deficiencies in training
are not limited with curriculum. The instructors’ experiences are also important. To
take the control of security breaches, well educated instructors are in need. That’s
why; universally accepted certificate programme can be put into force for instructors.
Thus, they will have an internationally recognized certification and will be in
satisfied information level all over the world. However, education problem goes on
with contracting government’s personnel. Contracting governments are not only a
signature station.  They are responsible for implementing ISPS Code and they have
to realize the significance of this code. For regular implementation, governments’
personnel (designated authorities) have to be included in the course programme. 

II.4. Assessment of ISPS Code with Pareto Chart Diagram

As a part of project research, Pareto charts were prepared for all the criteria
to identify major causes in implementation of the ISPS Code. After the causes were
found via Fishbone Diagram, a questionnaire was prepared in order to identify major
causes. In the questionnaire; academicians, port authorities and ship masters were
asked about the evaluation of problems regarding quality of the ISPS Code such as
Risk Management, Security Awareness, Standardization, Vessel Type, Training and
Monitoring & Surveillance Process. In the questionnaire the participants graded the
causes 1 to 6 point according to importance level. The most important cause point
was 6. It decreased one by one up to one that was defined as most trivial cause. The
results of the questionnaire regarding the importance level of causes of deficiencies
are shown in the Figure 9.

Figure 9 - The results of the questionnaire - bar chart

The percentages and the cumulative percentage, which would be helpful to find
the breakpoints, was calculated and indicated in the Table 1 below.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Table 1. Pareto analysis

Causes Results of Questionnaire Percentages Cumulative Percentage

Training 207 25,2 25,2
Security Awareness 171 20,8 46,1
Risk Management 156 19,04 65,2
Standardization 150 18,31 83,5
Monitoring and
96 11,7 95,2
Vessel Types 39 4,76 100

As seen in the diagrams, there are 2 break points in the cumulative percentage
line. These points occur when the scope of the line begins to flatten out. The factors
under the steepest part of the curve are the most important. Hence, training has the
most significance level compared to other causes. Security awareness, risk management
and standardization have approximately same importance level and more important
when compared to the monitoring & surveillance process and vessel types. According
to break points; monitoring & surveillance process and vessel types have the lesser
significance level compared to the causes in left side which is illustrated in figure 10 and
figure 11 respectively.

Figure 10 - The Pareto analysis - bar chart

Figure 11 - The Pareto analysis - line chart

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

II.5. Data collection with Questionnaire and Results

As the last leg of the need analysis, a more comprehensive questionnaire based on
the previous research was developed and distributed to 40 ports. Although 32 of them
have submitted their answers, replies to some key questions were not satisfying enough
to establish a comprehensive database especially for incidents.

Summary of the results of the questionnaire are as follows:

a. All 32 ports employ private security company staff, 14 (44%) of which have
armed security:

Figure 12 – Armed Security Employment

b. Where/How did facility personnel with security duties receive initial ISPS
Code training?« is answered as »on the facility« by 5 ports (16%) and as »by PFSO« by
1 port (3%), as »by private company« by 1 port (3%):

Figure 13 – Source of ISPS Training

c. Has a detailed description of the course been provided under separate cover?
This will include objectives, assessment of training, review, regular updates of material,
quality control?« is answered »yes« by 31 ports (97%) and not answered by 1 port (3%).

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Figure 14 – Detailed description of the course

d. Does the course satisfy the requirements of the facility?« is answered »yes« by
all 32 ports.

e. Are people who have not received the ISPS Code training employed as security
personnel?« is answered »yes« by 1 port (3%) and »no« by 5 ports (16%) and not
answered by the remaining 26 ports.

Figure 15 – Security personnel with ISPS Training

f. Is Training Assessment and Evaluation done in-house?« is answered »YES« by

all 32 ports.

g. Did facility personnel with security duties receive IMDG Code training?« is
answered«yes« by 18 ports (56%), »no« by 13 ports (40%) »N/A« by 1 port.

Figure 16 – Security personnel with IMDG Code training

h. Did facility personnel without security duties receive initial ISPS Code training?«
is answered »yes« by 29 ports (91%) »no« by 1 port (3%) and »N/A« by 1 port (3%):
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Figure 17 – Non-security facility personnel with ISPS Training

ı. Are the access points monitored by CCTV?« is answered »yes« 100%.

j. Is there a key register log?« is answered »yes« by 30 ports (94%) and not
answered by the remaining 2 ports (6%):

Figure 18 – Key register log

k. Do the security guards undergo any special security vetting procedure or

aptitude testing before employment?« is answered »yes« by 30 ports (94%) and »N/A«
by the remaining 2 ports (6%):

Figure 19 – Security wetting

l. Do all employees have access cards?« is answered »yes« by all 32 ports.

m. Does facility have sufficient security personnel to monitor all persons on
facility?« (for ferry ports) is answered »yes« by all the ferry ports and '' Does facility
have sufficient security personnel to monitor all persons and areas?« (for cruise ships)
is answered »yes« by all the cruise ports.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

n. Is x-ray equipment used to screen cargo?« is answered »yes« by 6 ports (19%)

»no« by 24 ports (75%) and »N/A« by 1 port (3%).

Figure 20 – X-ray equipment cargo screening

o. Does the facility handle dangerous cargo?« is answered »yes« by 27 ports

(84%) »no« by 3 ports (9%).

Figure 21 – Dangerous cargo handling

p. Is dangerous cargo stored on the facility?« is answered »yes« by 23 ports (72%)

and »no« by 6 ports (19%) and »N/A« by 1 port (3%):

Figure 22 – Dangerous cargo storing

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

q. Are checks executed to check for tampering?« is answered »yes« by 31 ports

(97%) and »N/A« by 1 port (3%):

Figure 23 – Checks for tampering

Does the facility have a CCTV system?« is answered »yes« by 31 ports and not
answered by the remaining port.

r. How much of the facility does the CCTV system cover?« is answered »totally«
by 16 ports (50%) and »partially« by ports 10 (31%)

Figure 24 – CCTV coverage

s. Are the CCTV cameras monitored at all times?« is answered »yes« by all 32

t. Are CCTV recordings stored? (How long:____________________)« is

answered »yes« by 26 ports and 22 of them said for »min 1 month«; 1 of them said »2
months« and 3 said »1 year«.

u. Does the facility have adequate lighting?« is answered »yes« by all 32 ports.

w. Do all guards have (scrambled or blocked) communication devices (radios/

phones)?« is answered »yes« by 31 ports (97%) and »N/A« by 1 port (3%).

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

About security personnel communication:

a. Do the security guards have an emergency call button on their person?« is

answered »yes« by 3 ports (16%) and »no« by 25 ports (78%) and »N/A« by 2 port (6%);

b. Do the security guards have a location device on their person if they are for
some reason incapacitated?« is answered »yes« by 5 ports (9%) and »no« by 26 ports
(81%) and »N/A« by 3 port (16%);

c. Is there an agreed phrase or word when spoken indicates the individual is in

need of assistance (i.e. covert signal)« is answered »yes« by 7 ports (22%) and »no« by
23 ports (72%) and »N/A« by 2 port (6%):

Figure 25 –Emergency Communication

d. Does facility hold periodic port security meetings?« is answered »yes« by 31

ports (97%) and »N/A« by 1 port (3%).

e. Number of injuries because of incidents/accidents« and »Number of deaths

because of incidents/accidents« are answered »none« by all ports.

f. Available security equipment at the facility« :

• 31 ports have CCTV;

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

• 6 of those have X-ray as well;

• 17 of them have Electronic Access Card Systems as well;
• 25 of them have Fire Alarm System as well;
• 4 of them have Fingerprint Identification System as well;
• None of them has Face recognition System or Retinal Scan.

II.5.1. The List of Reported Incidents


Personnel checks
Person entering without permission 73
Person seeking entry without means of identification 10
Person seeking entry using false documents 8
Entry by employees without their security pass 42
Entry by contractor with expired term pass 10
Entry by ship crew / shipping agency / seafarer organization 85
representatives without prior notice
Stowaways 12
Vehicle checks
Vehicle without authorized entry label 15
D122 Vehicle with suspicious person / item 7
D123 Vehicle parked in, or in close proximity to a key area or Restricted 30


Persons loitering outside the port facility 92
Person taking photographs of the port facility 65
Person on vessel engaged in suspicious activity 3
Vehicles and vessels
Vehicle loitering near the port facility 60
Vessel loitering offshore at the port facility 88


Personal effects, parcels and mail

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Suspicious parcel/envelope 2
Suspicious substances 1
Suspicious items 1
Vehicle delivering cargo without proper documents 4
Cargo without proper seals 18
Discovery of unauthorized cargo on board a ship alongside 1
Ship’s stores
Vehicle delivering ship stores without proper documents 4
Delivery of ship stores without prior notice 18
Unauthorized item found in vehicle delivering ship stores 1
Unaccompanied baggage
Unaccompanied baggage found in the Port Facility 12
Unaccompanied baggage
Unattended baggage found within a Restricted Area 3
Vehicle carrying unaccompanied baggage seeking entry to the Port 1


Security measures compromised

Security surveillance equipment malfunction 17
Perimeter security compromised 12
Activation of intrusion alarm 3
Safety Equipment Damage 10
Power failure 1
Changing the Security Level 2


Interface with non-ISPS complaint vessel 5

Graphical representations of some incidents presented by the 32 ports

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Figure 26 – Access control – personnel checks

Figure 27 – Access control – vehicle checks

Figure 28 – Contiguous Zone security

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Figure 29 – Material Handling

Figure 30 – Material Handling

Figure 31 – Material Handling - shipstores

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Figure 32 – Material Handling – unaccompanied baggage

Figure 33 – Emergency Response- Security measures compromised

“Possible gaps” in training given to the security staff based on the information
collected were defined as follows:

• Source of ISPS training is not clear, most probably some ports don’t have
organized training schemes, they just tend to hire people who already have
been trained and do not pay real attention to updating;

• Security staff are not prepared for communication during emergency cases,
“emergency call button”, “location device” and “covert signal” are not common

• The severity of Access Control and its consequences are not well apprehended;
staff doesn’t mind acting in their own initiative in letting in persons or vehicles
without proper document check;

• Security staff is not fully aware of the risks of people or vehicles outside but
just in the vicinity of the facility, they don’t expect malicious acts from entities
unless they are within the boundaries of the facility;
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

• They are not fully qualified to recognize the labeling, tampering on labels and

• They have hesitation in calling other parties such as customs, police, technical
assistance etc. in situations where they are not authorized; in fact they cannot
properly identify “those” situations;

The outcome of the information gathered from respondents in 32 ports by

conducting interviews and a questionnaire, leads to a deduction that the training
received by the security personnel working in the ports is unsatisfactory. It is observed
that altough almost all security staff have received certified training, they seem to lack
the necessary skills and competencies; in other words, they appear to have the knowledge
without knowing how to put it in practice. The possible reasons for this gap is closely
related to the methods of training utilized; it is clear that a mode of training that exploits
technological tools and focuses on scenarios, visualization and/or animation of real life
objects/situations, would improve their capability, capacity, and performance.

III. Implementation of the Project

This project intends to use benchmarking and promote good practice throughout
the partnership and beyond. All partners have extensive background on security issues
and innovative training programmes. The project aims to address a clear need for a
harmonized European training programme as expressed by the security sector in
general and by the maritime industry and the clients it services in particular. In order
to be able to develop such a training programme, extensive expertise and know-how are
needed. The project therefore solicits the direct support and involvement of maritime
security sector which is able to deliver expertise in this crucial field:

• The private security services sector

• The maritime and shipping industry (Port facilities and operators, ship crew,
shipping companies)

• The members of security federations: private security companies that are

directly or indirectly involved in delivering port security services at ISPS-
compliant port facilities. These companies range from multinationals and
national companies to small and medium-sized enterprises.

• The clients of these companies, comprising businesses of very diverse sectors

(transport, banking, wholesale, government, telecommunication and ICT,
industry, events and others), also include multinationals, national companies
and SMEs.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

These stakeholders will not only contribute to the development of a realistic

and focused training programme, but will also reap the benefits upon its completion.
Moreover, the training programme, the common underlying methodology that will
be used to support its deployment and, in turn, its innovative approach and outcomes
will be developed in a way that it is fully transferable to other sectors and industries,
thereby facilitating and progressing their envisaged training and education objectives
and similar projects.

National and regional workshops will be organized to explain the objectives of

the programme and to educate trainers/trainees. Following a series of conferences,
a general report will be issued highlighting the positive outcomes and (potential)
challenges of the programme. The general report will be presented at a European
conference, contributing to the awareness-raising effort. The existing methodology can
be revised according to the outcomes of the general report to tackle these challenges
and provide good/best practice.

In summary what is innovative is getting the knowledge that already exists but not
transferred for training of crews in port security. New innovative Port Security Training
Modules to be developed by the transfer of Safety and Security Training Simulator and
adapting it to port security and adaptation of the e-learning modules will also enhance
the effectiveness of the proposed training programme. The simulation-based modules
that will be developed and applied in this project will focus on the implementation
of game-based technology, 3D models of ship spaces and port areas for safe guard
training and education scenarios. Therefore, this is not a business as usual project but
a novel proposal based on an identified and real need with a well thought plan and for
implementation by real and competent partners with worldwide reputation who are
willing to offer their expertise and innovative accumulation to generate synergies by
exploiting existing VET innovations.

In order to adequately develop, deploy and disseminate/exploit the envisaged

training programme, tools and outcomes, a common working methodology has been
set up, which is carefully reflected in the proposed work plan. The methodology consists
of three main phases:

Development phase during which the consortium will gather, analyse and
consolidate available and applicable knowledge and expertise in order to be able to
deploy the envisaged training tools,

Deployment phase during which the consolidated information is ‘translated’ into

concrete training materials/modules/handbooks/guidelines and during which pilot
training sessions will be organized and

The exploitation and dissemination phase during which the developed training
programme is made known at European scale to relevant stakeholders, learning
communities, existing networks, the general public and the press.
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Both the methodology and the work programme have been elaborated in close
collaboration with all project partners involved in order to accommodate/facilitate the
project flow and to align their knowledge, expertise and input. The work programme
demonstrates a clear and systematic approach, required to run the project effectively.
The work programme has been conceived in a very practical way and provides for an
appropriate division of labour within a manageable time frame in order to fulfil the
stated objectives. It is realistic and balanced and the allocated budget is consistent with
the envisaged deliverables. Regular consultation moments with the project partners
involved will be foreseen in order to frequently assess and, where/when needed, re-
align the proposed methodology and work programme vis-à-vis the foreseen project
outcomes, dedicated time frame and budget.

IV. Expected Outcomes

The main tangible outcome is a sophisticated course in port security with

innovative simulation-based modules that will focus on the implementation of game-
based technology and 3D models and adaptation of an e-learning platform with
assessment facilities. The main intangible outcome is that the course would provide
an opportunity for many unemployed with no or little knowledge of port security to
acquire the necessary expertise and seek employment in port security duties in an
enhanced and harmonized way. Impact is expected very high through widespread use
of the courses in partner and other EU countries.

From the sectorial perspective, the proposed project directly addresses one of
the key priority areas of the LLP: “Encouragement of cooperation between VET and
the world of work (LEO-TraInno-7)” by developing vocational skills considering the
labour market needs. Port facilities face a pressing need for specifically skilled security
employees. The programme answers this need by providing employees/trainers
with a specific skill set, contributing to their personal skills development and to the
professionalization of the security sector. The programme allows both new/existing
employees to seamlessly combine theory and field practice boosting their job readiness.

It ensures the creation of innovative and qualitative training deliverable including

simulator based training (game-based technology, 3D models) and e-learning, which
will be developed through the application of a common methodology. Their innovative
approach and outcomes are fully transferable to other sectors/industries, thereby
facilitating and progressing their possible training/education objectives/projects.

From geographical perspective; the programme will increase the level of

sustainable learning standards throughout Europe, thereby contributing to the
realization of Europe’s knowledge society. It assures employees are better prepared
to meet new challenges, enhancing transnational employability at port facilities and
increasing worker mobility throughout Europe.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Through the provision of training seminars/events at national/regional level,

this European approach can be further tailored to address, specific national/regional
needs (linguistic, legislative, socioeconomic). National/regional best practice can be
exchanged which will benefit the further advancement of the EU programme.

V. Conclusion

Building the defence against any threat to maritime security is essential in order to
achieve safe, secure and efficient shipping that is the prime objective of the International
Maritime Organization (IMO).

The introduction of the ISPS Code may have significantly reduced maritime
attacks by terrorists since 1 July 2004. However, the recent security breaches and
incidents have shown that ISPS Code did not provide desired level of security neither
for ships nor for port facilities. Although these regulations have improved maritime
security, gaps and regulatory bottlenecks remain. Additionally, different interpretations
of the code in different countries are one of the ISPS Code’s weaknesses.

Today, no recognized European training programme exists to complement the

regulations/ recommendations of EU Regulation (EC) 725/2004 to overcome these
major gaps. Our research once more confirmed that, training is the most important area
to focus on together with other deficiencies such as security awareness, risk management
and standardization. Universally accepted comprehensive training programme for port
security personnel can contribute to reduce these deficiencies significantly. By the end
of this project there will be a novel training programme as a standalone modular course
training for industrial updating, supported by simulator based training and e-learning

The course will receive acceptance due to its importance at international and
European levels and will be included in the existing MET programmes. Two umbrella
organizations in the partnership will boost the recognition of the course in the industry.

The ISPS Code provided many contributions for security area but from the date
that put into force, deficiencies continued and the code does not provide satisfied level
of security. In this context, an analyze of the ISPS Code by using Fishbone Diagram,
Pareto Chart Diagram and brainstorming sessions in order to identify potential
factors causing an overall effect process was carried out. It was found out that there
were six main causes that affected the expected level of security. Training is the most
important area to focus on comparing with security awareness, risk management and
standardization. Universally accepted comprehensive training programme for all level
security personnel can contribute to reduce deficiencies. Although the causes indicated
in this research seem to have a different importance level, we believe that all deficiencies
are related and complement to each other.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


Laurent Etienne, Allen Hjelmfelt, Ronald Pelot and Mélanie Fournier

I. Introduction

Within the past few years, the threat related to maritime traffic has evolved.
The focus has been extended from foreign naval activities to a wider range including
potentially every vessel moving at sea. As various sensors used to track and monitor
ship all over the globe are becoming more affordable, it leads to a wider coverage
and produces a huge amount of data to manipulate in real time. Maritime Situation
Awareness relies on the quality and quantity of the data, collaborative networks have
been created between countries in order to share their data feeds.

Because bad actors may try to elude this coverage or provide misleading
indications, data collected from cooperative reports need to be correlated with other
sensors that are able to detect non cooperative vessels. All these different data sources
have their own characteristics which raise technical and research issues when trying
to fuse all the information together in order to generate a real time Maritime Situation
Picture. Data mining tools can be used to sift the data and when combined with expert
knowledge can be used to detect and identify a manageable set of potential threats for
further investigation.

This paper is organized as follows. This section introduces the problem

addressed in this paper. Then, the second section presents different cooperative and
non-cooperative vessel detection and tracking techniques. The third section introduces
the data distribution and collaborative networks. Section four deals with the different
process involved in the Global Maritime Situational Awareness. Finally, the last section
concludes about the recent evolution of the MSA.

II. Vessel Detection and Tracking

Maritime domain awareness (MDA) begins with the ability to detect and track
vessels at sea and on a nation’s waterways (Ince et al 1999). We can divide detection and
tracking systems into two general categories: cooperative and uncooperative tracking
systems. Cooperative systems rely on the vessels to identify themselves and report their
own positions. This category includes Automated Identification System (AIS), Long
Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT), and Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS). On
the other hand, non-cooperative systems do not rely on target vessels to voluntarily
provide any information. Coastal radar and visual observations are common types of
non-cooperative detection and tracking systems, and commercial radar and electro-
optical imaging satellites are growing in importance.
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

These two types of systems complement each other. Cooperative systems can
collect and process large amounts of data easily and efficiently. Their weakness is that
they rely on the vessels to truthfully report information. Vessels may misreport their
locations or identities in order to hide their true intentions, or they may not report them
at all. There may also be inadvertent errors or gaps in their transmissions even if they
have no bad intentions.1 Non-cooperative system can detect and track vessels that have
chosen not to self-report. However, many non-cooperative systems only provide vessel
detections, and do not provide an identity nor vessel type. Thus, after a non-cooperative
target has been detected it still needs to be characterized (e.g. fishing vessel) or identified.

The combination of cooperative systems like AIS and non-cooperative systems

like radar, including radar imaging satellites, are quite powerful. Radar data can verify
self-reported locations and perhaps vessel sizes and headings in the AIS messages.
Likewise, subtracting the AIS contacts from the radar contacts gives the subset that is
not self-reporting. These contacts may merit further inquiry to establish an identity and
to determine why they are not reporting and the nature of their activity.2

II.1.1. Automated Identification System (AIS)

Upon its introduction in the early 2000s,3 AIS quickly became the workhorse of
MDA. It was originally introduced as a safety measure for collision avoidance. It allows
vessels to detect and identify other vessels in their vicinity and to easily coordinate
movements to avoid unsafe situations.

Authorities soon discovered that they could use AIS to monitor vessel traffic in
their areas of interest for security and law enforcement purposes. This observation led
to many countries to install AIS receiver stations around their maritime borders. AIS is
typically a line of sight system.4 Thus, most nations started by installing AIS receivers
in their ports and other areas with high vessel traffic and then expanded along their
coastlines. AIS receivers and antennas are reasonably cheap. Thus, even a substantial
deployment of AIS receiving stations could be cost effective.

Despite their relative low cost, poorer nations, particularly in Africa, lacked the
means to implement such systems. The United States and other nations offered foreign
assistance to interested nations to acquire maritime surveillance systems including
AIS. In the mid to late 2000s there was a substantial effort ring the world’s oceans with
1 For example, often vessels turn off their AIS broadcasts in the Somali piracy area to complicate the pirate’s targeting
problem. The Best Management Practices v3 for countering Somali piracy recommends that “Outside of the Gulf of Aden, in
other parts of the High Risk Area, the decision on AIS policy is again left to the Master’s discretion, but current Naval advice
is to turn it off completely (IMO 2011). We also often see AIS transmitters using system default settings.
2 We caution the reader that broadcasting AIS does not equate to “good” and not broadcasting AIS does not equate to
3 Class B AIS transceivers were introduced in the late 2000s as a cost effective way to extend AIS reporting to smaller
vessels that are not covered by the requirements to carry Class A transceivers.
4 However, in many areas electromagnetic ducting can significantly extend the AIS horizon.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

AIS receivers including these countries. In remote and underdeveloped areas installers
encountered the twin challenges of getting power to the installation and the data
out of the installation. In the poorest of countries, sustainment remains a challenge.
Nonetheless, the result is that many of the world’s high priority areas (ports and choke
points) were eventually covered by AIS receivers.

Because a vessel’s AIS broadcast is over an open and easily received broadcast, it
is considered to be “public” information,5 and there is a market for this type of maritime
information. Private organizations and companies also got into the business of installing
AIS receivers, and they built worldwide networks to collect, distribute, and sell the data.

Because AIS is a line of sight system these terrestrially systems typically collect
signals for a few 10s and maybe a 100nm. Despite the successes of deploying AIS systems,
thinly populated coastlines and the open ocean remained dark. The next innovation came
with the collection of AIS signals from satellites. In the mid-2000s public and private
organizations realized that they could collect AIS signals using receivers on satellites and
that this would be a valuable source of data on maritime traffic in the open ocean. Within
a few years there were a number of government and commercial sources of this data.

Satellite collected AIS provides great benefits. Because terrestrial systems are line
of sight, countries can potentially monitor their territorial waters. However, in most
cases terrestrial systems will not cover the far reaches of their exclusive economic zone
(EEZ). Satellite AIS provides countries a view of vessel activity within their EEZ. For
example, in many parts of the world, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing
is a significant loss of revenue and depletes marine stocks.6 Much of this goes on just
over the horizon, and satellite AIS has the potential to shine the light on this type of

Terrestrial and satellite systems complemented each other. Terrestrial systems

provided frequent updates of vessels in their areas.7 Satellites are limited by their orbits.
On the equator, for example, a single satellite in a polar orbit may have two collection
windows per day for any given area. While initially this was a significant limitation, the
number of satellites with AIS receivers has increased, and thus the collection periodicity
has decreased though not to the extent of terrestrial systems.

II.1.2. Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT)

LRIT is another internationally mandated tracking system, and its carriage

requirements are similar to AIS. It differs from AIS in that it was created specifically

5 This is not without controversy. As early as 2004, the IMO recognized that there may be dangers associated with freely
available AIS data on the Internet: “…the publication on the world-wide web or elsewhere of AIS data transmitted by ships
could be detrimental to the safety and security of ships…(IMO 2004)”
6 For example, one study estimates that 32% of fishing in the south-west Atlantic is IUU (FERR 2008).
7 This is typically every few minutes.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

for security purposes. LRIT allows nations to track vessels that inbound to their ports
or in transit in their vicinity (i.e. within 1000nm). Vessels must report their locations to
their flag states (or their representatives) every six hours. Typically this is by point-to-
point satellite communication. The flag states’ data centers then distributes the data to
all those who are entitled to it. LRIT data is not broadcast “publically” like AIS.8 Thus,
there is generally more control over who within a government is allowed to receive it.

In theory there is somewhat more control over vessels self-reported LRIT data
because it is reported directly to the flag state. For example, if a vessel chose to stop
reporting during a voyage, it would be noticed. Changing an AIS broadcast is as simple
as pushing a few buttons, and no one is necessarily doing any quality control on the

II.1.3. Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)

VMS systems are implemented by nations to monitor fishing activities in their

waters. In return for a fishing license a vessel is required to carry a VMS system. This
allows the fishing authorities to monitor that the vessel has complied with the terms
of the license. Typically, the use of the data from these systems is restricted to that for
which it was carried. In our example of fishing, the use of the data would be restricted
to enforce fishing regulations and not for general security or law enforcement purposes.

II.2. Non-cooperative Systems

It’s reported that upon building his first telescope Galileo soon turned it to the
problem of detecting ships on their approach to Venice. Such knowledge provided
a competitive advantage in pricing imported goods. He also pointed out its military
importance (King 1955). Despite the ubiquity and ease of collecting AIS data, non-
cooperative vessel detection and tracking systems are still vital to the MDA problem.
Non-cooperate detection system, such as visual observations and radar, provide the
ability to detect and track vessels regardless of their desires (Wall et al 2005). However,
they generally require more effort to characterize and identify a target (The data
processing is developed in the Sec. IV. 2). That is, knowing that there is some ship at
some location is of much less value that knowing which or what type of ship is at that

The most common non cooperative detection and tracking systems are radar,
radar imaging, and visual observations. These may be shore based, airborne, or satellite
systems. Many important locations such as ports and vessel traffic corridors are
monitored by an integrated AIS and coastal radar system. This provides the operators
a persistent, fused, real-time display of AIS and radar contacts. As with AIS, the radar
8 Returning to the Somalia example, vessels which turned off their AIS broadcasts keep reporting their LRIT information.
The IMO encouraged flag states to provide this information to counter-piracy forces (even if they would not normally be
entitled to it). (IMO 2010)

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

horizon is limited by the line of sight, and thus they do not provide a long range
monitoring system. Maritime patrol aircraft can extend this horizon and combine AIS,
radar, and visual observations. However, because they are not persistent, their tactical
use must be timed to match maritime operations.

II.3. The Contribution of Satellite Imaging and Its Interpretation

Commercial radar imaging satellites are a relatively new and powerful tool for
detecting ships beyond the shore based radar and AIS horizon and without using
maritime patrol aircraft. Several commercial companies are in this market place. These
companies can provide the raw imagery or value added products such as ship detection
reports. They will even correlate the radar detections with AIS reporting. Users can
then input these detections into their maritime operational pictures. For example,
during the Exercises Obangame and Saharan Express, Naval Forces Africa and the EU
Joint Research Center purchased and processed radar imagery of the operations areas.
The ship detection reports were injected into the SeaVision operational picture where
they were viewed along with the AIS contacts. Generally radar ship detections must be
correlated with other data, typically AIS, to identify targets. If other data feeds are not
available, for example due to missing equipment like AIS receiver or antenna, it becomes
difficult or impossible to correlate the detections made with the satellite imagery with
other data that could be useful to characterize or identify a target.

The ability to image a given region of ocean is limited by the satellite’s orbits. Most
radar imaging satellites are in sun synchronous orbits. Thus, at the equator any given
region has two satellite passes per day: One at sunrise and one at sunset. Radar satellites
are unable to provide information outside of those windows. An additional limitation
with radar imaging satellites has been the timeliness of the data. This is a function of
lack of ground stations to receive the imagery and the timeliness of processing the
imagery and detecting the ships. For example, for much of Africa, satellites must store
the imagery till they orbit to a suitable downlink. An early morning pass over Africa will
arrive for processing in the middle of the night if it is processed, for example, in North
America. Lastly, many of the commercial vendors require long lead times for acquiring
imagery. They lack the ability to respond to emergent requests.

II.3.1. The SAR Satellite Data (SAR - Synthetic Aperture Radar)

The satellite images bring an added value to the existing systems in terms of spatial
cover. The main limitation is the revisit time (between 1 and 3 days) which stays below
needs for the users, who work in real time. Satellites have to improve the detection
of ships as well as the relevance and the frequency of the detection. Satellites can as a
supplement to the traditional systems, to be used as well in zones spatially restricted as
very vast.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

The use of SAR satellites is very interesting because the scenes can be indifferently
taken in the daytime and at night and by cloudy weather. The main elements affecting
the capacities of detection of ships are the width of swath, the angle of incidence, the
spatial resolution, and polarization. However for a use in maritime surveillance, the
state of the sea is an important parameter to take into account. The more the sea will be
rough, the more it will be difficult to make the difference between a crest of wave and
a ship.

• The swath width. For the detection of ships, we use the wide and the narrow
swaths. The narrow swaths are very useful for the follow-up of coasts and
ports, while the wide swaths are used in open sea.

• The angle of incidence.

• The polarization: the HH polarization (horizontal-horizontal) has a higher

contrast what makes it interesting for the detection of targets. The VV
polarization (vertical - vertical) supplies more information on the state of the

• The threshold of noise.

The best detection is made with a polarization HH or HV and with a wide

angle of incidence. RADARSAT-2 has a high potential for the operational detection of
ships. RADARSAT-2 is the most interesting for the big areas (300 kilometers). From
2013 SENTINEL-1, operating in band - C, will assure the continuity of ENVISAT in
the missions of maritime safety. The new generation of satellites as TERRASAR-X
(Gabban et al 2008, Brush et al 2011) or Cosmo-SkyMed, is different. The missions are
centered on the HR (high resolution) imaging for the observation of lands and not seas.
Nevertheless, these sensors have specific modes interesting for maritime surveillance,
in particular the spotlight and the stripmap modes which allow detection of details in
ports or close to the shore. It is possible to use the same approach with Cosmo-SkyMed
and so to benefit from a revisit time potentially more important with a complete
constellation of satellites. The use of several satellites technically allows covering daily
priority areas under our latitudes.

II.3.2. Optical Data

The HR optical satellites supply an interesting complementarity for the

identification of ships as well as to supply information detailed for the reports. However
there exists a limitation: the weather conditions must be favorable. The harbor activities
can be followed in a systematic way by optical satellites. The sensors to consider here are
SPOT 5 in 2.5 meters of resolution (Corbane et al 2008), and FORMOSAT in 2.5 meters
of resolution. Although its cover is limited, it is a sensor interesting due to its revisit
time: 1 day. PLEIADES in HR succeeded of SPOT last year. The first images available

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

over Somalia and Mogadiscio are very exciting for maritime surveillance. In 2013 is
planned the launch of SENTINEL 2 which possibilities of applications are to be verified
and to be estimated.

Most of the already operational systems are based on the use of the radar satellites.
But the use of a multi-approach mission with optical images HR (high resolution)
and radar data can supply necessary detailed information in the case of follow-up of
suspicious activities. The multi-approach missions (Ince et al., 1999) can help to meet
the needs of high frequency of revisit, it also allows to combine the advantages of the
optical images and radar satellites. The imaging adapts itself to multiple situations and
to diverse geographical frameworks. The reactivity of the analysis and the treatment
of the information allowed the collection of an accurate and information within an
operational framework. However to overestimate the capacities of the technical and
technological means can expose to certain disappointments (For more details see Sec.
IV. 5).

III. Data Distribution

Maritime data is much more valuable when it is shared for the simple reason that
vessels transit from one surveillance region to another. Thus, vessels arrive in the local
area from locations unknown. When the maritime information is shared it is possible
to create a more complete transit history for the vessel in question. The advent of large
amounts of AIS data gave impetus to the creation of electronic networks to share this
data. Governments, academic organizations, and companies responded by creating
data distribution networks.

As discussed early, AIS is broadcast in the open and is in some sense public.
There was relatively little resistance to sharing it among governments.9 10 For many
governments the first step was to share information with their immediate neighbors.
This gave authorities information on maritime traffic that was over their horizon and
headed their direction. There are now several regional AIS sharing networks throughout
the world. Nations found that there is even more value in networks when they have
access to global data. A vessel in their area may have set sail from some distance from
their shores and the point of departure or their track may be of interest. Flag states
also have some interest in vessels carrying their flag regardless of where they are on the
ocean. Participation in a global network also provides a country with some information
on these vessels even if it is a great distance from the flag state.

Generally, the smaller the group, the more that can be shared. The least common
denominator is AIS signals that are collected by terrestrial receivers. In more restricted
networks, participants may share other data beyond vessel positions. These networks
may include vessel of interest lists, case files, and information on cargo and people.

9 The same does not apply to other maritime data like LRIT or people or cargo.
10 As mentioned early the IMO did raise concerns about the public availability of AIS information on the internet.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

III.1. Government Networks

The Maritime Safety and Security Information System (MSSIS) is one of the largest
government-to-government networks for sharing AIS data. It was created following
the philosophy that if a nation contributed information to the MSSIS network it was
entitled to receive all of the information in the network. Thus, everybody’s data goes to
everybody else. The MSSIS network quickly expanded with countries all over the world
providing data to the network. At any given time 60 to 70 countries will be providing
data to the network. Governments are free to use the data they receive from MSSIS for
any safety and security purpose they choose. MSSIS provides the AIS messages and
recipients can process and display them as they choose. Many, for example, transfer the
data into their own national maritime networks.
The United States created SeaVision as an extension to MSSIS. MSSIS is limited to
government owned and provided AIS data. SeaVision includes commercially purchased
satellite AIS, coastal radar, and radar satellite ship detection. SeaVision also provides a
web based COP.
Several other government-to-government networks grew roughly during the
same time. Many times these were for regional blocks like the EU The Virtual Regional
Maritime Traffic Center (V-RMTC) is an Italian initiative to create regional sharing
networks starting in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. This was quickly followed by
an initiative call the Trans-Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN) to tie together the
regional networks into a global network (Jarvis 2009).

III.2. Academic and Commercial Networks

Business and academic institutions too recognized the value of AIS data and they
quickly created their own AIS collection and distribution networks.
refers to itself as an, “academic, open, community-based project (Marine Traffic 2013).”
It relies on AIS data provided by academic institutions and other maritime enthusiasts.
In addition to AIS, contributors can also upload photos of the vessels. Marinetraffic.
com provides a free publicly available AIS COP on the internet and represent two commercial ventures that provide (sell) AIS and other
maritime data over the internet.

Many nation use both government to government systems like MSSIS or

V-RMTC/T-RMN and the academic/commercial networks. One reason is that some
countries that do not participate in MSSIS, for example, are covered in marinetraffic.
com and vice versa.

IV. Global Maritime Situational Awareness

The Global Maritime Situational Awareness (GMSA) relies on the ability to

integrate existing systems/networks and share information to the maximum extent
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

possible. Different actions are required in order to generate the GMSA. First of all,
the system must be able to access and integrate maritime data already collected from
various sensors (detection). It must also be able to share information within a trusted
collaboration environment (data sharing). Once collected, enhanced tool set are used
to process and analyze the ever increasing amount of maritime data, fuse all source
information and detect key anomalies (fusion and analysis). Finally, the dissemination
of the GMSA relies on a federated regional architecture wherein data is exposed and
discoverable based on a user’s preferences (dissemination). A functional process is
detailed in the following section.

IV.1. Different Process Involved to Generate a Global MSA

Figure 1 presents the functional process used to generate the Maritime Situational
Picture. First is a data integration step (Fig. 1, step 1) which relies on monitoring system
providing real-time position data integrated from cooperative or non-cooperative
sensors. These must be stored in a database (step 2), and then, trajectories are derived
from position data and erroneous positions can be filtered (step 3). Trajectories of
vessels having the same activity (same path) can then be clustered (step 3). This is the
data pre-processing step.

Thanks to the trajectory clusters, data mining tools can be used to extract
meaningful information about the vessel’s usual path and behavior. These spatio-
temporal information are summarized into a pattern that depict the behavior of objects
(step 4). Depending on the kind of trajectories analyzed, the pattern can depict either:

• the usual behavior of normal vessel (base pattern)

• the behavior of vessels known to have illegal or unusual activities (suspicious


This pattern computation process is done offline and can be recomputed on a

regular basis to improve the patterns and reflect the change in the maritime traffic. As
this process relies on statistical computation, the more data available in the historical
database, the more precise the pattern is. Once defined, these patterns are saved in a
knowledge database and can be enhanced with expert knowledge (step 5).

These patterns and expert knowledge (rules) are very useful to qualify the huge
real time position data feed from various sources. A data qualification process is used
to compare and match the real time positions and tracks to experts’ rules or patterns in
order to detect suspicious behavior (step 6).

Finally, the Global Maritime Situation Picture is computed with all the raw and
qualified data. This picture is then displayed and share with maritime traffic monitoring
operators who can focus their attention to vessels paths that have been qualified as

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suspicious by the system (step 7). As the user is also a part of the data qualification
process, he can detect abnormal behavior that are not yet automatically detected and
classified by the system. Moreover, the system itself can generate false detections. This is
why it is important to integrate the traffic monitoring operator feedback into the system
in order to improve the qualification process by creating new rules/patterns or giving a
different weight to the patterns/rules depending on their effectiveness.

Figure 1: Real time Maritime Situation Picture process

IV.1.1. The Data Source Streams

The end-to-end process for obtaining and distributing the data involves four
main actions: tasking, acquisition and the processing, exploitation, and dissemination
(Ince et al 1999) to the end user (TPED). As the data sources have already been treated
in a previous section (Sec. II), we will not detail them in this paragraph.

Tasking is based on the definition of the requirements of the users and the creation
of a collection plan to fulfill these needs. As depicted in previous sections, there are
numerous different sensors and data feeds that generate a huge amount of data. These
data must be processed, exploited and fused in order to generate a Maritime Situation
Picture that provides value to the end users.

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IV.1.2. Pre-processing and Information Extraction

The extraction of information from images requires the use of various processing
techniques and the different data feed available with the aim of detecting ships and
identifying targets. We use semiautomatic or automatic algorithms (Greidanus 2007;
Vespe et al 2012), the expert eye of an imagery analyst, a signal expert and databases
queries. Different steps are involved in this process:

• Extraction of contact information from images

• Fusion with other sensor data (e.g. AIS - SAR matching)
• vessel track creation

These data come from different sensors and sources, so they do not necessarily
have the same characteristics. Some sensors give more information than only a position
report but also attribute data such as information about the ship itself or unique
identifier. Some sensors are more or less precise in their location information. They
may be available in real time or can be delayed when incorporated into the database.
All these differences between the sensors raise some problems when the data needs
to be fused together. As long as the data is displayed without any processing, it can be
visualized on a map using the sensor characteristics such as its geographic precision and
timeliness to draw a precision circle around the position report.

However, the position reports are sometime limited if the user wants to know
what the path of a particular vessel. Then, positions reports from different sources need
to be fused an aggregated together to generate a trajectory. As the positions reports are
mostly discrete, positions reports are usually connected together using a straight line.

If one sensor source have a constant bias, the trajectory generated using this
sensor position reports only will be constantly biased. However, adding position reports
from other sources will generate hops between positions reports of the two sources
and the trajectory will not look smooth. Depending of the required precision and the
scale of the analysis, these small biases can be smoothed using a trajectory filtering
algorithm such as the Spatio-Temporal Douglas & Peucker (Bertrand et al. 2007)
.This filtering algorithm can simplify a polyline within a specific precision range. It
does not generate new or interpolated position. It keeps only key positions that are
required to represent the initial trajectory within a precision threshold. This algorithm
performs very well when applied on straight lines with constant speeds. In that case, the
redundant information is discarded and only the relevant positions are used to generate
the trajectory. This filtering algorithm can filter more than 80% of the position required
to represent a trajectory with a 10m precision which is the precision of the sensor itself.

Once the trajectory is modeled using different data sources, some more
interesting queries can be done. As an example, a common query consists in selecting
vessel travelling inside an area or crossing a particular line.

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An analysis based only on positions report can fail as the ship can be plotted
just before and right after the area of interest. No position report inside an area does
not necessary mean that the ship did not enter this zone. Moreover, sensor spatial and
temporal precision needs to be taken into account in order to answer this type of spatial
query. Thanks to the different information about the sensor’s precision in this particular
area, the answer might become fuzzier such as a probability score that the ship was
inside this area at that particular time.

The trajectory generation process can be eased when focusing on a small area
where the sensor coverage is well known and the maritime traffic is lower. However,
using the worldwide data sharing network presented in section III make the analysis
much more complicated. Data feed can carry positions reports that are biased or
voluntary erroneous.

Then, a degree of truth must be affected to a data source or a sensor. This

information can then be taken into account when displaying ships’ trajectories or trying
to extract knowledge using data mining tools.

IV.1.3. Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining

Beyond simple awareness of what vessels are in an area of interest, the data
can be analyzed to detect suspicious characteristics or behavior. The goal is to find a
manageable subset of vessels for more detailed investigation from the larger universe of
vessels operating in one’s area of interest. Much of maritime threat detection is based on
external tips of bad behavior. For example, an informant may pass that a yacht leaving
this port on this day is carrying drugs to this other port. In this case the data can be
analyzed to find vessels that meet these criteria. In the absence of an external tip, the
data itself must be analyzed to find indications of a threat. In this section we discuss
some of the techniques for mining the data to find these indications:

• Anomalies in AIS
• vessel features
• kinematics: behavior inconsistent with expectations
• kinematics: comparison with past behavior
• kinematics: comparison with “bad” patterns

The added value is the result of four actions: the correlation and the fusion of data
on one hand, and the extraction and the classification of characteristics on the other
hand. For the first two actions, we compare various layers of information stemming from
different sources (SAR images, optics, radars, VTS, AIS etc.) to determine suspicious
behaviors. As for the extraction and for the classification, they are automatically made
by algorithms generally and/or by means of the human interpretation.

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These suspicious behavior algorithms are usually based on static or dynamic feature
of the data feed. Some algorithm focus on vessels of interest depending on vessel’s features
such as convenience flags, age of build or size. They can compare ships information with a
database in order to detect inconsistency and alert traffic monitoring operators.

Some integrate the vessel position and trajectory to monitor if the ship break into
a specific area or move at an irrelevant speed. This kind of algorithm need to perform
geometric computation which can be problematic to apply on huge real time data feeds.

Other algorithm also integrates the sensor coverage and precision in order to
distinguish the difference between a tracking lost due to a weak sensor coverage and a
ship that try to hide from sensor detection (shutting down AIS transceiver).

Finally more sophisticated algorithms focus on ship trajectory and kinematics.

Patterns of movements can be generated thanks to a statistical analysis of past trajectories
saved into a huge historical database.

These patterns can be used to define the usual behavior of vessels navigating in a
specific area for a particular purpose (Etienne et al. 2010). They can also compare the
behavior of ship known to patterns of illegal activities.

A combination of all these algorithms and expert knowledge can be used to classify
the ships’ positions and trajectories has being suspicious. All these tools combined
together are important to ease the traffic monitoring operators work and cognitive load.
The worldwide data feed is enormous and ships performing illegal activities try to hide
into this flow.

IV.1.4. Visualization and Sharing

Processed data are delivered via a GIS web application or via a secure Internet
access. The production of maps and reports is also another solution. Products based
on the data obtained by satellites must be integrated into one technical and operational
level, namely in the already existing systems. This integration necessarily has to be
made at the operational level of the users. For example the interface can take the shape
of a global map of the area in which are displayed several layers of information, with
a possibility of zooming at a local level. We find several layers of information there:
the footprints of satellite imagery acquired a miniature of the images and a zoom on
every detected target. For every target are given: the location (coordinates), the date
and the hour of the acquisition, the additional information, the classification of the
datum (restricted, confidential, secret, not protected) and its source, as well as the status
(in movement, at anchor), the possible characterization (size, speed, road) as well as
the reliability of the detection (known, possible, likely, unknown). Once classified and
treated, a report is sent to the users in the adequate format and is integrated into their
activities of surveillance as an additional layer of information.

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“Currently, the C-SIGMA initiative on international cooperation for global

maritime awareness is exploring ways how users and providers of space-based maritime
surveillance data may work together to increase the joint awareness of the global
maritime domain, by facilitating the sharing of, and access to, satellite data.” (Greidanus
et al., 2012)

IV.2. Processing of Satellites Images

The main steps described hereafter follow the four main steps described in the
section IV. Global Maritime Situation Awareness: detection, data sharing, fusion and
analysis, then dissemination.

The data processed are extracted from satellite imagery (SAR and /or optical) and
fused with ancillary data such as bathymetry, maritime limits...etc. Images are analyzed
by imagery specialists and by signal experts. The use of automatic or semi-automatic
algorithms on SAR images allow to extract high added-value information that are later
fused and correlated with in-situ data such as VMS, AIS or LRIT signals.

Before being shared, the raw data and the produced data (maps, reports, and
extracted information) are validated. This steps of validation is crucial because it aims
at sending and sharing the most accurate and reliable information at the right time to
the right actor. The aim here is to calculate (based on operational requirements made
between actors and industrials) the service performances. Mainly in this case we are
talking about the percentage between the acquired data vs. the acquisitions planed, the
delivery time, the false alarm rate (FAR), the resolution and the polarization (for SAR
images) and the valid detections vs. the probable detections.

When the accuracy of the information has been made the data and final products
(can be maps and reports) are sent and shared via web secure platforms for targets
detection, anomalous behaviors detection, correlation and fusion of multi-sources
information, classification and identification of targets. Those web interfaces are more
and more directly integrated in the existing systems in order to avoid duplication of
such systems as well as reducing the reaction time.

IV.3. Surveillance and Control of Maritime Spaces: the Role of

Satellite Imagery

Nowadays, the control of the seas and of the information of maritime interest
is intimately linked to satellite technologies. This control relies especially on the
systematic use telecommunication and observation satellites. In this context IMINT
(Imagery Intelligence), GEOINT (Geospatial Intelligence) and SIGINT (Signals
Intelligence) became essential in terms of security and safety11. Such a systematic use of

11 IMINT, GEOINT and SIGINT are three methods of information collect and analysis. They are means to collect intelligence.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

satellite imagery (SAR or optical) within the international relations presents advantages
and inconveniences. If the use of satellites avoid intervention it also, sometimes, raises
questions of sovereignty. Nonetheless, the objective of using such tools is to limit the
blind spots i.e. sensitive areas, areas with an impossible or difficult to reach etc.

For every type of zones to be watched and for every type of surveillance, actors
will find tools for their needs/requirements. The information of maritime interest is the
exploitation and the analysis more pushed of data with the aim of obtaining an evaluation
of a risk and treating it accordingly. The information contents with positioning and
with describing a ship, its route and all the factual elements needed. Confidentiality
and exchange are two of the topics that the European Union for example tries to move
closer within projects relative to the maritime safety and security. Users try to increase
their capacity of ships’ identification and risks’ analysis connected to their behavior. The
surveillance is in constant movement and does not stop improving. The data are more
complete, more complex, sources get modernized and are regularly updated. What
perspectives can we expect? What are the purposes to be reached regarding surveillance
and maritime control? The maritime surveillance’s structure is divided in two axes: the
data and the sources. We shall see at first the data. Then we shall analyze the sources
which correspond to the technical and human devices which assure their collection.

IV.4. The Organized Criminality: Object of Surveillance

A major focus of the surveillance network is criminal activity on the seas such as
the trafficking of drugs, weapons and human beings. In the case of the drug trafficking,
for example, the navies are interested in fast boats navigating along the Guyanese and
Brazilian coasts to cross then the Atlantic Ocean up to the African coasts and then
navigating again towards and along the European coasts. Moreover, accidents linked
to the ships’ seaworthiness, to the terrorist risk and piracy stress the need to monitor
wide areas of the seas. The surveillance and the control of the borders (Greidanus
2004) were never as good as nowadays, but with the increasing sea traffic, the demands
for monitoring for security and for safety increase proportionally. Satellites answer
perfectly the need for vast surveillance because they offer a capacity of cover which
extends for example of a 50 kilometer scene over 50 kilometers in a 500 kilometer scene
on 500 kilometers. The possibilities are multiplied tenfold according to the modes of
shots and get a wide panel to the users. The users can thus have access and should
rather couple a maximum of types of data to draw the information of maritime interest
which they need. The corporations, the military and the civilians participating in this
surveillance find here significant common interests in developing new technologies
such as algorithms processing the satellite images (See for more details the Sec. IV. 1. b),
the 3D images allowing ships’ characterization etc.

The information of maritime interest changed dimensions with the advent of

artificial satellites and the other forms of information collect as the SIGINT. The oceanic
watch which takes place 24 hours a day allows the follow-up of every type of ships in
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all the regions of the globe. Navies, because it is them who are mainly in charge of the
information of maritime interest work in association with the commands of the various
maritime zones in the world and their allies whose air and naval patrols transmit an
image of the surface’s situation and the situation of the maritime approaches. The data
can be if need correlate with those of the satellite images and by the rerouting of a ship
or an aircraft to verify the relevance of the initial information (Regarding data mining
see Sec. IV. 1. b).

IV.5. The Existing Technologies: Possibilities and Limits of

Their Action

The information of spatial origin can bring a significant added value to the systems
already used, especially regarding the geographical extent to be covered. Satellites can be
deployed over the zones of dense traffic or for very vast zones. The data extracted from
the satellites are used raw or correlated with the systems of identifications on board of
ships. The combination of these data is a help to the localization and to the awareness
of the surface’s situation. When the images are merged with other information sources,
we obtain a much wider view of the activity in coastal waters and in the EEZ. The main
clause limitation remains the revisit time which remains poor. The continuity and
revisit depend on missions’ types, number of satellites used and in the implementation
of constellations (Cosmo-SkyMed, SAR-LUPE, PLEIADES, SENTINEL...). The
second limitation is the delivery time. A quick delivery time is essential during urgent
operations. It is necessary to supply information as quickly as possible especially for
certain customers who are neither expert in processing of the image nor in interpretation
of SAR images. Most of the MARSEC projects aim to fill the gap separating the users
and images providers by the creation of one added value by companies which produce
information ready of being used. The important point lies in this integration of one or
several adequate tool(s) into the existing interfaces in order to obtain a pre-processing
and a data analysis.

IV.6 How to Improve the Maritime Situation Picture

To improve the Maritime Situation Picture, four parameters need to be taken into

1. The delivery time: the information must be necessarily delivered in a window

of very short time. If reception, processing and/or sending time are too
long, that is it is useless to continue because the ship already left. We reduce
considerably the chances to localize it and to intercept it.

2. The period of revisits: the regular update, even continuous in certain tactical
operations, is essential.

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3. The capacity to identify suspicious ships: it is necessary to be able to have

confidence in the received information, particularly when it is about detection
of suspicious ships. This need has to answer two important requests: increase
the number of detection, and reduce the number of false alarms (FAR-False
Alarm Rate).

4. The capacity to characterize ships: the collected and analyzed information is

essential. Databases can be created to collect data characterizing the modus
operandi of the criminal organizations. The characterization of ships passes,
in particular, by the knowledge or by the estimation of their shape, their speed
and their course. The observed targets, in their majority, present angles and
are built in materials the reflectivity of which is very high, as the steel, what
causes a very strong return on the image SAR and materializes by a bright
spot or by an appearance of the metallic structure according to the resolution
of the scene. Speed and course can be also diverted, either by algorithm, or
by the presence of trails and turbulent wakes. Kelvin’s envelope, for example,
is realized by the central trail behind the boat and is represented by a kind of
cone of the bow and widening on sides and behind the boat.

V. Conclusion

As sensors abilities increase and cost diminishes, the data sources to track ship
worldwide are becoming more and more available. It is foreseen that the data flows will
keep growing as the satellite technologies and unmanned systems (Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) further develop and spread. Data from
cooperative tracking systems and non-cooperative detection sensors must be combined
to increase the extent and precision of the Maritime Situational Picture. These data
are the foundation of Global Maritime Situation Awareness. These sensor systems can
generate huge amounts of data and which can lead to cognitive overload of those whose
task is to monitor and evaluate maritime traffic for threats. This massive data set must
be stored in databases and analyzed so that it can be efficiently exploited to detect and
qualify suspicious behavior of ships. Intelligent systems using a combination of different
intelligence sources, experts’ knowledge and statistical patterns generated using data
mining tools are required to detect suspicious activity hidden in the data. The sharing,
combination, and analysis of all these different data sources lead to scientific problems
that are yet to be solved.

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1. King H.C. (1955), The History of the Telescope.

2. Marine Traffic (2013), ‘Real time marine traffic website’, available at http:// (accessed 07 April 2013).

3. Fisheries Ecosystems Restoration Research (2008), ‘The Global Extent of Illegal

Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, (accessed 07 April 2013).

4. IMO (2011) “Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
and in the Arabian Sea Area” version 4,
hottopics/piracy/documents/1339.pdf, (accessed 07 April 2013).

5. IMO (2004), ‘AIS transponders’,

id=754 (accessed 10 April 2013).

6. IMO (2010), ‘LRIT IDF’,

piracyarmedrobbery/pages/lrit-idf.aspx, (accessed 22 April 2013).

7. Ince A.N., Topuz E., Panayirci E. (1999), ‘Principles of Integrated Maritime

Surveillance Systems’, Pays-Bas, Kluwer Academic Publishers Group, 512p.

8. Brusch S., Lehner S., Fritz T., Soccorsi M., Soloviev A., van Schie B. (2011), ‘Ship
surveillance with TerraSAR-X’, in IEEE transactions on geoscience and remote
sensing, volume 49, num 3, pp. 1092-1103.

9. Corbane C., Marre F., Petit M. (2008), ‘Using SPOT-5 HRG Data in Panchromatic
Mode for Operational Detection of Small Ships in Tropical Area’, in Sensors, pp.
2959- 2973.

10. Gabban A., Greidanus H., Smith A.J.E, Anitori L., Thoorens F-X., Mallorqui J.
(2008), ‘Ship surveillance with Terrasar-X Scansar’, 9p.

11. Greidanus H. (2004), Satellite surveillance for maritime border monitoring, GMOSS
presentation, 7p.

12. Greidanus H. (2007), ‘Detection, Classification and Identification of Marine Traffic

from Space Final Report’, DECLIMS, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy, 27p.

13. Wall A., Bole A.G., Dineley W.O. (2005) ‘Radar And ARPA Manual: Radar And
Target Tracking For Professional Mariners, Yachtsmen And Users Of Marine Radar’,
Elsevier, 546p.

14. Jarvis D. J. (2009), ‘MarNIS Final Report, European technical Report n°:MarNIS/

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D-MT-15/FinalReport/DVS/05062009/version 2.0’, http://www.transport-research.

report.pdf, 139p. (accessed 01 June 2013).

15. Etienne L., Devogele T., Bouju A. (2010) ‘Spatio-Temporal Trajectory Analysis of
Mobile Objects Following the Same Itinerary’, In Proceedings of the International
Symposium on Spatial Data Handling (SDH), The International Archives of the
Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Vol. 38, Part
II, pp. 86-91.

16. Bertrand, F., Bouju, A., Claramunt, C., Devogele, T., Ray (2007), ‘Web Architecture
for Monitoring and Visualizing Mobile Objects in Maritime Contexts’, In
Proceedings of the 7th international conference on Web and wireless geographical
information systems (W2GIS), pp. 94-105.

17. Vespe M., Visentini I., Bryan, K., Braca P. (2012), ‘Unsupervised learning of
maritime traffic patterns for anomaly detection’. Data Fusion & Target Tracking
Conference (DF&TT 2012): Algorithms & Applications, 9th IET Digital Object
Identifier: 10.1049/cp.2012.0414, pp. 1-5.

18. Greidanus H., Thomas G., Campbell G., Bryan K. (2012), ‘International Cooperation
For Space-Based Global Maritime Awareness – The Next Step’, ESA, SEASAR
Conference, Tromsø, Norway.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


Edgar Bates


Maritime domain awareness is critically positioned at the nexus of the

technological and cultural implications of networking; the renewed impetus for data
sharing across government and non-governmental organizations; and the general
goodwill for building maritime partnerships. Notwithstanding the general recognition
and support for improved maritime domain awareness there are significant challenges
with regard to the development of common information sharing environments for
the maritime domain. Both at national level and at the regional level, authorities
responsible for defense, border control, customs, marine pollution, fisheries control,
maritime safety and security, vessel traffic management, accident and disaster response,
search and rescue as well as law enforcement are collecting information for their own
purposes. While the technological means exist to share this information, information
sharing standards, agreements, and policies need to be in place in order to overcome
the cultural, organizational and legal hurdles before these well recognized silos of
information can be used successfully to “connect the dots.”

I. Introduction: Putting the Problem in Context

Recent piracy activity in Africa and elsewhere calls attention to the opinion that
today’s interdependent global economy depends on the free and uninterrupted use of
the sea. Somalia is an excellent example of where maritime safety and security was
impacted by indigenous socio-economic factors which led to partnering efforts to
combat the scourge of piracy by a sometime incongruous plethora of naval assets, the
United Nations Security Council, the African Union Peace and Security Council and
various other organizations, notably the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
In comparison, the Gulf of Guinea is an example where there is a notable willingness
among regional nations to confront the piracy threat. Individually Nigeria, Ghana,
Benin, Togo, Cameroon and Senegal have taken practical steps to police their waters
but they lack effective maritime domain awareness. Maritime domain awareness as
it is termed in the United States is a key enabler to help maritime forces and other
organizations maintain maritime safety and security. Regional bodies such as the
Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) have expressed their
willingness to harmonize competing national interests, as well as in mobilizing
international assistance to build regional capacity in crucial areas, such as surveillance,

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

patrolling, logistics and information sharing. According to a UN report this growing

determination comes at a time when pirate attacks off Africa’s west coast have become
more violent, sophisticated and systematic.1

Unlike in the Horn of Africa where hostage-taking for ransom was the modus
operandi, oil is primarily the target of pirates in the Gulf of Guinea. After hijacking
a tanker or barge carrying oil, the pirates rendezvous with a mother ship on the high
seas to transfer the oil to be sold elsewhere. The countries in the Gulf of Guinea are
estimated to be losing $2 billion USD annually to maritime crime, primarily due to
piracy and illegal oil bunkering which further reduces their ability to use their vast
natural resources for socio-economic development of their countries. Lloyd’s, the
leading maritime insurer, has listed Nigeria, Benin and nearby waters in a high risk
category causing insurance rates to soar. This has the attention of the commercial
shipping industry (e.g. Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF)) which
is seeking to ensure a higher level of maritime domain awareness in the Gulf of Guinea
thereby improving maritime safety and security. However, the oil companies and Gulf
of Guinea nations require assistance from the world’s navies to make maritime domain
awareness effective in counter piracy activities.

Notwithstanding the general recognition and support for improved maritime

domain awareness there are significant challenges with regard to the development of
common information sharing environments for the maritime domain. Both at national
level and at the regional level, authorities responsible for defense, border control,
customs, marine pollution, fisheries control, maritime safety and security, vessel traffic
management, accident and disaster response, search and rescue as well as law enforcement
are collecting information for their own purposes. While the technological means exist
to share this information, information sharing standards, agreements, and policies
need to be in place in order to overcome the cultural, organizational and legal hurdles
before these well recognized silos of information can be used successfully to “connect
the dots.” Compounding the challenge is that different maritime surveillance activities
fall under a gamut of organizations with different legal and statutory authorities and
there are many instances where despite an obvious requirement for an improved trans-
national and regional approach, there is a lack of consistency as regards the processing
of personal, confidential or classified data across national borders.

On a more positive note, maritime domain awareness is an enabler critically

positioned at the nexus of the technological and cultural implications of networking;
the renewed impetus for data sharing across government and non-governmental
organizations; and the general goodwill for building maritime partnerships.

1 Council, U. S. (2012). “Gulf of Guinea Piracy ‘Clear Threat’ to Security, Economic Development of Region;.” Security
Council 6723rd Meeting (AM).

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II. Determinants of Maritime Domain Awareness

The vast majority of African states are young republics, most of which still
have borders drawn during the era of European colonialism. Since colonialism,
African states have frequently been hampered by instability, corruption, violence, and
authoritarianism. However, Africa’s prospects have changed dramatically over the last
decade. The Internet is a key factor when considering Africa’s future growth prospects
in general. There are now more mobile Internet users in Africa than in America or
Europe.2 This has led to a range of unique new developments like mobile banking where
millions of Africans without bank accounts are able to exchange money as easily as they
would send a text message.

Nigeria is an interesting case study because the Nigerian Navy is committed to

regional security in the Gulf of Guinea as evidenced by its close operational relationship
with navies of the area under the auspices of the Sea Power for Africa Symposium.
Ongoing efforts include improving maintenance of existing platforms, while projecting
for phased acquisition of additional patrol boats and offshore patrol vessels. Locally,
operational cooperation with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency
and other maritime-related stakeholders has allowed for synergy of effort, economy of
resources, and enhanced efficiency. Nigeria’s recognition of the importance of maritime
domain awareness has also manifested itself in the close collaboration with the U.S.
Navy toward developing requisite capabilities for enhanced maritime security of the
global commons.3 As piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea as a whole is
on the increase the Nigerian Navy is responding and has increased maritime security
efforts. One of such efforts is the installation of a new surface surveillance system, under
its Regional Maritime Awareness Capability initiative. The surveillance system, installed
with the assistance of the United States Navy, uses an automatic identification system
and ground-based radar and sensors to enhance awareness of maritime activities.
The project is coordinated by the Africa Partnership Station brought together by the
United States Naval Forces in Africa. The technology dramatically enhances timely and
accurate dissemination of maritime information. The establishment of the Regional
Maritime Awareness Centre coupled with the Nigerian Navy’s inherent capabilities
will enhance the struggle against militants operating near Nigeria’s oil fields as well as
the growing threat of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, criminal activities such as crude
oil theft, illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism and outright vandalism of multi-
million dollar government facilities located offshore. Recognizing that piracy along
the Gulf of Guinea was not just a Nigerian problem but a regional problem, the Navy
has commenced a joint maritime operation with the Benin Republic Navy known as
‘Operation Prosperity’. Operations have drastically reduced the menace of piracy and
other criminal activities in the waters of the two countries.

2 Ferguson, N. (2011). Civilization: the West and the Rest, The Penguin Press.
3 Boyer, A. (2007). “Building Maritime Partner’s Capabilities: Developing Maritime Security and Safety in the
Mediterranean and Gulf of Guinea in Shaping the Security Environment (Newport, RI: Naval War College Press).

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III. Maritime Domain Awareness

Maritime domain awareness as a key enabler for Africa Partnership Station

exercises like Obangame Express is based on the premise that by improving its maritime
awareness in areas that could be of interest to it, a country directly improves its security
and would therefore be willing to share similar data with those countries it perceives to
have congruent interests.4

The maritime domain is characterized by the huge amount of data necessary for
achieving maritime situational awareness. This includes all commercial and military
maritime vessel information and port records which are composed of ship, cargo and

Unique maritime domain awareness challenges include opaqueness and flags of

convenience. When a ship sails over the horizon it becomes a sovereign entity and until
recently had no requirement to report its position or intentions. With both national
security and commercial interests that make for continued secrecy, the maritime
domain is not transparent to law enforcement agencies. Flags of convenience can be
a hindrance to maritime security because real owners are not readily identifiable as
they can change their identities thus making any enforcement of national standards
inconsistent. Of note, the use of flags of convenience is generally traced as far back as
the 17th century when English fishermen off Newfoundland adopted the French flag in
order to avoid fishing restrictions imposed by Great Britain. 5

Because fiscal austerity, political will and other factors are impacting the number
of sea control assets which can respond to threats, improved maritime domain awareness
requires the effective balancing of key stakeholder governmental and commercial

IV. The Case for Global Maritime Partnerships

As globalization forces the world’s economies to become more closely integrated

and dependent, it is critical that nations coordinate and collectively integrate their
maritime security activities by developing maritime partnerships.

Within the landscape of improving economic environment and accelerating

democratization, the Unites States national security strategy in Africa focuses on
building partnerships with nations that share common goals and values. The majority
of naval activity in Africa involves a persistent and sustained level of effort focused
on security assistance programs that foster dialogue and develop trust. Put simply, the
United State has implemented a soft power strategy which is more focused on preventing
wars and less about winning wars.
4 National Research Council (2007). Role of naval forces in the global war on terror: abbreviated version, Natl Academy Pr.
5 Boczek, B. A. (1962). Flags of Convenience: An International Legal Study, Harvard University Press.

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The current operational concept for maritime security is to use existing operations
and security arrangements to improve cooperation in order to combat terrorism
and other illicit activities at or from sea, build the capacity of partners, and improve
information sharing. 6The concept is based on developing technological and political
means to generate complete, accurate and comprehensive operational and intelligence
pictures. Partnerships operate primarily at the unclassified level, processing large volumes
of information and passing it quickly to a large number of users. Traditional classified
systems have been determined to not be a viable option because classified information
is generally not shareable in the multinational and interagency environment.
When countries have historically collaborated on security or economic issues,
they have already established a path for partnering on maritime issues. Thus a successful
strategy leverages established partnerships and agreements. For example, economic
agreements created by participants of the Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) can potentially be extended to maritime security issues.
ECOWAS, founded in 1975, is a regional group of fifteen West African countries
which promotes economic integration across the region by creating a single large
trading bloc through an economic and trading union. More recently is has tried to serve
as a peacekeeping force in the region.
A parallel regional effort has been the Economic Community of Central African
States (ECCAS) which aims to achieve collective autonomy, raise the standard of living
of its populations and maintain economic stability through harmonious cooperation.
In 2003 ECCAS took on the responsibility for peace and security of the sub-region
through its formalized security pact known as the Council for Peace and Security in
Central Africa (COPAX). Significantly, this initiative led to ECCAS becoming eligible
for Foreign Military Sales Program (i.e. government to government sales and assistance)
under the U.S. Arms Export Control Act for the furnishing of defense articles and
defense services.
While both ECOWAS and ECCAS are worthy organizations and can be part of any
Africa maritime strategy, it should be recognized that neither are mature organizations.
Furthermore, where there are common challenges within each region, or between
regions, like the Gulf of Guinea, cooperation between ECOWAS and ECCAS has not
reached its full potential. 7Where neighboring countries are perceived as competitors,
or if there has been a conflict between countries, existing tensions breed distrust making
it difficult to facilitate regional cooperation.
As important as regional cooperation, interagency cooperation is paramount.
The navy is a military organization which maintains a strong relationship with
other military branches and other navies. On the other hand, most of a coast guard’s
6 Committee on the “1,000-Ship Navy”—A Distributed and Global Maritime Network” (2008). Maritime Security
Partnerships, Naval Studies Board,The National Academies Press.
7 Ntumba, L.L. (1997) Institutional similarities and differences: ECOWAS, ECCAS and PTA. Regional Interation and
cooperation in West Africa: A multidimensional perspective, edited by R.Lavergne 303:20

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collaborations are with civilian organizations. Potential partners include departments

of fisheries, gendarmeries and maritime police forces, port authorities, environ­mental
protection agencies, and international mari­time regulatory bodies. African maritime
security forces to perform their missions suc­cessfully must rely on relationships with
civilian organizations. Unfortunately, more often these relation­ships are characterized
by mistrust which limits the ability of African maritime security forces to perform their
missions effectively. To be sure, partnerships are an important strategy for effectively
utilizing scarce financial resources and reducing duplications of effort.

A number of countries have recently initiated the process of connecting the variety
of agencies responsible for maritime security operations under a single coordinating
body. Sen­egal, for example, has La Haute Autorité Chargée de la Coordination de la
Sécurité Maritime, de la Sûreté Maritime et de la Protection de l’Environnement Marin
(The High Authority Charged with Coordination of Maritime Security, Maritime Safety,
and Protection of the Marine Environment). Ghana has the Ghana Maritime Authority.
And Nigeria has the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. These
organizations help coordinate activities of na­vies, coast guards, harbor authorities,
transport and commerce ministries, fisheries agencies who compete for scarce financial

A national infrastructure by itself cannot obtain the overall goal of global

maritime awareness. The focus of any nation quite rightly centers on ports and
Economic Exclusion Zones, but this awareness is only a small part of a larger more
complete picture that can identify potential threats as far from a nation as possible. This
is the importance of global maritime partnerships. A critical step in building regional
partnerships is the implementation of a shared system that permits identification of
threatening activities and anomalous behavior.8

This is where information technology can have a positive influence by enhancing

knowledge integration and application and by facilitating the capture, updating, and
accessibility of information. It can also enhance the speed of knowledge integration
and application by codifying and automating organizational routines thus leading to
more efficient organizational processes. A good example would be the ubiquity of ship’s
positional information. Automated Identification System (AIS) gathers transmitted
information from nearby units and broadcasts its own course, speed, and position to
other AIS receiving units using international standardized formats mandated by the
International Maritime Organization. AIS is in wide use by commercial shipping and
although implemented as navigational safety equipment, AIS has been evaluated as a
valuable tool for establishing a more concise maritime picture and improving situational
awareness of the movement of vessels.9 This improved awareness not only enhances the
ability of each nation to protect its maritime safety and security, it can greatly improve
the effectiveness of cooperative maritime security engagements.

8 Galdorisi, G. (2008). Networking the Global Maritime Partnership, DTIC Document.

9 Boraz, S. C. (2009). Maritime domain awareness: Myths and realities, DTIC Document

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V. Recent Research and Findings

Recent research for understanding the determinants of effective maritime domain

awareness has looked at the impact of trust, globalization (networking), economic
wealth and corruption. The dependent variable was measured using the Maritime
Domain Awareness Capability Maturity Model (CMM) which is a tool for assessing a
country’s ability to monitor, patrol, and maintain its maritime environment. Maritime
Domain Awareness systems include coastal radar, AIS, vessel monitoring systems
(VMS), and patrol aircraft. The Maritime Domain Awareness Capability Maturity
Model provides key decision makers the metrics that measure the return investment
and gauges a country’s relative improvements in maritime safety and security. The
genesis of the Maritime Domain Awareness Capability Maturity Model is Carnegie
Mellon University’s Capability Maturity Model which is used to measure the degree of
formality and optimization of processes. This approach to the measurement of shared
situation awareness was used to formulate the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) Network Enabled Capabilities Command (NEC) and Control (C2) Maturity
Model. According to the model the reach goal is a level of self-synchronization. The
ability to self-synchronize requires that a rich, shared understanding exists across a
robustly networked collection of entities with widespread and easy access to information,
extensive sharing of information, rich and continuous interactions, and the broadest
possible distribution of decision rights. Like NATO, underlying the Maritime Domain
Awareness Capability Maturity Model is the DOTMLPF framework. It is used by the
Department of Defense when identifying capability gaps and considering possible
solutions involving any combination of doctrine, organization, training, materiel,
leadership and education, personnel and facilities (DOTMLPF). 10In the following chart,
the columns of Policy, Organization/Infrastructure and Training/Personnel reflect the
DOTMLPF framework.

10 Bates, E.A (2003)A Capability Maturity Model-based Approach to the Measurement of Shared Situation Awareness
,Pre-Conference Proceedings: Collaborative Decision-Support Systems, Focus Symposium: Baden-Baden, Germany.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Because of its thoroughly grounded approach, the Maritime Domain Awareness

Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is well regarded and made for an excellent dependent

The CMM was used to rank Africa countries and then regression analysis was
computed to determine how well the variables of trust, networking, economic wealth and
corruption explained the variability in CMM ranking. In turns out that determinants of
trust, globalization, networking and economic wealth did not completely explain why
countries achieve a more secure maritime environment , because there are other factors
that are more difficult to capture in a scientific and analytic fashion, like the degree of
national will. Besides corruption, maritime investments are tempered by legal systems
that often are not equipped to prosecute maritime cases, a nations’ limited awareness
of the maritime domain coupled with a restricted understanding of the cost/benefit of
maritime investments generally leads to a truncated investment prioritization. However,
regardless of a nation’s other priorities, paradigm shifts in public awareness have been
stimulated by unexpected or catalytic events. In Senegal, for example, search and rescue
capabilities have become a priority in response to the 2002 capsizing of the transport
ferry, Le Joola, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,800 people. Another paradigm
shift occurred recently in Ghana when oil was discovered off the coast prompting the
Ghanaian government and public to consider the need to develop capabilities for oil
platform protection.

More interestingly the analysis suggested unexpectedly that there is no significant

relationship between trust or GDP per capita and regional maritime situational
awareness. Conventional wisdom is that acquiring and sharing information and
intelligence with a broad array of global maritime partners builds upon established
trust. 11

Surprisingly not only was there not a negative correlation between corruption
and regional maritime domain awareness, there exists a positive correlation. Nigeria
is an excellent example of where corruption is not a critical factor in achieving a
respectable maritime domain awareness capability maturity. In the Niger Delta some
of Nigeria’s well-placed, influential politicians and high-ranking military officers have
become “godfathers” of the militants and benefit from the spoils of piracy. As a result
there is no unity of political will to end piracy and illegal oil bunkering. The Nigerian
Navy is one of the largest Navies on the African continent, consisting of about 18,000
well trained personnel in the tradition of the British Navy, and has a relatively large
fleet including a recently delivered ex-United States Coast Guard cutter. They are a
professional navy, well organized to support maritime domain awareness and have
significant infrastructure most notably a robust coastal surveillance system. On the
other hand, it has been noted by the local press that it is not the absence of the law
that is the issue but its strict enforcement by those saddled with the statutory roles and

11 Jarvenpaa, S. L., K. Knoll, et al. (1998). “Is anybody out there? Antecedents of trust in global virtual teams.” Journal of
Management Information Systems 14(4): 29-64.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

responsibilities to do so. It is routine for officials to decide when to enforce the law and

The analysis did confirm a predictable and significant relationship between

internet usage and maritime regional maritime domain awareness. This is consistent
with no shortage of empirical evidence demonstrating that when African partners lack
the reliable internet it becomes the limiting factor in the ability to effectively monitor
and maintain their maritime domain. These findings support an investment strategy
that focuses on upgrading and sustaining the requisite infrastructure for improving
maritime domain awareness. The single biggest challenge with the Navy’s investment
in Africa has been sustainment. No amount of spare parts or training can supplant
a reliable infrastructure which begins with all of the necessary support for reliable
internet connections. For the sake of a $30 internet dongle, a $2M equipment package
can sit idle. As demonstrated in Sierra Leone and Cameroon, local contractor support
has been found to be successful strategy for keeping systems operational which is much
cheaper than paying to fly in a repairman from out of area. The take away is that before
investing in sophisticated technology solutions, the necessary infrastructure needs to be
in place, to include a plan for sustainment.

Indeed there is likely a hierarchy of factors indicative of potential successful

and improved maritime domain awareness. As was found to be the case with the
United States military’s Network Centric Warfare concept, a prerequisite foundational
capability is a physical network necessary for the next level of a collaborative
environment characterized by a “Common Operational Picture”. At the top of the
hierarchy at the third level sits the important human integration level where cultural
factors, like trust, are determinants of success.12 The maritime environment represents
the largest ungoverned space anywhere in the world. The quality of life and economic
well-being of the world is inherently dependent on a secure maritime environment.
Improved Maritime Domain Awareness is dependent on a robust network that allows
for information to be accessible, usable and sharable.

12 Jarvenpaa, S. L. and D. E. Leidner (1998). “Communication and trust in global virtual teams.” Journal of Computer‐
Mediated Communication 3(4)

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons




Upendra D. Acharya1


This research paper explores the distinction between international laws of

piracy and international laws of terrorism in the context of Somalia. In recent history,
activates on the high seas around the Horn of Africa have raised the question: Is an act
of piracy an act of terrorism? The research presented in this paper will show succinctly
that terrorism and piracy are fundamentally different. Terrorism, much like a virus,
infects its constituents in an effort to further political or ideological purposes. In
contrast, piracy, like bacteria, is caused by an unhealthy environment which supports
poor standards of living. The piracy problem in Somalia could be cured by resolving
the desperate situation of the Somali people. Therefore, pursuing a policy based on
a perceived nexus between piracy and terrorism will, on the one hand, incentivize
terrorists to bring pirates under their umbrella, and, on the other, encourage pirates
to transform themselves from  criminals  pursuing ‘private ends’ (material gain) into
criminals  pursuing  political and ideological causes. This transformation would have
a gravely detrimental impact on national and international systems of governance, their
apparatus and their resources.

I. Introduction

Although piracy – violent acts at sea carried out by malevolent actors – and
terrorism have common qualities, they have different elements in the legal arena. Laws and
policies seem to suggest that piracy and maritime terrorism are two distinct operations
and should be treated separately. At the moment, however, piracy may provide a breeding
ground for terrorism. This possibility must be addressed with the proper system of law
and criminal investigation and in the proper legal forum. It is important to understand
the distinction between piracy and maritime terrorism, as well as the effects of adoption
of countermeasures, from the viewpoint of long-lasting effects on international peace
and security. A seemingly random and convenient commingling of piracy and maritime

1 I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Multinational Maritime Security Center of Excellence, Turkey for
giving me an opportunity to speak at its Maritime Security Workshop in the context of NATO’s Smart Defence Initiative at
Aksaz Naval Base, Marmaris, Turkey in 2012. Special thanks are due to Rear Admiral Faruk Harmancik and Cdr. (TUR N)
Sumer Kayser and all the workshop participants for their valuable insights during my presentation. I also would like to thank
Attorney Jeannie Young for her valuable insights to this paper. I also am thankful to my research assistants Eric Loefflad and
Mary Rupert for their hard work, insight and support.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

terrorism, as a legal fiction, may become counterproductive to international peace and

stability and to the functioning of the criminal law system and its basic components.
From a broader perspective, piracy concerns itself with socio-economic rubrics, whereas
maritime terrorism is concerned with politico-ideological aspects of a group of people.
The legal meaning of piracy was never questioned until attacks increased in the
waters off the Horn of Africa. Even in 1988 when the Convention for the Suppression
of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA Convention) was
adopted, attention was focused more on elements of terrorism as opposed to piracy.2 The
increased attacks off the coast of Somalia produced a direct impact on maritime shipping
corporations and influenced trade and economic interests of nation states.3 Also, the attacks
created the fear that terrorist suspect Al-Shabaab had a connection with Somali pirates.4
However, piracy in the waters off the coast of Somalia instead may have been the result
of decades-long instability caused by famines and state lawlessness, past failed UN and
other countries’ missions for peace and stability in Somalia, toxic colonialism and illegal
fishing by commercial shipping crews destroying available means of living for the already
desperate Somali people.5 Ultimately piracy may have brought even more hardship in
Somali people’s lives. The increased pirate attacks and their direct impact on trade and
economic interests of nation states, tied with the fear that Al-Shabaab might be able to
utilize the Somali populace who were forced to take part in piracy, raised a new question
in international law, its interpretation and its implementation: is piracy an act of terrorism?
Equating the two ignores the causal factors that led Somali people to commit
piracy. In order to address this question, it is important to understand which actors
treat piracy as terrorism and what benefit they get by doing so. The parties who would
like to marry piracy and terrorism might be, first, people and nations engaged in
fighting the global war on terror, in response to the fear that terrorists will use pirates
and piratic activities for the purpose of terrorism.6 Second, maritime industries would
like to see piracy conflated with terrorism so that states and their military apparatus
will be more active in fighting perceived terrorism, thus suppressing piracy.7 Third, even
2 Helmut Tuerk, Combating Terrorism at Sea - The Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation,
15 U. Miami Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 337, 347 (2007-2008) (“the SUA Convention in substance is based on previously existing
anti-terrorism conventions by adapting their provisions to the maritime field.”); Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful
Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, Mar. 10, 1988, 1678 U.N.T.S. 222, [hereinafter SUA Convention].
3 Jarret Berg, You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Somalia Piracy and the Erosion of Customary Piracy Supression, 44 New
Eng. L. Rev. 343 (Winter 2010) (“Brazen raids launched from Somalia’s … 2.5 million square miles of ocean, pose a serious
threat to unimpeded maritime commerce--the lifeblood of the global economy.”).
4 Barry Hart Dunbar & Ritvik Raturi, On the Economics of International Sea Piracy - A case of History Repeating Itself,
20 Mich. St. Int’l. L. Rev. 745, 759 (2012).
5 See Upendra Acharya, Humanitarian Aid and Assistance to Constrain Piracy in Somalia: Ignored Facts and the Political
Delivery of Charity, Maritime Security and Piracy, 80-98, 82-85 (Bimal N. Patel, Hitesh Thakkar eds. 2012).
6 Hart Dunbar, supra note 4, at 759; Acharya, supra note 5 at 82-5; (Both Hart Dunbar and Acharya support the idea
that there is a fear that terrorists will take advantage of piratic activities in Somalia for their purposes due to the lack of
enforcement with regard to maritime security.)
7 One reason for maritime shipping industries would like to see the piracy terrorism nexus is that some vessels may not
comply with required operational specifications under maritime law. Shipping vessels may believe this would be overlooked if
piracy were treated as terrorism.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

terrorists may like to join piracy and terrorism to gain recruits by utilizing the social
and economic conditions of desperate people who are forced to commit piracy, turning
them toward the terrorists’ political and ideological causes.8 The fact of the matter is
that the desperate and deprived people of Somalia may not want piracy commingled
with terrorism. They may just want a peaceful and stable society that includes a
system of government under which they can live their lives with reasonable access to
opportunities. Once their social and economic conditions are elevated, piracy will, for
the most part, wither away.9 Considering these dynamics, piracy has moved into the
arena of politics, which raises many questions on the legal landscape and about policy
choices regarding piracy. The piracy-terrorism nexus is likely to be cemented as a legal
fiction either as a matter of political convenience or as a matter of emotional expression.

This article analyzes the existing system of international law relating to piracy
and what possible solutions may be found to address the problem of treating piracy
as terrorism. In doing so, it addresses the contrast between piracy and terrorism and
also notes how the United Nations Security Council has responded to the question of
piracy when it comes to the implementation of piracy law. Since the piracy-terrorism
nexus emerged from pirate activities off the coast of Somalia, this article’s concerns are
developed in the context of piracy in that country.

II. Piracy and Maritime Terrorism: Elemental Dynamics of the

Legal Definition

II.1. Piracy

Piracy has advanced from an old fashioned “sea-term robbery”10 to an act involving
automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and global positioning devices. Modern
pirates have seized and controlled large tankers carrying oil or chemicals – cargoes
worth millions of dollars.11 Moreover, piracy is one of the oldest crimes to implicate the
dimension of international law due to the fact that it takes place upon internationally
8 See Gal Luft & Anna Korin, Terrorism Goes to Sea, 83 Foreign Affairs 61-71, 61 (Nov.- Dec. 2004) (Discussing the
dynamics of the nexus between piracy and terrorism and how terrorists use piracy in the high seas as a key tactic in achieving
9 Acharya, supra note 5, at 97.
10 Edwin D. Dickinson, Is the Crime of Piracy Obsolete? 38 Harv. L. Rev. 334, 337 (1925) (quoting R v. Dawson, 13 How.
St. Tr. 451, 454 (1696)).
11 On November 5, 2005, pirates attacked the luxury cruise ship SEABOURN SPIRIT approximately 100 miles off the coast
of Somalia, Cruise Ship Repels Somali Pirates, BBC News (Nov. 5, 2005, 18:17 GMT),
stm.; On January 20, 2006, Somali pirates attacked the bulk carrier DELTA RANGER, firing upon it with AK-47s and RPGs,
On January 20, 2006, Somali pirates attacked the bulk carrier DELTA RANGER, firing upon it with AK-47s and RPGs; on
October 28, 2007, Somali pirates seized the GOLDEN NORI, a Japanese-owned cargo ship operating under a Panamanian
flag in the Gulf of Aden, Andrew Scutro, In Chasing Pirates, Navy Comes Full Circle, (Nov. 3, 2007, 15:12
EDT), http://; On September 25, 2008, Somali pirates seized the
M/V FAINA, a Ukrainian freighter, Jarret Berg, Note, “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat”: Somali Piracy and the Erosion of
Customary Piracy Suppression, 44 New Eng. L. Rev. 343, 351 (2010).

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

recognized marine territory.12

This territory does not fall under the direct sovereignty of any one nation,13 yet
its stability and security is essential for the optimal functioning of the international
system due to its importance in facilitating trade, commerce and exchange.14 With this
as a preeminent concern, those who would disrupt the high seas assume the mantle of
enemy of all of nations since their actions have the potential to impact all such nations.15
In legal doctrine this unique threat of piracy translated into a designation of it as a
crime of jus cogens or universal jurisdiction,16 whereby any state can assert jurisdiction
over and punish all crimes designated as piracy, regardless of whether they, or their
immediate interests, are directly impacted.17

II.1.1. Piracy and International Law

Currently there are five major piracy legal regimes in existence – the 1982 United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the SUA Convention and its
Protocol, UN Security Council Resolutions, domestic legal frameworks and regional
arrangements. This article focuses on UNCLOS, the SUA Convention and UN Security
Council Resolutions. Domestic law and regional arrangements will be noted only where

II.1.1.a. UNCLOS

The 1958 Convention on the High Seas and the 1982 UNCLOS contain identical
expressions of universal jurisdiction over high seas piracy.19 These conventions refer

12 Helmut Tuerk, The Resurgence of Piracy: A Phenomenon of Modern Times, 17 U. Miami Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 1, 15-17
(2009) [hereinafter Tuerk 2].
13 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, art. 2, Dec. 10, 1982, 1833 U.N.T.S. 3 (entered into force Nov. 16,
1994) [hereinafter UNCLOS].
14 See Tuerk 2, supra note 12; Tina Garmon, International Law of the Sea: Reconciling the Law of Piracy and Terrorism
in the Wake of September 11th, 27 Tul. Mar. L. J. 257, 259-60 (2002) (“As ninety percent of world trade is conducted through
maritime channels, states continue to have an interest in stopping piracy.”).
15 See Tuerk 2, supra note 12.
16 Id. (“Universal jurisdiction over piracy was accepted because pirates indiscriminately attacked all states’ ships and
constituted a threat to everyone. It was theoretically justified by applying to them the concept of hostis humani generis-
enemies of all mankind. Further-more, pirates were not subject to the authority of any state; no state could therefore be held
responsible under international law for their acts.”).
17 Id. (“The right to take enforcement measures against pirates is vested in all states; therefore, any of them has a right to
capture and punish pirates under its own municipal law, even when the accused pirate is not a national of the state and the
crime was neither committed against its nationals nor within its territorial waters.”).
18 However, for a review of domestic law regarding piracy, see U.N. Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea,
National Legislation on Piracy, Oct. 26, 2011 available at:
19 Convention on the High Seas, art. 14, Apr. 29, 1958, 13 U.S.T. 2312, 450 U.N.T.S. 11 (entered into force Sept. 30, 1962)
[hereinafter 1958 Convention]; UNCLOS, supra note 13, art. 2.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

to all states worldwide and not simply to states that are parties to either convention,
and the language of these conventions effectively recognizes the existence of universal
jurisdiction over piracy as a matter of customary international law and universal
jurisdiction.20 Article 15 of the 1958 Convention on the High Seas, and its wholesale
adoption as article 101 of UNCLOS in 1982, has largely settled the matter, at least with
regard to international treaty law.21

UNCLOS, Article 101, defines piracy as follows:

Piracy consists of any of the following acts:

(a) any illegal acts of violence of depredation, committed for private ends of by
the crew or the passengers of a private ship or aircraft, and directed:

(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or
property on board such a ship or aircraft;

(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the

jurisdiction of any State;

(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or aircraft with
knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;

(c) any act of inciting or intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph

(a) or (b).22

The UNCLOS definition under Article 101 has well documented that piracy
includes four elements: a restriction of the motivation of piracy to private ends,
geographical restrictions of piracy to the high seas, geographical restrictions on hot
pursuits of piracy is limited to the high seas, and a two-ships requirement excluding
internal seizure.

While this definition under UNCLOS served to consolidate and reduce the
nebulous perceptions of piracy that may have existed under customary international
law, problems of interpretation still remain.23 For our purposes the difficult concept is
the requirement that the objectives of piracy be committed for “private ends.”24 While

20 Though not a signatory to the 1982 Convention, the United States was a party to the 1958 Convention. Given the
customary law support for universal jurisdiction over piracy before 1958--which the United States had utilized in numerous
instances--and because the United States was a party to the 1958 Convention, it is certainly reasonable to assume that the
United States today accepts the principle of universal jurisdiction over piracy. See generally Kenneth C. Randall, Universal
Jurisdiction Under International Law, 66 Tex. L. Rev. 785, 800-15 (1988).
21 See 1958 Convention, supra note 19, art. 15; UNCLOS, supra note 13, art. 101.
22 UNCLOS, supra note 13, art. 101.
23 See Garmon, supra note 14, at 264-65.
24 Id. at 265.

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this definition of ‘private’ has been traditionally restricted to acts done for economic
gain, it has been suggested that such an interpretation is overly narrow and should
be expanded to include acts done for private ends that are also political, religious or
ideological, as opposed to merely economic in nature.25 Such a construction would turn
terrorist acts done at sea into acts of piracy whereby the international law of piracy
would have application.26 This generates the question as to whether this definitional
overlap between piracy and terrorism would cause actors within the international
community to respond to piracy in the same way that they respond to terrorism. While
such a uniform treatment of piracy and terrorism would certainly benefit those seeking
to advance their interests by offensively prosecuting both pirates and terrorists,27 it also
comes at the expense of the legitimacy of international law and the finding of long-term
solutions to the problems faced by the international system. It further ignores today’s
causal factors (social and economic) for pirates’ actions by bringing sea robbers into
political and ideological dynamics. It is clear as a matter of treaty law that the private
ends proviso of UNCLOS excludes acts of terrorism.

The other elements of piracy identified by UNCLOS may be less difficult for our
purposes, but relevant. UNCLOS’ geographic element recognizes that piracy occurs
only in the high seas and excludes acts occurring in internal waters or territorial waters,
including exclusive economic zones. The doctrine of sovereignty is the main factor
behind this provision.28 This provision may nonetheless provide a basis for deeming
acts occurring in territorial waters to be piracy.29 This issue was presented by the Somali
case, and the UN Security Council passed a resolution to address this problem that
authorized the international force patrolling the Gulf of Aden to enter the territorial
waters of Somalia to repress acts of piracy.30 Similarly, hot pursuit, the next element, is
not a problem under UNCLOS, unless it is a reverse hot pursuit into territorial waters.
This restriction on hot pursuit into territorial waters (reverse hot pursuit) could make
territorial waters of a state a pirate sanctuary if territorial waters are poorly monitored
and patrolled.31 However, UN Security Council Resolution 1816 allowed reverse pursuit
in Somali territorial waters by specifically mentioning that the permission shall not
be considered as establishing customary international law.32 Another element of the

25 Id; see Malvina Halberstam, Terrorism on the High Seas: The Achille Lauro, Piracy, and the IMO Convention on
Maritime Safety, 82 Am. J. Int’l L. 269, 272 (1998).
26 Id.
27 Tuerk, supra note 2 (“From the point of view of prosecuting the offenders, there is an advantage to qualifying acts of
maritime terrorism as ‘piracy’- especially given the Achille Lauro incident.”).
28 UNCLOS, supra note 13, prmbl.
29 See Martin Murphy, Piracy and UNCLOS: Does International Law Help Regional States Combat Piracy?, Violence at
Sea: Piracy in the Age of Terrorism 163 (Peter Lehr, ed., 2007) (“If piracy is a universal crime, then it should merit a universal
30 S.C. Res. 1816, P 7, UN Doc. S/RES/1816 (Jun. 2, 2008) [hereinafter “S.C. Res. 1816”].
31 Eugene Kontorovich and Steven Art, An Empirical Examination of Universal Jurisdiction for Piracy, 104 Am. J. Int’l L.
436, 444 (2010).
32 S.C. Res. 1816, supra note 30.

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UNCLOS definition of piracy is the two-ship requirement, in which members of one

ship attack another ship. There is no question that the UNCLOS definitional framework
has its limitations.33 However, as a legal matter, it does not automatically characterize
piracy as terrorism.

At least in the case of Somalia, a conceptual line of demarcation should be drawn

between definitions of piracy and definitions of terrorism for the following reasons:
(1) terrorism has not been adequately defined under international law (and working
definitions of terrorism reveal an act distinct from piracy),34 (2) piracy and terrorism
(and conceptually related activities) have factually manifested themselves in clearly
distinguishable forms35, and (3) an overzealous application of the term ‘terrorism’ as a
justification for those seeking to maintain certain interests and policy objectives may
come with severe unintended political and human consequences.36

II.1.1.b. The SUA Convention

In 1988 the SUA convention was created, entering into force in 1992,37 and later
supplemented by an additional protocol in 2005 that broadened the provisions to include
offshore platforms.38 The necessity for such a convention was made apparent after the
internal hijacking of the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985.39 The United Nations
General Assembly responded with Resolution 40/61, which condemned terrorism
wherever committed and called upon the IMO to research the issue of terror at sea.40
The ultimate result was the SUA Convention that, while made in response to terrorism,
does not define terrorism or piracy.41

33 UNCLOS only requires that its signatory countries cooperate in anti-piracy measures on the high seas not elsewhere. Nor
does it specify any mechanism for state parties to carry out their responsibilities to suppress piracy under article 100. Similarly,
it does not deal with conspiracy and soliciting piracy. Attempted piracy does not fall within the UNCLOS. UNCLOS, supra
note 13.
34 Upendra D. Acharya, War on Terror or Terror Wars: The Problem in Defining Terrorism, 37 Denv. J. Int’l L. & Pol’y 653,
655-57 (2009) (“In the absence of a definition there is a free and open tendency for the persons using the term, whether states,
organized groups, or scholars, to define it as suits their purposes at the moment, leading to uncertainty as to how to function
a legal structure to address terrorism.”).
35 Dr. Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, The Pirates of Somalia Opportunistic Predators or Environmental Prey?, 34 Wm. &
Mary Envtl. L. & Pol’y Rev. 377, 446-48 (2010).
36 Id. at 408-10; Acharya, supra note 34 at 678-79 (“The concept of the war on Terror, particularly after 9/11, has emerged
in a form in which only failed states and less powerful and resourceful people engage in the act of terrorism, a form in which
(self-styled) civilized nations will never employ terrorism or engage in terrorist activities.”).
37 Tuerk, supra note 2, at 345-46.
38 Id. at 357-58.
39 Id. at 338-39.
40 Id. at 340.
41 Douglas Gulifolye, Treaty Jurisdiction over Pirates: A Compliation of Legal Texts with Introductory Notes, 12-13 (2009),
available at:

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A motivator behind the formation of the SUA Convention was the inapplicability
of the existing laws of piracy to situations like that of the Achille Lauro that did not
meet the two-vessel requirement (the hijackers did not board from another vessel)
and the private ends requirement (the hijackers’ motivation was political) mandated
by the UNCLOS definition.42 Article 3 of the SUA Convention contains numerous
provisions for illegal acts under the treaty that include seizure of a ship through force
or intimidation, violence against those on board a ship, the placement of destructive
devices on a ship, and attempting, abetting, or threatening any these actions.43 While the
SUA Convention lists the substantive offenses, it makes no mention of any requirement
of private or political motivations of the offenders.44 As a result the actions of pirates
may fall within the Convention’s provisions.45

While the SUA Convention does not distinguish between pirates and terrorists,
this failure should not be interpreted as an elimination of the difference between the
two under international law. The factual background to the SUA Convention clearly
demonstrates that the treaty was intended to address terrorism. In addition to the issues
of the international response to the inadequacy of the definition of piracy as applied to
incidents like the Achille Lauro,46 there is also the fact that terrorism is mentioned in the
preamble of the SUA Convention47 and the fact that the SUA is very close in structure
to preexisting treaties made in response to terrorism that concern the hijacking of

Additionally, there is the particular jurisdictional scheme contained within the

Convention that is far more applicable to terrorists than to pirates. Under Article 6 of
the SUA Convention a signatory state must domestically criminalize the offenses listed
in Article 3, and then they may exercise jurisdiction against the offenders if one of their
nationals was a victim or the offense was intended to influence the state’s government.49
If an offender is found in the territory of a party state, that state is obliged to prosecute
the offender unless they are extradited to another state that has jurisdiction over the
offender.50 This jurisdictional scheme mandating particular connections and conditions
to action stands in contrast to the principle of universal jurisdiction applicable to piracy
(but not to terrorism, despite a good degree of controversy).51 The SUA Convention’s
42 Tuerk, supra note 2 at 343.
43 SUA Convention, supra note 2, art. 3
44 Id.; Gulifoyle, supra note 41, at 13.
45 Gulifolye, supra note 41, at 14.
46 Tuerk, supra note 2, at 343.
47 Gulifolye, supra note 41, at 12.
48 Id; see Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft 1970, 860 UNTS 105; see Convention for the
Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation 1971, 974 UNTS 177.
49 Gulifolye, supra note 41, at 15.
50 Id. at 14.
51 Id; see Luz E. Nagle, Terrorism and Universal Jurisdiction: Opening a Pandora’s Box?, 27 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 339 (2011).

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provisions have a mandatory extradite or prosecute requirement,52 whereas exercising

universal jurisdiction against piracy is discretionary53 - this should be viewed as
merely supplementing the international law of piracy as opposed to radically altering
it. After all, if tomorrow all signatories to the SUA Convention were to withdraw, the
principle of universal jurisdiction against piracy would remain intact under customary
international law.54 Another distinction between the international law of piracy and the
SUA Convention is that a state has the power to arrest and detain those suspected of
piracy on the high seas, whereas such enforcement measures are absent under SUA.55

Unlike UNCLOS, the SUA Convention does not allow for the exercise of universal
jurisdiction; only signatory states may prosecute violations of the SUA Convention,
and these states need some nexus to the offense in order to do so.56 Specifically, a state
may prosecute offenses under the SUA Convention provided that (1) the offense was
against a ship flying its flag, (2) the offense occurred in its territory, (3) the offense was
committed by a national of the state, or (4) a national of the state was a victim of the
offense.57 Therefore, if a signatory state with the required nexus to the offense does not
prosecute, or if the states with a nexus to the offense are not signatories to the SUA
Convention, SUA violators or maritime terrorists will go unpunished notwithstanding
the SUA Convention’s increased territorial jurisdictional realm.58

All things considered, the lack of distinction between acts of piracy and terrorism
under the SUA Convention is yet another example of lack of clarity in international law
due to the difficulty in defining terrorism.59 In a world faced with both the resurgence
of piracy and the ever-mutating threat of terrorism, a comprehensive international legal
regime dealing with these issues is immensely desirable. This is not to deny the existence
of overlapping actions and law concerning these two practices, but these overlaps are
best understood if the particular legal, historical and social contexts of piracy and
terrorism are first identified. Until the international community finds itself prepared to
engage in the sober and reflective task of defining terrorism (and giving an actual effect
to this definition), this hope remains an elusive prospect.

52 Gulifolye, supra note 41, at 15-17.

53 Id. at 19.
54 See Tuerk 2, supra note 12, at 15-17.
55 Gulifolye, supra note 41, at 19.
56 SUA Convention, supra, art. 10-14 (Articles 10 – 14 discuss such procedures as extradition, prosecution, assistance and
cooperation among signatories, but do not embrace the idea of universal jurisdiction.).
57 SUA Convention, supra note 2, art. 6.
58 See George D. Gabel, Jr., Smoother Seas Ahead: The Draft Guidelines as an International Solution to Modern-Day
Piracy, 81 Tul. L. Rev. 1433, 1445 (2007) (citing Tina Garmon, Comment, International Law of the Sea: Reconciling the Law
of Piracy and Terrorism in the Wake of September 11th, 27 Tul. Mar. L. J. 257, 273 (2002)).
59 See Acharya, supra note 34, at 678-79.

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II.1.1.c. UN Security Council Resolutions

U.N. Security Council resolutions are binding international legal norms under the
U.N. Charter. As a key part of the counter-piracy strategy, the U.N. Security Council has
passed a series of resolutions to provide legal authority to address the piracy problem.
In 2008 alone, the U.N. passed five resolutions on Somali piracy.

On May 15, 2008, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1814, which was
designed to promote peace and stability in Somalia by relocating the U.N. Political
Office for Somalia and to take measures against those “who seek to prevent or block a
peaceful political process.”60 While this resolution did not explicitly mention piracy, it
paved the way for the following Resolution 1816 of June 2, 2008, which expressed grave
concern over “the threat that acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels pose[d]
to the prompt, safe and effective delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia, the safety of
commercial maritime routes and to international navigation.”61 In Resolution 1816, the
Security Council affirmed the legal framework applicable to piracy in UNCLOS and
reaffirmed that “the relevant provisions of international law with respect to the repression
of piracy . . . provide guiding principles for cooperation to the fullest possible extent in
the repression of piracy on the high seas or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of
any state.”62 Further, it determined that these acts of piracy were “a threat to international
peace and security.”63 Resolution 1816 used the term “all necessary means,”64 which is
generally indicative of the use of force under the U.N. Charter.65 In fact, the crux of this
resolution is to take the broadly recognized UNCLOS provisions for addressing piracy
on the high seas and apply them within the territorial waters of Somalia.
On October 7, 2008, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1838, calling
upon states “to take part actively in the fight against piracy on the high seas off the
coast of Somalia.”66 It also called upon states to repress acts of piracy in accordance with
international law.67
On November 20, 2008, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1846 with
the request of the TFG to allow multilateral efforts to suppress piracy.68 This resolution
called on “States . . . with relevant jurisdiction under international law and national
60 S.C. Res. 1814, PP2, 4, 6, U.N. Doc. S/RES/1814 (May 15, 2008).
61 S.C. Res. 1816, supra note 30, prmbl.
62 Id.
63 Id.
64 Id.
65 Nico Schrijver, The Future of the Charter of the United Nations, Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, Volume
10, 1-34, 20 (Armin von Bogdandy, et al eds., 2006) (“The diplomatic phrase of with ‘all necessary means’ has become a
euphemism for authorizing Member States to use force”).
66 S.C. Res. 1838, P2, U.N. Doc. S/RES/1838 (Oct. 7, 2008).
67 Id.
68 S.C. Res. 1846, prmbl., P10(b), U.N. Doc. S/RES/1846 (Dec. 2, 2008).

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legislation, to cooperate in determining jurisdiction,” and urged SUA Convention states

to cooperate in investigation and prosecution matters for jurisdictional purposes.69
Similarly, other resolutions were passed for multilateral efforts to take appropriate
measures in Somalia.

All these piracy-related U.N. resolutions indicate that modern day piracy
could be a threat to international peace and security and should be dealt with in a
multilateral fashion. However, none of the resolutions suggests that piracy is an act
of terror. They neither used the term ‘terrorism’ nor made any effort to commingle
piracy with terrorism.

III. Terrorism: Distinct Elements

In attempting to define terrorism under international law, numerous problems

are faced, including differences in cultural and religious understanding as to what
constitutes a ‘terrorist.’ Despite an absence of an internationally accepted definition of
terrorism, one element is clear: the terrorist act is not geared for private ends, but rather
for political or ideological ends.70 The best legal instruments the international community
has presented on this issue so far have been retroactive conventions concerning a
patchwork of specific instances where terrorism was involved.71 This inability to set
universal standards in an understanding of terrorism is a strong contributing factor to
terrorism’s being subject to radical redefinition when doing so would be in the interests
of powerful international actors.72 An example of this is the United States’ invasion of
Iraq in 2003 in the name of the War on Terror, which attempted to alter the prevailing
piecemeal understanding of terrorism from a criminal act to an act of war.73

While no binding, authoritative and comprehensive definition has thus far

appeared under international law, individual acts later declared terrorism share certain
traits.74 Terrorist acts must involve actual or threatened violence, have some type of
‘political objective,’ and be “directed toward and intended to influence a specific

The domestic law of the United States, the country that declared a global war on
terror, defines ‘terrorism.’ Under U.S. domestic law, there are two statutory definitions

69 Id.
70 Acharya, supra note 34, at 656-57.
71 Id. at 658-59; See M. Cherif Bassiouni, International Terrorism: Multilateral Conventions 1937-2001 (Hotei Publishing
2001); see also M. Cherif Bassiouni, Legal Control of International Terrorism: A Policy-Oriented Assessment, 43 Harv. Int’l
L. J. 83, 91 (2002).
72 Acharya, supra note 34, at 678-79.
73 Id. at 669-71.
74 Garmon, supra note 14, at 270.
75 Id.

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of terrorism. First, in the context of federal crimes, Title 18 of the U.S. Code provides
definitions for both international and domestic terrorism, which are identical but for
the locus of the offenses.76 Regarding intent, both definitions require that the acts in
question “appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to
influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the
conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”77 Second,
for purposes of establishing a requirement that the United States Department of State
produce annual country reports on terrorism, Title 22 of the U.S. Code provides a
terse definition of terrorism: “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated
against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”78 Further,
in connection with this annual country report requirement, international terrorism is
defined simply as “terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than 1 country.”79

Despite the apparent differences between these statutory definitions in the U.S.
Code, a consistent elemental theme between them is the requirement that the act be
accompanied by some political intent.

IV. Piracy and Terrorism Contrasted: A Microbiological Analogy

This generalized understanding of terrorism stands in stark contrast to the

observed instances of piracy both historically and in Somalia at present. While pirates
have undoubtedly employed actual or threatened violence, their objectives have rarely
been political.80 The next section shall detail the specific motivations and outcomes in
the context of Somali piracy. In regards to the terrorist’s intent to influence an audience
as a means to gain publicity, this trait is largely absent from pirates who prefer to conduct
their activities in stealth.81 Were pirates to publicize their actions like terrorists, they
would place themselves at greater risk of detection and eventual prosecution.82 Also,
while terrorists seek to attract others to stand in politically motivated solidarity with
their cause, for pirates to attract others into their specific activity would mean greater
competition and still more unwanted attention from law enforcement.83 Finally, while
terrorists publicize their violence as a means of intimidating their political opponents,
it would be against the interests of pirates to mount a campaign of fear against their
prospective targets; the more aware their targets are, the more likely they are to mount
countermeasures such as avoidance of pirate-infested waters, as well as use of better
76 18 U.S.C. Section 2331(1), (5) (2006).
77 Id. Sec. 2331(1)(B)(i)-(iii) (emphasis added).
78 22 U.S.C. Section 2656f(d)(2) (2006) (emphasis added).
79 Id. Sec. 2656(d)(1).
80 Tuerk, supra note 2, at 342-43.
81 Id. at 343.
82 Eric Shea Nelson, Martime Terrorism and Piracy: Existing and Potential Threats, Global Security Studies Vol. 3, Issue
1, 24 (2012).
83 Id.

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surveillance and armed security forces, all of which would make piracy substantially
more difficult.84

Perhaps a good analogy to the material difference between pirates and terrorists
is through microbiology. While terrorists operate in a way similar to viruses, pirates
behave more like bacteria.

A virus reproduces by taking over the genetic encoding mechanism of a host cell
and alters it in a way that forces it to produce the invading virus’ particular sequence of
DNA or RNA instead of its own genetic codes.85 As a result, the cell dies, new viruses
emerge and the viruses continue to multiply.86 Terrorism functions in a similar way
by using the global system’s media and information-disseminating network to bring
the world’s attention to a terrorist group’s actions and consequentially its political/
ideological message to those sympathetic with it.87 For every prominent terrorist act
of violence, destruction or intimidation, numerous headlines, news stories and blog
entries are generated and used to inform millions worldwide.88 The intended net effect
of this mass media dissemination is to strike fear in the hearts of those opposing the
cause while solidifying the convictions of the receptive.89 Much like a virus uses the
genetic replicating mechanism of a host cell to multiply and carry out its mission,
terrorists have become adept at using global mass media as a similar host for ideological
reproduction. Anthropologist and terrorism expert Scott Atran states that even after
actual organizations have been defeated, the ideological virus they promoted can
continue to spread.90 Atran explains that the organization of Al Qaeda may have been
critically disrupted by the invasion of Afghanistan, “[b]ut the viral movement continues
to fester among immigrant youth in Europe, and to spread in places like Yemen, Somalia,
the Sahel, and the World Wide Web….”91

Unlike a virus, a bacterium does not take over a host cell in order to replicate,
but rather is a self-replicating organism that requires specific environmental conditions
in order to thrive.92 In terms of the human body as an environment, some bacteria are

84 Id. at 21.
85 James M. Steckelberg, M.D., What’s the difference between a bacterial infection and a viral infection?, Oct. 8, 2011
available at:
86 Id.
87 See Brigitte L. Nacos, Mass-Mediated Terrorism: The Central Role of the Media in Terrorism and Counter Terrorism
(2nd ed. 2007) (Giving an overview of how terrorist and antiterrorists have used different media methods such as the internet
and television).
88 Scott Atran, The Terror Scare, Dec. 30, 2009 available at:
89 See Emanuel Gross, The Laws of War Waged Between Democratic States and Terrorist Organizations: Real or Illusive?
15 Fla. J. Int’l L. 389, 465 (2003).
90 Scott Atran, Talking to the Enemy: Religion, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists, 98 (2010).
91 Id.
92 Steckelberg, supra note 85.

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indispensable, others are benign, and still others are actively harmful.93 If our global
system is to be analogized to a human body, piracy represents a particularly harmful
strain of bacteria. The specific conditions under which piracy bacteria can reproduce
and thrive are exquisitely met in Somalia and its coastal territory.94 Whereas inhibitors
of the piracy bacteria are normally present in the form of a stable government, effective
law enforcement and accessible legitimate opportunities for economic and social
advancement, these conditions are almost universally absent in Somalia.95 In addition
to these absences, Somalia contains a population with significant nautical skill (largely
rendered inapplicable for traditional subsistence purposes due to environmental
degradation), a massive proliferation of weapons and an unimaginable amount of
desperation.96 These pirate-proliferating conditions do not die with individual pirates.97
Somalia, in its present state of disorder and chaos, is to the bacteria of piracy what an
unsterilized open wound in the tropics is to the bacteria harmful to the human body--
an ideal breeding ground.

This microbiological analogy helps us recognize the approaches that are likely to be
effective in dealing with piracy and terrorism, as well as the dangers of conflating the two.

IV.1. Factual and Elemental Application

The distinction between piracy and terrorism in the Somali context goes beyond
mere legal and theoretical discourse. A factual application shows that the pirates of
Somalia have been acting in ways consistent with the contemporary definition of piracy
under international law. This correlation exists despite the fact that certain interest
groups, such as shipping corporations and the nations whose trade and commerce are
impacted, would likely define piracy as a type of terrorism.98

IV.2. Motivations

A massive driving force behind the surge in Somali piracy has been the degradation
of the nation’s coastal environment by foreign entities overharvesting marine resources

93 Germs: Understand and protect against bacteria, viruses and infection, April 30, 2011 available at: http://www.
94 Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, supra note 35 (highly comprehensive overview of Somalia’s descent into chaos with
significant attention also paid to the environmental devastation of Somalia’s coastal ecosystem).
95 Id.; Nelson, supra note 82, at 19 (Here there is a presentation of “seven factors that contribute to piracy: ‘(1) legal and
jurisdictional weakness; (2) favorable geography; (3) conflict and disorder; (4) underfunded law enforcement/inadequate
security; (5) permissive political environments; (6) cultural acceptability/maritime tradition; and (7) promise of reward.’”
(quoting Martin Murphy, Small Boats, Weak States, Dirty Money: Piracy and Maritime Terrorism in the Modern World, 28
96 Acharya, supra note 5, at 82-85.
97 See Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, supra note 35, at 399 (“The lack of feasible economic options and a state awash in
firearms can be a deadly combination.”).
98 Id. at 408.

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and dumping toxic chemicals.99 This has had the effect of destroying the subsistence
lifestyle of many Somalis living on the coast who once made a living fishing for the
marine life that has either been swept away by trawlers or killed by pollutants.100 Faced
with this, many turned to piracy as a means of support for “[t]he plunder and destruction
of their environmental resources left them with few alternatives.”101
This course of action is entirely consistent with the private ends requirement
set forth in the UNCLOS definition of piracy under Article 101,102 due to the fact that
normal economic/material sustenance has been made far more difficult for many in
coastal Somalia to obtain, and the criminal activity of piracy proved to be a lucrative
substitute.103 While it can be said that this initial undertaking of pirate activities
contained an element of vigilantism that could be interpreted as the political motivation
(with vigilante fleets with names like the “National Volunteer Coast Guard of Somalia”)
of protecting Somali waters from destructive foreign interference, the motivation still
remains within the realm of ‘private ends’ since the underlying drive was merely to
satisfy basic, and ultimately, private material needs.104 The driving force behind the
piracy never morphed into anything overwhelmingly political in nature, and tactics
associated with terrorism have not been observed.105 While the piracy situation did
morph, a transition from private ends to political objectives did not occur--rather, the
situation changed to include not only impoverished people seeking essential needs, but
also criminal warlords, active since the collapse of the Somali, seeking greater rewards
of illegal activity.106 This is an intensification of seeking to attain private ends through
piracy, not an elimination of it.

IV.3. Targets and Methods

Different objectives may be the truly distinguishing feature between piracy and
terrorism, but differences in targets and methods are also highly relevant in assessing
which category an act belongs to. As far as piracy is concerned, pirates typically seek the
weakest possible ships.107 The ease with which a ship is captured, boarded and ransomed
is an essential element of risk-benefit calculation that presumes a rational approach to
attaining quantifiable goals. This rational actor view of piracy comports strongly with the
99 Id. at 425 (“The deliberate and callous destruction of Somalia’s ocean ecology and the resulting threat to a vital food
source so important for a country that lives on the edge of incessant famine is almost beyond comprehension.”).
100 Id. at 438 (“Helplessly seeing their fish disappearing into foreign trawlers that also destroyed the vital coral and ocean
plant life, several fisherman sought the far more lucrative, albeit dangerous, world of piracy.”).
101 Id.
102 See Garmon, supra note 14 at 264-65.
103 Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, supra note 35 at 438-42.
104 Id. at 439.
105 Id. at 408.
106 Id. at 443 (“It is quite obvious that the enormous ransoms acquired by the pirates of Somalia are luring increasing
numbers of predators to this type of very lucrative criminal activity.”).
107 Nelson, supra note 82 at 17.

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notion that private ends in the context of piracy are, and should be, defined as economic

The targeting and methods employed by terrorists are substantially and materially
different from the tactics utilized by pirates. A target is chosen by a terrorist group for
its ability to further the terrorists’ particular political goals.108 As a result, when it comes
to maritime terrorism, “targets that are chosen by terrorists fall into four categories: ‘(1)
ships as iconic targets; (2) ships as economic targets; (3) ships as mass casualty targets;
(4) ships as weapons.’ ”109 Additionally, terrorists are less likely to physically board the
ship and more likely to damage or destroy a ship as a means of bringing attention to
their political message.110 Such an act of destruction is a clear manifestation that any
private economic gains, sought by pirates, are of little or no concern to terrorists.

A textbook example of maritime terrorism that no reasonable person would

confuse with piracy was the al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in 2000.111 As a U.S. warship
operating in the Middle East, during a time of high animosity between many in that
region and the United States military, the attack possessed a high degree of symbolic
value. As far as methods were concerned, the U.S. was attacked by suicide bombers-112
a technique viewed as emblematic of the terrorism faced by the world today.113 Such
a method is unquestionably political/ideological in nature, as opposed to for private
economic gain, if only for the simple reason that the perpetrator is by definition not
alive to receive benefits from any private economic spoils gained as a result of the attack.

V. Doubtful Nexus between Piracy and Terrorism

The fear that pirates and terrorists will join forces and coordinate their efforts to
both increase their respective funding and catastrophically disrupt the global system is
persistent in the Western World.114 However, while pirates and proponents of the strain
of extremist political Islam influenced by the al Qaeda creed are both active in Somalia,
there have been no recorded instances of coordination between these two groups and
various factors weigh against this occurring.115 Also, the present circumstances of both

108 Nelson, supra note 82 at 18.

109 Id. (quoting Martin Murphy, Small Boats, Weak States, Dirty Money: Piracy and Maritime Terrorism in the Modern
World, 199 (2008)).
110 Id.
111 Raphael Perl & Ronald O’Rourke, Terrorist Attack on USS Cole: Background and Issues for Congress, (Jan. 30, 2001),
available at:
112 Id.
113 See Atran, supra note 98, at 24-35.
114 Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, supra note 35, at 408.
115 Id.; Nelson, supra note 82, at 22-24 (discussion of the particular practical measures that would necessarily have to be
undertaken were pirates and terrorists to coordinate their efforts).

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groups in Somalia do not suggest this feared collusion will occur within the foreseeable
future116. However, due to the chaos in Somalia today, predictions are of limited value.

In terms of usage of the spoils of the attacks, many pirates in Somalia have used
their proceeds to fund a lavish lifestyle.117 The port town and pirate hotspot of Eyl bears
testament to this.118 Here former subsistence fishermen and villagers who have been
successful as pirates can be seen driving expensive cars, hosting decadent parties and
marrying beautiful girls.119 Such a scene far more strongly resembles a rags-to-riches
Hollywood gangster film than a remote al Qaeda training facility. Were pirates to
collude with terrorists, they would have to be prepared to share some of this ill-gotten,
yet hard-won, wealth in addition to assuming the risks of detection and prosecution
they would face working with terrorists.120

Also, there is the fact that perhaps the only forces from within Somalia who have
done anything to combat pirates have been groups linked to al Qaeda.121 Dr. Ranee
Khoosie Lal Panjabi, in a wide-ranging assessment of Somalia and Somali piracy, states
that “[w]ith respect to the subject of piracy, it is worth noting that while it held power,
the Islamic Courts Union took steps to curb the pirates and launched military campaigns
against pirate strongholds.122 Piracy was declared a capital offense, and beheading was
the punishment. It is also worth noting that no other Somali authority appears to have
exercised any effective control over piracy.”123 Such findings, at a minimum, show that
pirates and terrorists can be readily distinguished as actors and, at most, show that the
fears concerning collusion are yet another exercise in the paranoid construction of

However, as we know from the situation in Somalia, the chaos, anger, desperation
and widespread availability of weapons has the potential to produce almost any imaginable
horror. The notion of terrorists and pirates staging devastating attacks against one of the

116 Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, supra note 35, at 412.

117 Id. at 447-48.
118 Id.
119 Id.
120 Nelson, supra note 82, at 20-23.
121 Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, supra note 35, at 412.
122 Id. at 412.
123 Id.
124 See Sheldon Wolin, Democracy Inc.: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism 73 (2008) (As an
example of such extreme enemy construction Wolin distills the fundamental absurdity of the Bush Administration’s reaction
to the 9/11 attacks. He states that “[n]o previous administration in American history had demanded such extraordinary
powers in order to muster the resources of the nation in pursuit of an enterprise vaguely defined as ‘the war on terrorism’ or
demanded such an enormous outlay of public funds for a mission whose end seemed far distant and difficult to recognize if
and when it might be achieved.”)

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world’s most vital sea-lanes is certainly horrific.125 Yet experience has also taught that the
only successful action so far in uniting Somalia’s warring factions has been international
intervention.126 Were the Western powers to invade Somalia in some extended theater of
the War on Terror (which would also include pirates presumably), there is no indicator
they would be any more successful than they were in Afghanistan. What we can observe
is that forces in Somalia are succeeding in bringing about conditions for the flourishing
of both Islamic extremists and pirates. By understanding the proper motivation, causes,
and methods for action under international law of terrorism and piracy as two distinct
actions, the global community can gain valuable tools to combat both, as well as tools to
address the tragic situation in Somalia.

VI. Conclusion

The UNCLOS legal framework, SUA Convention and U.N. Security Council
resolutions clearly solidify the conclusion that both piracy and terrorism pose grave
international threats – threats that differ in nature, purpose and outcome. The crimes
are independent in terms of both motive and method, and both deserve a similar
independence in treatment within the system of law. Public choice theory also suggests
that piracy has a narrower and more limited scope in terms of impact than terrorism,
and should therefore be treated accordingly. Piracy, as it is already a grave crime, does
not need the terrorism label to be seen as a grave crime worthy of a multilateral response.
The Somali case has already proven this fact. The acts of piracy committed off the coast
of Somalia have been rightly treated as piracy, not as terrorism, by the UN and other state
actors. International treaty and customary law provides for a narrow basis under which
pirates can be apprehended on the high seas or, if necessary, elsewhere. Recent United
Nations Security Council Resolutions have further expanded this basis for the capture of
Somali pirates even within territorial waters, but these resolutions apply only to Somalia
and will not be useful in fighting piracy anywhere else in the world. It is clear within the
existing legal arrangements that motivational factors, targets and objectives of pirates
(pursuit of financial gain) differ from those of terrorists (means to achieve a political or
ideological objective). It would be wise to recognize a duty to understand and address
these two theoretically independent acts separately. Comingling piracy and terrorism
will not only produce unnecessary complications in terms of policy development but
also may complicate maritime security with a confused approach and an unmanageable
process. The purpose of law is not and should not be to bring all desperate people who
are inclined to piratical activities due to their socio-economic conditions within the
umbrella of terrorism. It is important that the international community understand
that the factors that give rise to piracy must be addressed properly and consistently. A
solution that is derived from emotional reactions or conceived as a convenient short-
125 Ranee Khooshie Lal Panjabi, supra note 35, at 408 (“Somalia’s location on the Horn of Africa makes it an expedient
gateway to other Arab states and Europe. Somalia could thus become a convenient stopover for terrorists planning to attack
European and North American targets. Additionally, the prevailing lawlessness in the country could enable terrorists to
acquire weapons easily and to use Somalia as a base from which to launch attacks against the West.”).
126 Id. at 413.

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term policy tool, based on a piracy-terrorism nexus, could result in policy, procedural,
scope and ultimately legal disasters. Undoubtedly, piracy is a problem that threatens
international trade, commerce, peace and stability, but it can be resolved independently
with proper legal and tactical mechanisms. If we continue to pursue a policy based
on a perceived nexus between piracy and terrorism, this course will, on the one hand,
incentivize terrorists to bring pirates under their umbrella, and, on the other, encourage
pirates to transform themselves from criminals pursuing ‘private ends’ (material gain)
into criminals  pursuing  political and ideological causes. This transformation would
have a gravely detrimental impact on national and international systems of governance,
their apparatus and their resources.  

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Özlen Çelebi


Irregular migration is an important part of international migration. Since last

two decades the volume and the numbers of people involved in worlwide irregular
migration movements have increased. In parallel, measures to prevent irregular
migration by the destination countries have become more severe. Irregular migration
is perceived as a security issue by most of the states ansd some international agencies.
Irregular migration can hardly be a security problem for states. However, it is a security
issue for most of the irregular migrants if we think that they are on the move because
of economic or social or political insecurity experiences they have had in thier home or
the previous host countries. Nevertheless, perceiving irregular migration as a security
issue leads the erosion of the fundemantal rights of migrants. International migration
policies of states can function as keys to analyse the dynamics of international politics.
International policies yo deal with irregular migration reveals how states in the 21st
century got stuck with threats to national security which could be introduced by
“foreigners.” Irregular migrants, however, are usually not dangerous foreigners who
could challende the security policies of any state. They are themselves are in need of
support and protection against dangers threateneing their lives. They are vulnerable to
fatal threats while passing throeug the lando r sea borders of a country in an irregular
way. This study claims that they are irrgular not illegal persons and they are prone to
threats especially in a plastic boat at a sea.

Key words: International migration, irregular migration, security, cooperation,

Eurpe, Turkey, Mediterranean Sea.

I. Introduction

International migration have been a constant fact of human life. It is obvious that
it will be so in the future. For example, Migration has started to pick up again, driven
largely by people moving within the European Union, after three years of continuous
decline during the crisis. But the employment prospects for immigrants have worsened,
with around one in two unemployed immigrants in Europe still looking for work after
more than 12 months, according to the latest OECD report. The 2013 International
Migration Outlook says that migration into OECD countries rose by 2% in 2011 from
the previous year, to reach almost 4 million. Recent national data suggest a similar
increase in 2012.1

1 OECD 2013 International Migration Outlook

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Countries have their own system of measuring migration, based on their own
particular requirements.However, it is possible to make some estimations. According
to the data provided by the World Bank the numbers of international migrants have
been estimated as 180 million. (The World Bank, Global Bilateral Migration Data Base)
This is almost equal to the three per cent of the world’s population. These migrants
are  living in countries other than their countries of birth. Such movement of people
across international borders has enormous economic, social, demographic and cultural
implications for both home and host countries. Furthermore, increasing numbers of
people on move at international level requires an international cooperation amongst the
states, international governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations
more than ever.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that there are

approximately 105 million persons who are working in a country other than their
country of birth.2 The aim of this study is to analyse international irregular migration
at sea. However, without understanding basic facts and the current characteristics of
international migration there could be some missing parts of the picture. It is also
claimed in this study that there has been established, especially in the post 9/11 era,
a security-migration nexus. Thus, it is necessary to get alerted that securitization of
international migration is dangerous. Because it leads to an erosion on the fundamental
rights of migrants. This study also aims at drawing the readers’ attention onto the
relationship of international politics and international migration, specifically irregular

There is an ongoing debate about the terminology: Whether it should be called

as “irregular” or “illegal” or “undocumented” migration? Which term is used is very
important. Because definition does matter. It shows through which lenses we see
international migration. It also shows how do we define “security?

In the first part of the study a conceptual framework is drawn. It is aimed at

providing a satisfactory bases on which and why we could prefer to use the term
“irregular migration.” The relationship between security and migration is also studied
in the first part of the study.

In the second part, a very special category of international irregular migration,

namely irregular migration at sea is analysed. It is analysed in general and in case of

The study is finalised with a short conclusion at the end. However, it should be
noted that the topic of this study is a big one and is receiving more and more attention of
the world public opinion. On the other hand, it is a highly politicized issue. It seems so
that international irregular migration will rise to higher degrees in world political agenda.
Especially, the EU-wide concerns about irregular migration is growing. Nevertheless, it

2 IOM; Labour Migration,

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is possible to claim that in parallel to increase in the volume of irregular migration

and international repercussions of it, there is a growing deprivation of the rights of
migrants. It is getting more and more difficult to become an international migrant. It is
not only difficult but can be mortal. Each year, several thousands of irregular migrants
are dying or perishing on their roots to destination countries. Than who is security or
safety we should talk about?

This study aims, in general to make contribution to the literature with a humble
effort to establish both artificial and real links between international security studies
and international irregular migration by sea.

II. Conceptual Framework

II.1. Definitions

There are many definitions of international migrant and migration. It is generally

accepted that the term migrant can be understood as “any person who lives temporarily
or permanently in a country where he or she was not born, and has acquired some
significant social ties to this country.”3 Furthermore, The Special Rapporteur of the
Commission on Human Rights has proposed that the following persons should be
considered as migrants:

“(a) Persons who are outside the territory of the State of which their are
nationals or citizens, are not subject to its legal protection and are in the territory
of another State;
(b) Persons who do not enjoy the general legal recognition of rights which
is inherent in the granting by the host State of the status of refugee, naturalised
person or of similar status;
(c) Persons who do not enjoy either general legal protection of their
fundamental rights by virtue of diplomatic agreements, visas or other agreements.”

This broad definition of migrants reflects the current difficulty in distinguishing

between migrants who leave their countries because of political persecution, conflicts,
economic problems, environmental degradation or a combination of these reasons and
those who do so in search of conditions of survival or well-being that does not exist in
their place of origin. It also attempts to define migrant population in a way that takes
new situations into consideration.4


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However, the above mentioned first definition may be a too narrow definition.
According to some states’ policies, a person can be considered as a migrant even when s/
he is born in the country. According to the IOM, migration is defined as “the movement
of a person or a group of persons, either across an international border, or within a
State. It is a population movement, encompassing any kind of movement of people,
whatever its length, composition and causes; it includes migration of refugees, displaced
persons, economic migrants, and persons moving for other purposes, including family
reunification.”5 In general it is possible to claim that international migration involves
the movement of people across state boundaries. In contrast to internal migratory
movements, international migrants leave the jurisdiction of one state and become
subject to that of another.

It is correctly stated in a study of International Council on Human Rights Policy

(ICHRP) that “definitions determine status which decides whether an individual is
eligible, or not, to claim certain rights. Though states and legal regimes distinguish
between migrants, this does not mean their distinctions are easy to apply consistently:
indeed this explains the sense of injustice that surrounds many border enforcement

There are several ways that international migrants are normally categorized. One
most common distinction is made between voluntary and forced migrants. Forced
migrants are people who have been forced to leave their own country for another,
because of conflict, persecution, or for environmental reasons such as drought or
famine. These people usually described as refugees although the term refugee has a very
specific meaning and does not include all forced migrants.

There is another distinction between legal/regular and illegal/ irregular

migration, which can be temporary or permanent, but in either case is unauthorized
by the receiving state. However, categorization simplifies reality. Because, usually there
is some overlap between the different categorizations. “Most voluntary migrants are
also economic migrants, and many forced migrants are political migrants or refugees.
It is also widely accepted that there are blurred distinctions between economic and
political migration. (Migration-asylum nexus.) Furthermore, individuals can effectively
“transform” from one type of migrant to another within the various categorizations.
A legal migrant may overstay his or her work permit and thus become classified as an
irregular migrant. Or an individual might leave his or her country voluntarily but then
not be able to return, as a result of a start of a war or a change of government, and thus
effectively become an involuntary migrant, forced to stay outside their own country.”7

5 IOM, Key Migration Terms,

6 ICHRP Policy Brief,
7 Koser, 2007, p.18)

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II.1.1 Irregular or Illegal: Why Definition Does Matter?

There is a major debate at international level on the definition of irregular

migration. It is reflected on the terminology. Some state authorities still prefer to define
and call international irregular migration as “illegal” migration. However, as it is stated
by ICHRP, “this term is to be avoided because, juridically and ethically, an act can be
legal or illegal but a person cannot. Entering a country in an irregular fashion, or staying
with an irregular status, is not a criminal activity but an infraction of administrative

The UN definition of irregular migrant is reads as: “Irregular migrants (or

undocumented/illegal migrants): people who enter a country, usually in search of
employment, without the necessary documents and permits.”9

The term “irregular” is more accurate and less deregatory than “illegal” when
talking of migrants. The concept of irregular migrants covers a vide range of people,
principally migrants who enter a country without documents or with forged documents;
or migrants who enter legally but then stay after their visa or work permit has expired.
It is more or less impossible to enumerate accurately irregular migrants worldwide, but
is sure is that there are far more legal migrants than irregular migrants.

According to a definition by IOM, irregular migration is “movement that takes

place outside the regulatory norms of the sending, transit and receiving countries.
There is no clear or universally accepted definition of irregular migration. From the
perspective of destination countries it is entry, stay or work in a country without the
necessary authorization or documents required under immigration regulations. From
the perspective of the sending country, the irregularity is for example seen in cases in
which a person crosses an international boundary without a valid passport or travel
document or does not fulfil the administrative requirements for leaving the country.
There is, however, a tendency to restrict the use of the term “illegal migration” to cases
of smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.”10

Irregular migrant, again according to a definition by IOM, is “a person who,

owing to unauthorized entry, breach of a condition of entry, or the expiry of his or her
visa, lacks legal status in a transit or host country. The definition covers inter alia those
persons who have entered a transit or host country lawfully but have stayed for a longer
period than authorized or subsequently taken up unauthorized employment (also
called clandestine/undocumented migrant or migrant in an irregular situation). The
8 ICHRP, “Irregular Migration,Migrant Smuggling and Human Rights:Towards Coherence,” Policy Brief, 2010, http://
10 IOM, Key Migration Terms,

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term “irregular” is preferable to ‘illegal’ because the latter carries a criminal connotation
and is seen as denying migrants’ humanity.”11

Irregular migration as a complex diverse concept needs a careful clarification. It

is important to recognize that there is a need to avoid to not to use the term “illegal.”
Defining people who are not proved to be criminals but searching for a better and a safer
life as “illegal” means denying their humanity. It can easily be forgotten that migrants
are people and they have rights whatever their legal status.

Furthermore, the term “illegal” has connotation with criminality. Most irregular
migrants are not criminals, although by definition most have breached administrative
rules and regulations.

The two other terms that are often used in this context are “undocumented”
and “unauthorized.” Undocumented is sometimes used to denote migrants who have
not been documented (or recorded) and sometimes to describe migrants without
documents (passports or work permits, for example). All irregular migrants are not

While some irregular migrants might have entered their country of destination
secretly the others have not. However, they may become irregular after crossing the
frontier for some reason. They include:

• Individuals who overstay a visa or residence permit;

• Persons whose employers withdraw an authorisation to work that is tied to
immigration status;
• Persons deceived by recruiting agents, smugglers or traffickers into believing
that they are entering or working in a regular manner;
• Asylum seekers who remain after they have been refused refugee status;
• Persons who entered clandestinely, including those smuggled or trafficked
across the border;
• People who entered illegally or irregularly without using third parties.

It is obvious that status of a migrant can change overnight. A migrant can enter a
country in an irregular fashion, but then regularize their status, for example by applying
for asylum or entering a regularization programme. Conversely, a migrant can enter
regularly then become irregular when they work without a work permit or overstay visa
and for above mentioned reasons.

There are important regional differences in the way that the concept irregular
migration is applied. In Europe, for example, where the entry of people from outside
11 IOM, Key Migration Terms,

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the EU is closely controlled, it is relatively easy to define and identify migrants with
irregular status. That is not the case in many parts of Africa, where borders are porous,
ethnic and linguistic groups straddle state borders, some people belong to nomadic
communities, and many people do not have proof of their place of birth or citizenship.

As Koser stated “migrants who move in an irregular way leave their countries
for exactly the same motivations as any other migrants. More people than ever before
want to move, but there are proportionately fewer legal opportunities for them to do so.
The reason that increasing numbers of migrants are moving in an irregular rather than
illegal way is mainly because of increasing restrictions on legal movements, mostly in
destination countries. 12

II.1.2. International Migration and International Security

Almost every country on earth is, and will continue, to be affected. According to
Stephen Castles and Mark Miller, authors of the book The Age of Migration :

“There can be few people in either industrialized or less developed countries

today who do not have personal experience of migration and its effects; this universal
experience has become the hallmark of the age of migration.”13

The number of international migrants has more than doubled in a quarter of a

century. The facts and figures convey a striking message, and that is that international
migration today effects every part of the world. Movements from South to North have
increased as a propostion of total global migration.

These facts and figures convey a striking message, and that is that international
migration today effects every part of the world. Movements from “South” to “North”
have increased as a proportion of global migration. There are powerful reasons why
people should leave poorer countries and head for richer ones. At the same time, it is
important to not to ignore the significant movements that still take place within regions.

Elspeth Guild correctly states that “…like blowing up a baloon, the greater
the insecurity concerns presented by political actors, the bigger the security issues…
Migration studies has a similar tendency-the bigger the migration flows, the wider
the scope for migration studies…In effect, what happens is that, foreigners, described
in various different ways (migrant, refugee, etc.) become cought in a continuum of

States are entitled to regulate movement across their frontiers. International

collaboration to curb irregular migration includes a punitive law-enforcement aspect
12 2007, p.54.
13 Castles and Miller, 2003, p.5
14 Guild, 2009, pp.1-2

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and a focus on human rights and protection. Influenced by counter terrorism, migration
policies have increasingly shifted from protection towards law enforcement. States have
deployed many new tools to deter entry – defensive walls and barriers; demanding and
expensive visa requirements; carrier sanctions; militarised border controls; detention;
retinal and other biometric scanning techniques; international computerised data storage
– and created new institutions and laws to strengthen intergovernmental regulation.
These include the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC,
2000), the International Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and
Members of Their Families (ICRMW, 2003), The Global Forum on Migration and
Development (GFMD, 2007), and Regional Migration Consultative Processes (RCPs).
These initiatives indicate the growing importance of migration on the international
agenda. Besides the dimensions and changing geography of international migration,
there are at least three trends that signify an important departure from earlier patterns
and processess.15

Especially after 9/11 there has been a perception of a close connection between
international migration and terrorism. Irregular migration which appears to be growing
in scale in many parts of the world, is sometimes regarded by politicians and the public
alike as a threat to national sovereignty and public security. Since 9/11 migrants’ rights
have further been eroded. Irregular migration became a focus of new global security
paradigm. Unfortunately, it has been used to legitimize some measures that have been
considered inappropriate before 9/11.16

In political and media discourses, irregular migration is often described as

constituting a threat to state sovereignty. Put simply, the argument is that states have a
sovereign right to control who cross their borders, and that by undermining that control
irregular migrants threaten sovereignty. It follows that stopping irregular migration
is fundamental to reasserting full sovereignty. In certain, more extreme discourses,
irregular migration has also been perceived as a threat to state security. Specifically,
irregular migration and asylum, it has been suggested, may provide channels for
potential terrorists to enter into countries.

It is important, first of all, to consider the numbers involved. Inherent in the

argument that irregular migration threatens state sovereignty is the perception that
states are, or risk, being “flooded” or overwhelmed by enormous numbers of irregular
migrants. In reality, although irregular migration does occur in significant numbers, in
most countries it represents a fairly small proportion of total migration.

Second, irregular migrants are often imputed with tainted intentions without
any substantion. Two particularly frequent assumptions are that irregular migrants
participate in illegal activities and that they are associated with spread of disease. Both
15 ICHRP,, p.4
16 Crepaw and Nahache, 2006, p.4

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these assumptions are goss generalizations. Misrepresenting the evidence criminalizes

and demonizes all irregular migrants. It can encourage them to remain underground.

It is true that irregular migration can threaten state security, but this is usually
in ways other than by its association with terrorism or violence. Where it involves
corruption and organized crime, irregular migration can become a threat to public
security. This is particularly the case where illegal entry is facilitated by migrants
smugglers and human traffickers.

Human trafficking and migrant smuggling may compose a small proportion of

irregular migration worldwide. But it is highly profitable and thus growing as a dirty
way of making money. Migrant smuggling is a highly profitable business in which
criminals enjoy low risk of detection and punishment. As a result, the crime is becoming
increasingly attractive to criminals. Migrant smugglers are becoming more and more
organized, establishing professional networks that transcend borders and regions.

The smuggling of migrants is a truly global concern, with a large number of

countries affected by it as origin, transit or destination points. Profit-seeking criminals
smuggle migrants across borders and between continents. Assessing the real size of
this crime is a complex matter, owing to its underground nature and the difficulty of
identifying when irregular migration is being facilitated by smugglers. Smugglers take
advantage of the large number of migrants willing to take risks in search of a better life
when they cannot access legal channels of migration.

Smuggled migrants are often subject to grave human rights abuses. During
the trip, people might be squeezed into exceptionally small spaces in trucks or onto
unseaworthy boats in order for smugglers to maximize their “cargo”. Migrants might
be raped or beaten en route or left to die. Once they reach their destination, many
find that they (or their families) are the victims of blackmail or debt bondage. The
latter can involve migrants paying huge sums of money to criminals in order to settle
near-impossible levels of debt out of fear of violence or fear of being deported by the
authorities, which can result in them becoming victims of human trafficking.

The smuggling of migrants and the activities related to it cost many people their
lives and generate billions of dollars in profit for criminals. They also fuel corruption
- through the bribery of officials - and strengthen organized crime in the countries of
origin, transit or destination. There is evidence suggesting that, with the ever-growing
interdependence of the global economy, the involvement of criminal groups in the
smuggling of migrants is on the rise.17

According to the definition of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

(UNODC) “smuggling of migrants is a crime involving the procurement for financial
or other material benefit of illegal entry of a person into a State of which that person
17 Transnational Organized Crime,

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is not a national or resident.”18 Furthermore, migrant smuggling which affects almost

every country in the world, undermines the integrity of countries and communities,
and costs thousands of people their lives every year.

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Organized

Crime Convention) and the Protocols thereto, assist States in their efforts to implement
the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (Smuggling of
Migrants Protocol).

J. Peter Burgess states that migration is a clear consequence of insecurity. “The

non-military aspects of migration are not limited to the real and perceived threats to
host socities. Clearly, migration is in the majority of cases already the reflection of one
kind or another of insecurity in the migrants’ homeland…the experience of migration
itself implies a variety of security threats to the migrant. Migrants on the move generally
do not benefit from the security protection offered by authorities or national police.”19

The negative consequences of irregular migration for migrants are often

underestimated. It can endanger their lives. A large number of people die each year
trying to cross land and sea borders. It has been estimated, for example, that as many as
2.000 migrants die each year trying to cross Mediterranean from Africa to Europe, and
that about 400 Mexicans die trying to cross the border into the USA each year. One of
the great unknowns of international migration is how many people there are who left
their homes but not yet reached their intended destinations, and what their lives are like
in transit countries.20

III. Irregular Migration by Sea

Attempting to isolate the issue of migrant smuggling by sea from other forms
of migrant smuggling is in some ways an artificial and potentially misleading exercise.
Migrant smuggling by sea generally occurs as part of a wider smuggling process often
involving land and/or air movements. Furthermore, the complex nature of criminal
migrant smuggling networks and their modus operandi means that smugglers who use
sea routes cannot be identified purely by looking to the sea; the transnational criminal
network itself must be traced from a smuggling vessel, back to the coast of embarkation,
and from there back to countries of transit and origin.

III.1. Legal Background

The specific nature of the sea‐based component of the smuggling journey resulted
in a dedicated section on the issue in the Migrant Smuggling Protocol, supplementing
19 Burgess, 2007, p.6
20 Koser, 2007, p.62

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the United Nations Transnational Organized Crime Convention (UNTOC). The unique
challenges involved in addressing the crime also inspired Resolution 5/3 of the 5th
Conference of Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime,
in which States Parties request UNODC to prepare an Issue Paper on the topic. This
Issue Paper is offered in response to that request, in the hope that readers will consider
the issues addressed herein in the wider context of migrant smuggling, which is a
transnational crime that transcends land, air and sea borders, and requires a response
that does likewise.

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted

by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, is the main international
instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime. It opened for signature
by Member States at a High-level Political Conference convened for that purpose in
Palermo, Italy, on 12-15 December 2000 and entered into force on 29 September 2003.
The Convention is further supplemented by three Protocols, which target specific
areas and manifestations of organized crime: the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and
Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; the Protocol against
the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and the Protocol against the Illicit
Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and
Ammunition. Countries must become parties to the Convention itself before they can
become parties to any of the Protocols.

Article 3 of the Migrant Smuggling Protocol defines migrant smuggling as:

- “...the procurement, in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other

material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person into a state party of which the person is
not a national.”

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Article 6 of the Migrant Smuggling Protocol requires the criminalization of this

conduct. In addition, Article 6 requires States to criminalize the following conduct:

“enabling a person to remain in a country where the person is not a legal resident
or citizen without complying with requirements for legally remaining by illegal means”
in order to obtain a financial or other material benefit.

In short, the combination of the following elements constitutes ‘migrant

smuggling and related conduct’: Either the procurement of an illegal entry or illegal
residence of a person; Into or in a country of which that person is not a national or
permanent resident; For the purpose of financial or other material benefit.21

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially

Women and Children, was adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25. It entered
into force on 25 December 2003. It is the first global legally binding instrument with
an agreed definition on trafficking in persons. The intention behind this definition is
to facilitate convergence in national approaches with regard to the establishment of
domestic criminal offences that would support efficient international cooperation in
investigating and prosecuting trafficking in persons cases. An additional objective of
the Protocol is to protect and assist the victims of trafficking in persons with full respect
for their human rights.

The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, adopted by
General Assembly resolution 55/25, entered into force on 28 January 2004. It deals with
the growing problem of organized criminal groups who smuggle migrants, often at high
risk to the migrants and at great profit for the offenders. A major achievement of the
Protocol was that, for the first time in a global international instrument, a definition of
smuggling of migrants was developed and agreed upon. The Protocol aims at preventing
and combating the smuggling of migrants, as well as promoting cooperation among
States parties, while protecting the rights of smuggled migrants and preventing the
worst forms of their exploitation which often characterize the smuggling process.

The Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms,

their Parts and Components and Ammunition was adopted by General Assembly
resolution 55/255 of 31 May 2001. It entered into force on 3 July 2005. The objective of
the Protocol, which is the first legally binding instrument on small arms that has been
adopted at the global level, is to promote, facilitate and strengthen cooperation among
States Parties in order to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacturing of and
trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition. By ratifying the
Protocol, States make a commitment to adopt a series of crime-control measures and
implement in their domestic legal order three sets of normative provisions: the first
one relates to the establishment of criminal offences related to illegal manufacturing of,
and trafficking in, firearms on the basis of the Protocol requirements and definitions;


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the second to a system of government authorizations or licensing intending to ensure

legitimate manufacturing of, and trafficking in, firearms; and the third one to the
marking and tracing of firearms.22

The UNODC Issue Paper which was entitled as “Smuggling of Migrants By Sea
reveals that there are many “…shortcomings of the information available on migrant
smuggling by sea, limited by data collection methodologies used and inconsistencies
between them. Often detailed information is collected about the extent of irregular
migration, its patterns, routes and trends, but it is not disaggregated according to land,
sea and air routes.”23

23 UNODC, Issue Paper, 2011, p. 10

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III.1.1. Irregular Migration in Mediterranean

Although irregular migration is not a peculiar isuue of the Mediterranean Basin,

in this study it is aimed to analyse irregular migration in Mediterranean. There are three
main reasons for this: First of all, it is not possible to analyse the dynamics of irregular
migration and the security-migration nexus at worldwide level within the limits of a
book chapter. Second, the author of these sentences lives in Turkey where irregular
migration is getting faster and bigger in numbers. Third, because of the geographic
location of Turkey on the East-West & South-North corridors of human movements
and the fact that Turkey-EU have common borders required the author to study the
irregular migration issue in a limited way to the Mediterranean Basin. Turkey is located
at Eastern Mediterranean. Northern Mediterranean draws sea borders of the EU. Last
but not least, most of the irregular migration movements (or migrant smuggling) from
Turkey are directed to Europe. It is undeniable that irregular migration is a global
problem. It is not only about the state security and managing irregular migration but,
it is about human security in the sense of protecting fundamental rights of migrants
themselves. From Far East to Americas, from Africa to Asia there ther is not even a
piece of land which is exempt from irregular migration. However, this study is about
basic facts on irregular migration at Mediterranean Basin.

III.1.1.a. Europe

Irregular migration is a top priority in the European Union. Policymakers are

under increasing political and public pressure to address irregular migration within the
borders of the EU. Within the EU national governments define, identify and respond to
irregular migration in very different ways. However, they have to collaborate within the
Schengen Area. They do this with the support of EU institutions. In a recently published
work by the EU Commission, it has been stated that there are 480 million EU citizens
(96%) and 20 million non-EU citizens (4%). In the same source, it has been mentioned
that “one of the downsides of immigration is that it sometimes happens irregularly.
People might arrive legally on a short-stay visa and then overstay. Some might enter
and stay in an EU Member State without authorisation, sometimes against their will.
Human trafficking networks and smugglers can easily exploit undocumented persons.
The black labour market also attracts irregular immigration. Irregular immigration in
all its forms must be tackled to protect the most vulnerable and to maintain public
confidence in immigration policies.”24

In order to foster cooperation amongst the member countries of the EU in

the area of migration, asylum, border management and security the External Border
Practitioners Common Unit was established. The Common Unit coordinated national
projects of Ad-Hoc Centres on Border Control. Their task was to oversee EU-wide pilot
projects and common operations related to border management. Two years after the
establishment of “ad-hoc” centres the European Council decided to go a step further.
24 EU,

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With the objective of improving procedures and working methods of the Common
Unit, on the 26 October 2004 the European Agency for the Management of Operational
Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union
(Frontex) was established by Council Regulation (EC) 2007/2004. Frontex helps border
authorities from different EU countries work together. Frontex’s full title is the European
Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of
the Member States of the European Union.Besides many other activity areas, Frontex
also works closely with the border-control authorities of non-EU/Schengen countries
— mainly those countries identified as a source or transit route of irregular migration
— in line with general EU external relations policy.25

Frontex began working in Warsaw on 3 October 2005 as an organisation. “On that

day, 27 experts seconded from national border guard authorities and 17 administrative
staff sat around the table in temporary headquarters.”26 It is quite interesting to note
that the first joint operation in December of that year targeted irregular immigration
at the land border, ocussing on illegal workers and ‘overstayers’, those foreign visitors
who had entered the EU legitimately, but who had remained illegally. It is striking that
in 2006 Frontex mounted its first major operation at sea. Joint Operation Hera was the
response to an enormous surge in irregular immigration from West Africa to Spain’s
Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

26 Beyond The Frontiers 2010, p.7

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Frontex was ready to tackle new challenges and the Mediterranean Sea or , in other
words, the southern borders of the EU was gainin utmost importance “to be protected”
vis a vie the growing waves of irregular migration from “the South.” “From its inception,
Frontex set out to tackle the challenge of coordinating the control of the European
Union’s long maritime southern border. In fact, one of the earliest tasks given by the
European Council was to investigate the feasibility of improving coordinated monitoring
of the Mediterranean. Not surprisingly, this was dubbed the MEDSEA Study. In early
2006 the MEDSEA study, which looked at the feasibility of a Mediterranean coastal
patrol network, was quickly followed by another study, BORTEC, which considered the
associated challenge of establishing a surveillance system covering not only the entire
southern maritime border of the EU, but also the open sea beyond.”27

The International Centre on Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) estimates

that between 100,000 and 120,000 migrants and persons in need of protection cross the
Mediterranean Sea every year without necessary documents.28

In 2010, European Union Member States and Schengen Associated Countries

reported a total of 104,049 detections of illegal border‐crossing at sea and land borders
of the European Union. The number of those crossings that were facilitated is difficult
to ascertain given the different definitions applied by Member States; however, in 2010
there were 8629 detections of facilitators. The detection rate so far is comparable in 2011.
This figure can imply that there are few smugglers involved in orchestrating irregular
migration, or that facilitators of smuggling are notoriously difficult to apprehend.29

In its 2010 Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment UNODC estimated

that the trend of smuggling of migrants from Africa to Europe is declining. FRONTEX
also reported that migrant flows by sea significantly decreased from a peak in 2008 to a
low in 2009 and 2010. There were 11,766 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea between
January and September of 2010 representing a 70% decrease from the same period for
the year before.30

It is possible to claim that political climax contribute to the flows of irregular

migration. For instance, the first quarter of 2011 witnessed a significant in the detected
irregular migration movements of the EU’s external sea borders. This increase was, to a
large extent, due to the politically unstable environment in North Africa and the Middle
East. Economic and political difficulties and tensions led to an increase in the numbers
of migrants from the MENA countries. The number of Syrians trying to enter Greek
territory in an irregular manner reached a critical level in July 2012, when up to 800
Syrians were crossing the Greek-Turkish land border every week. In the second half of
2012, more than 32% of sea arrivals to the Greek Islands were Syrian nationals.
27 Beyond The Frontiers 2010, p.39
29 FRONTEX, Annual Risk Analysis 2011, p.13.
30 UNODC, Issue Paper, Transnational Organized Crime in the Fishing Industry 2011, p.60‐61.

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As a consequence of shifting routes, migratory pressure at the Greek-Turkish

border increased significantly and Greece became the main gate of entry into the
European Union from 2008 onwards, with an interval in 2011 when the Arab Spring
brought a new migratory flow to Italy and Malta. To give an idea of how much the routes
have changed, Frontex indicated that in 2012, 56% of detections of irregular entry into
the European Union occurred on the Greek-Turkish border.

Increased numbers of migrants are now arriving on the Greek Aegean islands
of Lesvos, Samos, Symi and Farmkonissi. Between August and December 2012, 3.280
persons were arrested after crossing the Greek-Turkish sea border,  compared to 65
persons in the first seven months of 2012.

There has also been an increase in the number of deaths at sea. In early September
2012, 60 people perished when their boat sank off the coast in Izmir.  On 15 December
2012, at least 18 migrants drowned off the coast of Lesvos while attempting to reach the
island by boat. 31

III.1.1.b. Mediterranean

“From a certain point in Spain it is possible to glimpse both the Atlantic

Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Without question Joint Operation Hera
proved to be an astounding achievement in dealing with irregular immigration

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in the Atlantic. But there was no doubt in anyone’s mind where the future focus
of maritime attention lay: the Mediterranean Sea.”32

Generally, there has found to be an increase in smuggling of migrants in the

number of interceptions of unauthorized migrants along the Italian, Spanish and
Maltese coasts since 2000. Almost all irregular migrants arriving in these countries are
Africans. Around 65.000 irregular migrants landed in these three countries in 2006 and
40.000 in 2007 representing 23% of all illegal border crossings detected in the EU in that
year. After negligible detections in 2010, there were around 50.000 detections for the
first half of 2011 alone.33

As it’s stated above, the events of 2011 has had and will continue to have an impact
on smuggling routes. The Italian island of Lampedusa is still a preferred destination, but
ports of departure have shifted. While former routes such as the use of Gibraltar and
Tunisia had almost disappeared, recent statistics show that there was a surge of Tunisian
nationals travelling on the Central Mediterranean route in the first quarter of 2011
fleeing unrest in their home country. Accelerated readmission agreements between Italy
and Tunisia reduced this figure by 75% in the second quarter of the year, but the overall
number of detections on this route increased. Many migrants travelling this route do so
independently, without the assistance of smugglers.34

In the last decade, Libya was the main hub for Mediterranean crossings from
Africa to Europe, particularly to Malta and Italy. The small island State of Malta faces
significant challenges. Malta is a transit point for migration routes from the South
to intended final destinations in Europe. Despite its small size (around 300 square
kilometres) and population (around 400,000), its search and rescue area spans 260.000
square kilometres. Malta also has proportionately the greatest number of migrants per
capita of the population; in 2008 the number of migrant arrivals exceeded the local
birth rate. In the first 6 months of 2011 alone, there were 1.531 arrivals by sea.35

There are different data findings for arrivals by sea in the key European countries
that receive migrants from Africa. Arrivals in Spain by sea are mainly concentrated
on the Canary Islands, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea. Another peculiar
situation for Spain is the significant number of irregular migrant entries into Spanish
enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco; such entries result in entering Spanish
territory without crossing the sea. The number of interceptions on the Spanish coast
rose in the mid‐1990s, more than doubling from 1999 to 2000 with estimates for arrivals
since then putting the annual number between 15.000 to 19.000. Illegal border crossing
into the Canary Islands rose steadily and peaked during 2006 at around 30.000. A sharp
32 Beyond The Frontiers 2010, p.38
33 UNODC 2011 Issue Paper, p.13
35 UNODC 2011 Issue Paper, p.13

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decrease in 2007 and 2008 followed. The extent to which smugglers facilitated these
crossings is unclear.36

In recent years, Spain, Italy and Malta were at the forefront of large-scale sea
arrivals. According to the UNHCR, in 2012, 1.567 individuals arrived in Malta by sea.
75% of these persons were from Somalia. The UNHCR estimates however that less than
30% of the more than 16.000 individuals who have arrived in Malta since 2002 remain
in Malta.

Spain and Italy have signed and effectively enforced readmission agreements with
North and West African countries cutting down on the mixed migration flows. These
agreements have provided the basis for returning irregular migrants and preventing
their crossing through increased maritime patrols and border surveillance, including in
the context of joint Frontex operations.37

The land border between Turkey and Greece is a key challenge for the European
region. Turkey’s geographic location makes her one of the key countries on the transit
route for smuggling from Asia into several countries of Europe. The close proximity of
Greece to Turkey, coupled with push factors such as political instability, violence, war
and unrest in Iraq, in Syria, in Palestine, in Afghanbistan and in Sudan and Somalia
have placed increased pressure on the Eastern Mediterranean countries, specifically on
Turkey and Greece. Greece is another primary transit country for migrant smuggling to
other destinations in Europe.

Overall irregular migration was at a reduced level during the first three months of
2013, mostly following increased operational activity at the external border combined
with some foreseen seasonal declines. There were fewer detections of illegal border-
crossing than ever before, with just 9,717 detections.38 The drop was limited mostly to
sea borders. Overall, migrants from Syria were the nationality most commonly detected
illegally crossing the external border. Migrants from Mali, the Gambia, Kosovo,and
Syria were increasingly detected illegally crossing the external border (besides Iranians,
Iraqis and Palestinians).

Syrians have been the most commonly detected migrants during the operation
so far in 2013. Most were men travelling alone but here were some family units, and all
were heading for Sweden or Germany to claim asylum. Once they entered Turkey, those
intending to enter the EU travelled to Istanbul in order to make contact with facilitation
networks. They stayed in Istanbul for between 1–12 weeks before being taken by van to
the west coast of Turkey to depart towards the Greek eastern Aegean Islands. Afghans
were also detected in this region. Most were previously resident in Iran and had decided
to travel to the EU due to deteriorating employment conditions. The Afghan community

36 UNODC 2011 Issue Paper, pp.14-15

38 FRAN Quarterly 2013, p. 12

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in Iran can easily find criminal networks that can facilitate them to Turkey and then to
Greece. Once in Turkey, the Afghan migrants were transported by public transport to
Istanbul and from there mainly by private transportation directly to departure area on
the western coast of Turkey, where they boarded rubber boats destined for the Greek
eastern Aegean Islands.39

According to the latest statistics provided by the Turkish General Staff

approximately two thousand persons have been detected as irregular migrants at the
Agean Sea. Turkey has 142 border gates of which 39 are sea border gates. Although it
is very difficult to estimate the exact number of irregular migrants in Turkey and/or
those who tries to leave Turkey at the hands of smugglers, it is possible to claim that the
numbers are in several ten thousands. Turkey is under a heavy burden of providing full
and efficient security patrolling at her border gates.40

IV. Conclusion

It is possible to claim that over the next few decades, international migration is
likely to increase in scale and will become more complex due to growing demographic
disparities, the effects of environmental change, new global political and economic
dynamics, technological revolutions and social networks. These transformations will
introduce opportunities. However, they will also exacerbate existing problems and
generate new challenges. It’s underlined in World Migration Report 2010 published by
IOM, “if the migrant population continues to increase at the same pace as the last 20
years, the stock of international migrants worldwide by 2050 could be as high as 405

According to the same source world population will probably be approximately

8 billion at 2050. On the other hand, “the labour force in more developed countries
is projected to remain at about 600 million until 2050, while the labour force in less
developed countries is expected to increase from 2.4 billion in 2005 to 3 billion in 2020
and 3.6 billion in 2040.”42

As a result of emerging structural features in the global economy world migration

rates will probably exceed the estimated levels. The rapid growth in the labour force in less
developed countries compared to that in the more developed countries is an important
pull factor for many migrants. Having kept in mind that irregular migrants leave their
countries for exactly the same reasons as any other migrants, it is possible to claim that
South to North migrations will increase in numbers. If the developed countries, in other
39 FRAN Quarterly 2013, pp. 13-20
40 Turkish General Staff,
41 IOM World Migration Report 2010, p.29
42 IOM World Migration Report 2010, p.29

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words reacher countries of the Northern hemisphere fell short of the requirements of
more humanitarian and effecctive migration management policies irregular migration
movements will possibly become a gretaer problem. “Protecting the human rights of
migrants will become an even more pressing priority, while the question of the rights of
irregular migrants and how to protect them will become increasingly acute.”43

It is important to put any discussion on irregular migration into context. The

overwhelming majority of migration is fully authorized. Estimates suggest that only
some 10–15 per cent of today’s 214 million international migrants are in an irregular
situation (30-50 million worldwide).44 The securitization of migrants and migration is
nothing new but the perception of migration as a threat to national security has certainly
heightened after 9/11, “in part as the security agenda has become more prevalent across
many aspects of policy, and in part in response to the rapid rise in the number of
international migrants.”45

International migration movements were on the rapid rise during the 1970s due
to the political and economic climax in the Middle East, Africa and the Far East. Boat
People from Wiet Nam and othe Eastern Asian countries, Palestinians and at the end of
1970s Iranian’s, many people from Africa in-decolonization process were knocking the
doors of the industrially more developd Northern/ Western countries. The escalation
in numbers of foreign workers and asylum-seekers and the economic/financial crisis
which left deep impacts on European Economic Community (EEC) members led them
to severe measures. During 1980s EEC members were developing ways for a common
visa policy (like Schengen Information System) and the legal/regular migration doors
were almost slightly open to the citizens of “Third World.” The narrowing of regular
migration facilities brought together with it increasing numbers of asylum-seekers and
rewfugees, who were not necessarily genuine refugees. People were trying the back-door.
But, as Koser describes rightly, the securitization of migration came onto the secene
recently. There are many factors behind it, but it worths to mention that while economic
and political situations were deterriorating in the less developed world the politicians
of the developed world did not deal with the root causes of the increasing volume of
irregular migration. Instead populist policies did cause xenophobia to increase in the
Western countries. Result: The closer the door of regular migration and the higher the
gap between the developed and the less developed countries the higher the numbers of
irregular migration movements around the globe. In other words it is important not to
fuel fear and negative perceptions of the North being overrun by poor migrants from
the South, while of course not ignoring the vexing incidence of irregular migration
today. One of the key questions requiring further exploration is how to get to the root
of the phenomenon. It can be a security issue but not because of the very existence
of migrants, irregular or not, but because of migrant smugglers who are illegal and

43 IOM World Migration Report 2010, p.30

44 IOM World Migration Report 2010, p.30
45 Khalid Koser, 2011

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the mismanaged migration policies of the developed countries. It is not all about the
security it is also about burden-sharing (not the burden-shaping) which would ensure
us the right lenses to see the situation.

If irregular migration poses a challenge to national security it is also because of

undermining the rule of law in other respects. “Generally, smuggling operations cannot
function effectively without the aid of corrupt officials in origin, transit and destination
countries. Effective capacities will be required in the following ten core areas, in order
to respond to the future challenges of irregular migration:

1. generating better data on irregular migration;

2. enhancing law enforcement;

3. regularizing migrants’ status;

4. managing detention and deportation;

5. regulating migration and employment;

6. capacity-building in transit States;

7. combating migrant smuggling and human trafficking;

8. addressing mixed flows;

9. enhancing information dissemination;

10. building partnerships and cooperation.”46

The first conclusion of the study is that securitization of irregular migration leads
to the deprivation of fundamental human rights. Irregular migrant have fundamental
human rights, too. They mostly aim to increase their living standards by emigrating
to the developed countries with a hope of finding a job. They rarely get involved in
criminal affairs. Detecting people in plastic boats at sea and sending them back do not
solve any problems.

Second, Turkey and the EU has to cooperate more on struggling with the migrant
smugglers and combatting with the irregular migration at sea. Frontex reflects the security
oriented approach of the EU towards irregular migration and there is a need for further
institutional structure to combat with irregular migration at Mediterranean. Turkey has
become a transit country and also a destination country for international migrants while
it was only a sending country before 1990s. Because of Turkey’s geographic location

46 IOM World Migration Report 2010, p.31

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irregular migrants from Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma (63,9
%), from Middle Eastern countries such as Iran, Iraq and Palestine (27,7%) and from
African countries such as Somalia, Nigeria and Eritrea (8,2%) are coming to Turkey.
(Çiçekli and Demir 2013, p.53) Some of these people enter into Turkey by using legal
ways and with legal documents. They may become irregular as their valid documents’
got expired. Some of them pass the borders in a fraudelent way. But, what do they have
in common is that they pass from the eastern borders of Turkey and leave Turkey via
the western borders.

Third remark to be given in this study is that there is an unforeseen but widely
and “effectively” routes of transportation to transport irregular migrants in Turkey
from the eastern land borders to the western land and sea borders. It is important to
note once more that economic and political climax contribute to the flows of irregular
migration. In addition to the countries and percentages given above, there are hundreds
of thousands of Syrian asylum seekers and/or immigrants in Turkey. Since early 2012
Syrian irregular migrants compose one of the largest groups of irregular migrants who
try to g oto Europe via Turkey and who were caught up at land or sea borders of Turkey.

As in the case of Turkey, the all Eastern Mediterranean countries are prone to
the both positive and negative impacts of growing scale of international migration. It is
important to keep in mind that irregular migration rates within the whole international
migration movements will increase. Securitization of irregular migtration may highly
probably lead to death of most people on route. If we do not prefer people to die or
perish in the Mediterranean Sea then we, as “regular” humanbeings should work harder
on the root causes.

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Books and Periodicals:

Burgess, Peter J. (2007), “Non-Military Security Challenges,” Contemporary Security and Strategy,
Craig A. Snyder (Ed.), Palgrave, London.

Castles, Steven and Miller, Mark J. (2003), The Age of Migration, International Population
Movements In The Modern World, Palgrave, Mac Millan.

Crepaw, Francois and Nahache, Delphine (2006), “Controlling Irregular Migration in Canada:
Reconciling Security Concerns With Human Rights Protection,” IRPP Choises, Vol.12, No.1.

Çiçekli, Bülent& Demir, Oğuzhan Ömer (2013), Türkiye Koridorunda Yasadışı Göçmenler,
Karınca Yayınları, Ankara.

Guild, Elspeth(2009), Security and Migration In The 21st Century, Polity Press, Cambridge, UK.

Koser, Khalid (2007), International Migration, A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University
Press, New York.

Internet Sources:
International Organization for Migration World Migration Report (2010), The Future of
Migration: Building Capacities for Change, Geneva, Switzerland.
bookstore/free/WMR_2010_ENGLISH.pdf (accessed September 4, 2012)

Koser, Khalid,(2011), “When Is Migration A Security Issue?” Opinion, Brookings Institution. (accessed May

16, 2012)

Lodge, Anthony (2010), Beyond The Frontiers: Frontex , The First Five Years , Offset-Print,
Michałowice, Poland,
Frontiers.pdf (accessed September 2, 2012)

(accessed April 15, 2013)

FRONTEX, (accessed April 12,


FRONTEX, (accessed March 28, 2013)

FRONTEX Annual Risk Analysis 2011, Warsaw April 2011, http://migrantsatsea.wordpress.

com/2011/05/12/frontex-issues-2011-annual-risk-analysis/ (accessed March 12, 2012)

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

FRONTEX FRAN Quarterly 2013, Quarter 1, January-March 2013,2013 http://www.frontex. (accessed May 12, 2013)

Global Bilateral Migration Database

migration-database (accessed Jan.12, 2013)

ICMPD, (accessed May 12, 2012)

“International migration policies and data: Migration picking up but rising unemployment
hurting immigrants”
htm (accessed May 21, 2013)

International Organization for Migration, “Key Migration Terms,”

sites/iom/home/about-migration/key-migration-terms-1.html#Migration (accessed April 21,

“Irregular Migration,Migrant Smuggling and Human Rights:Towards Coherence,” ICHRP, Policy

Brief, 2010, , accessed July 11, 2012)

Turkish General Staff, gecisleri/

yasadisi_sinir_gecisleri_2013.htm (accessed June 22, 2013)

migration/glossary/migrant/ (accesses May 28, 2013)

UNHCR, (accesses June 25, 2013)

UNODC, Transnational Organized Crime,

smuggling.html (accessed August 4, 2012)

UNODC, (accessed August 4,


UNODC (2011) , Issue Paper, Smuggling Of Migrants By Sea, Vienna, Austria,
(accessed March 10, 2012)

UNODC, (2011), Issue Paper, Transnational Organized Crime in the Fishing Industry http://www.
the-fishing-industry.html (accessed March 11, 2012)

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Sigurd Neubauer


Oman is strategically positioned across the Gulf of Oman from Iran, north of
Yemen, and east of Saudi Arabia. It has arguably been able to secure its rapid economic
growth—spurred by oil riches—by maintaining neutral, if not friendly, relations with
these neighbors, including Iran. Yet while Oman has successfully kept itself neutral, it
still inhabits a precarious location. It shares with Iran the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway
that Iran has threatened to close due to its charged relations with the Gulf Cooperation
Council countries and the United States, who rely on the Strait to transport oil to world
markets. Such a position, coupled with Oman’s geographic proximity to the Indian
Ocean, where Somali pirates operate, has made maritime security over the past decade a
key pillar of the country’s foreign policy strategy. Muscat thus seeks to counter a range of
threat scenarios, from piracy to regional tensions, by closely linking maritime security
policies to its neutrality-based foreign policy doctrine.

I. Introduction

This paper focuses on the origins and dynamics of Oman’s strategic concerns
in its relationship with its neighbors, and how this shapes the country’s maritime
security policies. It posits that the Sultanate’s overarching strategic constants, based on
its precarious location, positioned across Iran, north of Yemen and to the east of Saudi
Arabia guides its neutrality-based foreign policy. Secondly, since the days of the ancient
Magan civilization, from the fourth millennium BC, Omanis have sought contact
with the nations of the ancient and modern world by taking advantage of its unique
geographical position at a junction of sea routes between Arabia, East Africa and Asia.
By the eighth century, Omani merchants navigated the perils of the Indian Ocean and
sailed to Canton in China, and to East Africa. In the first half of the nineteenth century,
Oman’s ruler, Sultan Sultan Said bin Sultan(1797-1856), sent merchant ships to London
and New York and subsequently forged strong commercial and diplomatic ties with
both Great Britain and the United States; a strategic alliance maintained by Oman until
the present.

This paper also builds on a 2012 presentation given on Omani maritime security
policies at the Maritime Security Center of Excellence1 in Marmaris, Turkey; a NATO

1 Sigurd Neubauer, “Maritime Security In Oman,” Maritime Security Center of Excellent,” 17 November 2012.

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affiliated institute and a previously written book chapter on the same topic.2 The analysis
draws heavily on interviews with internationally recognized maritime security experts
and senior Omani officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of
Defense who, given the sensitivity of the subject matter, requested that their comments
and insights be used on a not-for attribution basis. Names and affiliated organizations
of these individuals have therefore been omitted from the text. However, any mistakes
made, are entirely my own.

II. Threats Presented by Somali Piracy

Oman has arguably been able to secure its rapid economic growth, prompted
by oil riches, by maintaining friendly and cordial relations with all of its neighbors,
including with Iran. However, given Oman’s precarious location, sharing the Straits of
Hormuz with Iran coupled with its close geographical proximity to the Indian Ocean,
where Somali pirates operate, maritime security has over the past decade become a
key pillar of the country’s foreign policy strategy. By closely linking maritime security
policies to its overall foreign policy doctrine, this chapter outlines how Oman seeks to
counter a range of threat scenarios stemming from Somali piracy to regional tensions
over control of the Straits of Hormuz.

As a testimony the potentially disastrous consequences Somali piracy present

to the Oman’s overall prosperity, pirates not only threaten international shipping off
the coast of Eastern Africa but emboldened pirates are increasingly drawing nearer the
Sultanate’s territorial waters. In August 2011, pirates, disguised as fishermen, entered
southern Omani territorial waters and hijacked a chemical-oil tanker with 21 Indian
sailors on board near the port of Salalah. The ship, later en-route to Somalia was
ultimately successfully intercepted by a Dutch navy ship. Last year, pirates hijacked
a Liberian-flagged oil tanker off the coast of Oman. Consequently, the International
Maritime Board (IMB) listed Oman in a high risk zone of pirate activity as at least
four vessels were attacked close to its geographic vicinity, while over a dozen attempted
pirate attacks were reported in 2012, according to the agency.3

Piracy aside, Oman also fears that political instability in Somalia and elsewhere
could prompt waves of illegal immigration, ultimately testing its navy and coast guard.
The country’s 3165 kilometer coastline also remains vulnerable to smuggling and illegal
fishing, officials stress.

III. Hormuz Tensions

As tensions between Iran and the international community continues to escalate

over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, Iranian threats to close the Strait of
2 Joseph Szyliowicz, “Maritime Security: Frameworks and Policy Applications,” chapter 9, 2013.
3 Oman Coast. Pirates of the Arabian Sea, 10 August 2012.

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Hormuz would not only threaten global energy supplies, as some 35 percent of all crude
oil carried by ship passes through, but effectively violate Omani territorial waters.

By sharing the Straits of Hormuz with Iran, Oman remains particularly

vulnerable to Tehran’s persistent threats to close the strategic water passage, albeit only
rhetorically thus far. After all, during the second half of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988),
Iran launched numerous attacks on foreign vessels engaged in the region’s seaborne
trade.4 The harm caused by these attacks were not only indiscriminate and extensive,
but they also inflicted great harm to Oman’s economic interests as the two countries
share Strait of Hormuz; a 21 nautical mile chokepoint, at its narrowest.

In a bid to mitigate risk stemming from the strategic water passage and the
potentially disastrous effect an international war with Iran could have on the region
and on Omani commercial interests in particular, the government recently constructed
a new port, Al Duqm, with a strategic location in the Arabian Sea; the new port also
provides dockyard facilities and ship maintenance services, potentially becoming a
major regional transport hub.

While Al Duqm will be accessible by ground transportation, talks are ongoing

between Oman and its Gulf Cooperation Council allies, comprised of Bahrain, Qatar,
Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia on constructing a potential pipeline
transferring energy resources to Duqm, and from there to world markets.

Despite these measures meant to shield the region’s energy supply lines from
potential attacks, Omani officials express confidence in their ability to ultimately
persuade Iran from closing the Strait, as Iranian ships no longer will be able to access
the Indian Ocean. Unlike the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which over the
past decade have invested significant resources in building alternate pipelines as part
of an effort to circumvent the Strait of Hormuz, Iranian ships are solely reliant on the
narrow passage to enter the sea,Omani officials reason.

Omani officials also explain that “none of its neighbors” receive “preferential
treatment,” including Iran; instead, Muscat seeks to balance its relations between
Tehran, the GCC and the international community at large. Omani officials also say,
in the event Iran attempts to block the Strait, it remains “doubtful” whether that threat
can be actualized due to the heavily patrolled waterway by the U.S. Navy and its British,
French and GCC counterparts. Nonetheless, Muscat officials stress, privately, that
a “Western” war with Iran and threats presented by piracy present limits to “Omani
tolerance,” as its economic interests would be severely hurt.

As a testimony the potentially disastrous consequences tensions in the Strait of

Hormuz could have on Omani interests, The Financial Times reported on a “mysterious
incident” that involved a Japanese oil tanker, passing through Omani territorial waters
4 John Duke Anthony, “Strategic dynamics of Iran-GCC relations,” Industrial Revolution in the Gulf, Routledge Studies in
Middle Eastern Economics, p. 95, 2011.

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in July 2010.” Shortly after midnight, the ship “reported a flash, quickly followed by what
sounded and felt like an explosion.The double hull, holding about 2m barrels of crude
oil, withstood the explosion but damage was visible inside... Mystery still surrounds
the incident. According to Mitsui OSK Lines, owners of the vessel, there seemed to
have been an ‘attack from external source.’”Following the incident, “Tehran quickly
distanced itself the blast, saying it must have been accidental.” Until today, the cause of
the incident remains a mystery.5

IV. Oman’s Historic Ties with Iran

Under the reign of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said (1940-), Muscat’s stated
foreign policy objective centers on maintaining friendly relations with its immediate
neighbors, while avoiding interfering in the internal affairs of any state in the region.
A neutral foreign policy, coupled with Qaboos strong emphasis on socio-economic
developments has brought remarkable prosperity to his nation, according to data
released by the United Nations Development Program.6

Since assuming power in 1970, through a bloodless palace coup, the Shah of Iran
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and King Hussain of Jordan were the only regional leaders
to support the young British-educated prince in his quest for the throne; Qaboos
apparently never forgot - and since forged strong political ties with Tehran7. Presently,
however, Oman enjoys friendly relations with all countries of the region.

It should also be noted that during the Dhofar rebellion (1962-1978), launched
in the southern province of Dhofar against the Sultan, Iran dispatched over the ensuing
years a total 30,000 troops to fight off the insurgency. Although Britain also assistance
the Sultan in this effort, Tehran unlike London was willing to take casualties. Iranian
support during the Dhofar rebellion coupled with the Shah’s robust support for Qaboos’
quest for the throne helped lay the groundwork for the present friendly relations
between the two countries.

Drawing upon its historical ties to Tehran, Muscat successfully mediated the
release of fifteen British navy personnel captured at gunpoint by Iranian forces in 2007.
Similarly, again drawing upon its close relations with Iran, Oman mediated the release
of three U.S. hikers, accused by Tehran of “espionage” in 2011.8 Oman also remains a
staunch U.S. ally and enjoys close defense cooperation with the United Kingdom in
particular as part of its neutrality-based foreign policy doctrine.9

5 Javier Blas,. “Energy: Corridor Of Power,” Financial Times, 4 October 2012.

6 Ayman Khalil, “UNDP: Oman leads top of the world’s ten long-term developments,” Global Arab Network, 05 November
7 Sigurd Nuebauer, “How Oman skirted the Arab Spring,” Huffington Post, 13 December 2011.
8 Uri Friedman, “Oman: The World’s Hostage Negotiator,”, 14, November 2011.
9 The International Institute for Strategic Studies. The Military Balanced 2012 p.342.

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V. Linking Maritime Security Cooperation to Regional Diplomacy

Extending Oman’s foreign policy doctrine of neutrality at sea, the Royal Navy
Oman (RNO) conducts annual bilateral exercises with its GCC partners, India, Pakistan
and with the United States. The Sultanate also conducts annual multilateral exercises
with the GCC, the United States, Britain and France.

In close cooperation with its GCC allies, the RNO participates in an annual
multilateral exercises that rotate each year into the territorial waters of one of its partners.
Although the theme of the GCC naval exercise vary from year to year, it takes six years
before the drill in question returns to host country. When it comes to missile firing tests,
due to the Gulf ’s narrow waterways, each of the GCC participants conduct testing in the
Arabian Sea; typically ranging between 80-100 miles off the coast of Oman.

The RNO also conducts a separate annual bilateral exercise with both its Indian
and Pakistani counterparts, each year alternating between each other’s territorial waters.

In addition to the RNO’s annual bilateral “Magic Carpet” exercise with the
U.S. Navy, Oman also commits herself to a yearly multilateral “Khanjar Hadd” [sharp
dagger] drill; drawing participation by the navies from Britain, France and the United
States. Aside from testing operational capabilities, a central component to Oman’s
various naval exercises is forging strong relationships, in a bid to enhance the nation’s
foreign policy doctrine of “independent internationalism.”

Although the RNO aims to send one ship from each class to each of its exercises, the
exact ship participation depends on availability and previous commitments, officials say.

While details of the RNO’s overall budget remains classified, officials reveal that
funding for its various annual naval exercises are derived from the RNO’s training
budget, also covering resources allocated for training RNO staff training seminars
abroad and at home.

V.1. A Multilateral Approach To Maritime Security

And Intelligence Cooperation

Although Oman does not conduct any drills with the Iranian Navy, the two
countries informally coordinate counter piracy-efforts and its navies occasionally dock
at each others ports. However, counter piracy coordination is solely conducted with
the Iranian navy, and not with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Aside from its “informal”
piracy coordination with Iran, officials stress. Unlike with its GCC allies, Muscat has not
signed any intelligence cooperation agreements with Teheran. Formal bilateral naval
cooperation is strictly limited a junior Omani officer dispatched to Tehran to study
Farsi while his Iranian counterpart is sent to Muscat to learn Arabic.

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In the Strait of Hormuz, Oman and Iran “operate independently” of one another,
Omani officials stress.

Meanwhile in 2012, the RNO along with its GCC counterparts, participated in
a U.S. lead naval exercise, known as International Mine Countermeasures Exercise
(IMCMEX-12), focusing on clearing mines that Tehran, or guerrilla groups, might
deploy to disrupt tanker traffic, notably in the Strait of Hormuz.10

V.2. GCC Anti-Terrorism Treaty

In a bid to prevent extremist groups from threatening the prosperity and stability
of the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East at large, the leaders of the GCC countries
adopted in 2002 a security strategy for combating terrorism-related radicalism. The
very same year, the GCC issued what became known as the “Muscat-Declaration,” a
commitment to fight terrorism. On 4 May 2004, the GCC leaders convened again, this
time in Kuwait, where they signed an extensive counter terrorism agreement.

Under the new GCC anti-terrorism treaty, the parties agreed to conduct annual
joint naval exercises and share intelligence on threats ranging from piracy, terrorism at
sea, smuggling, to issues pertaining to illegal immigration.

At a subsequent GCC summit in the Saudi Arabian capital, a new agreement

focusing on transportation security was reached in 2006. Under the “Riyadh
Memorandum of Understanding,” GCC port officials would be able to inspect all ships
docking in its ports while its intelligence services could monitor and share intelligence
on any suspicious vessel operating in any of the territorial waters of the GCC countries.
As part of the “Riyadh Agreement,” a permanent secretariat, with an information center
and a permanent security committee was established in Muscat.

V.3. Intelligence Cooperation with India, Pakistan

Oman has also signed intelligence cooperation treaties with the United States,
Britain, France, India and Pakistan. Oman has not signed any intelligence cooperation
agreements with Iran. (In 1974, during the reign of the Shah of Iran, the two countries
signed a joint bilateral patrolling agreement but the treaty in question has not been in
place since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.)

Building on the 2004 GCC anti-terrorism treaty, Oman, the United Arab
Emirates and Saudi Arabia signed onto the “Djibouti Code of Conduct,” at an anti-
piracy summit in Djibouti in January 2009. According to the International Maritime
Organization (IMO) document, the signatories commit themselves to abiding by United
Nations Security Council Resolution resolutions 1816 (2008), 1838 (2008), 1846 (2008)
10 United States Department of State, “Senior Administration Officials Preview of the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation
Forum,” 28 September 2012.

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and 1851 (2008) and of UN General Assembly resolution 63/111, which fall within the
competence of the IMO and all international anti-piracy agreements.

Accordingly, all signatories of the Djibouti Code, “Commit themselves towards

sharing and reporting relevant information through a system of national focal points
and information centres; interdicting ships suspected of engaging in acts of piracy
or armed robbery against ships; ensuring that persons committing or attempting to
commit acts of piracy or armed robbery against ships are apprehended and prosecuted;
and facilitating proper care, treatment, and repatriation for seafarers, fishermen, other
shipboard personnel and passengers subject to acts of piracy or armed robbery against
ships, particularly those who have been subjected to violence.”

The IMO document continues,

“(a) the investigation, arrest and prosecution of persons, who are reasonably
suspected of having committed acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships,
including those inciting or intentionally facilitating such acts;

(b) the interdiction and seizure of suspect ships and property on board such ships;

(c) the rescue of ships, persons and property subject to piracy and armed robbery
and the facilitation of proper care, treatment and repatriation of seafarers,
fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to such acts,
particularly those who have been subjected to violence; and

(d) the conduct of shared operations – both among signatory States and with
navies from countries outside the region – such as nominating law enforcement
or other authorized officials to embark on patrol ships or aircraft of another

VI. Maritime Security: A National Priority

Given the various threat scenarios stemming from sea to Oman’s security and
prosperity, maritime security is addressed at the national level. Operationally, maritime
security responsibilities are divided between the Royal Oman Navy (RNO) and the
Coast Guard (CG), responding directly to the Royal Oman Police (RPO). Counter
piracy operations are also supported by the Royal Air Force Oman (RAFO).

Within Oman’s territorial waters, the CG is responsible for the country’s maritime
security policies. Beyond Oman’s 12 nautical miles, the RNO resumes that responsibility.
Aside from combatting piracy, the RNO is also responsible for protecting fisheries and
other resources.

11 International Maritime Organization,”Djibouti Code of Conduct,” 2011.

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Throughout Oman’s defense establishment, operational decisions are all made by

the various service commanders but ultimate authority rests with the country’s ruler,
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, who is the Commander in Chief. At the rank of Marshal,
Qaboos oversees each branch of the country’s military.Similarly, the Inspector General
of the ROP responds directly to the Sultan, and traditionally hails from the Royal Grade
Brigade. Aside from the Office of the Public Prosecutor, Oman does not have a civilian
component to its defense establishment.

As part of an effort to streamline maritime security policies and inter-agency

intelligence cooperation, the government is currently setting up a committee comprised
of a representative from the following agencies: the RNO, the ROP, the RAFO, Ministry
of Transport and Communications (MOTC) and Palace Affairs (responsible for the
interior). The new inter-agency task force will also be responsible for identifying how
maritime security issues are defined, agendas established, decisions made, policy
formulated, and resources allocated.

As the country is seeking to reform its maritime security decision making process,
in tandem with overhauling its present maritime legislation, Oman’s maritime budgetary
process is also expected to be reformed. Under current legislation, the ROP receives its
annual budget from the Ministry of Finance and subsequently allocates funding to the
CG. However, the GC enjoys additional discretionary resources for combating piracy
and illegal infiltration. While the ROP has signed various customs agreements with
the GCC, under the 2004 landmark anti-terrorism treaty, the CG also enjoys a certain
degree of autonomy as it operates according to its own code.

VII. Maritime Security Policies

Since the 1970s, the RNO has transformed itself into a modern entity, enjoying
close security cooperation with the United Kingdom in particular. Citing historic ties,
officials acknowledge, “Britain continues to understand Omani maritime needs well,
and vice versa.”

Consequently, as recent as in 2007, the RNO placed an order of three Kareef

Class Corvettes with British Aerospace Electronic Systems.12 However, although British
companies are often awarded major contracts, officials stress that all defense contract
awards are merit based.

Additionally, many of the RNO’s premier officer corps received their education
in Britain.

Sizable to its small population (3,02 million), the RNO is made up by a 4,200 well-
trained personnel. By comparison, the country’s Coast Guard, responsible for enforcing
much of the country’s maritime security policies, employs a staff of 400.

12,”Khareef Class Corvettes, Oman,” 2012.

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Although Oman lacks warfighting experience, its navy and armed forces
maintains a good state of readiness. Primarily focusing on territorial defense, and as
part of an effort to respond to increasing threat scenarios presented by sea, Oman is
believed to have increased its annual defense budget from 57.5 billion USD in 2010
to 66.6 billion USD in 2011.13 Drawing on its strong alliance with Washington and
London, Muscat “has ensured a steady flow of new equipment... to maintain military
effectiveness.” Additionally, responding to regional unrest prompted by the “Arab
Spring,” the GCC initially pledged a 10 billion USD aid package to Oman, in a bid to
help create another 10,000 public sector jobs, mostly meant to staff its military and
security forces. However, at the present stage, officials say, “it remains unclear whether
the funding will be granted.”

VIII. Transforming Port Efficiencies, Overhauling

Maritime Legislation

Oman has a number of commercial and industrial maritime ports strategically

positioned from the Port of Salalah in the south to Port Sohar and the Port of Shinas in
its northeast; and the Sultan Qaboos Port (SQP) in Muscat. Within the vicinity of the
Strait of Hormuz, but inside the Gulf, the Port of Khasab is strategically positioned.

Over the past three decades, Oman’s port sector has grown dynamically and
the country has taken a series of subsequent steps to establish herself as a regional
transportation hub. Accordingly, the government appears to be changing from a port
driven port policy towards a deeper strategic national approach on how to fully utilize its
various ports’ potential. As case in point, following a royal decree, Muscat’s SQP will be
transformed from an industrial port into a cruise hub. Meanwhile, all cargo operations
will be transferred to the Port of Sohar, the country largest in overall tonnage, located in
the northeastern Batinah region.

At the backdrop of the government’s strategic vision to increase the overall

efficiency of all of its ports, the GCC states are planning on constructing a joint rail
line running from Kuwait along the Gulf coast to Muscat, Oman. Given the potential
economic magnitude of the 1940-km regional network, Oman is projecting that the
GCC project will significantly boost growth at its various ports over the next decade.

While Oman is overhauling its national port strategy, the country is also in the
midst of renewing its maritime legislation in a bid to streamline regulations and increase
its overall competitiveness; a new legal framework is expected by the end of 2013.

Since signing on to the Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) of the
International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2002 and implemented its code in 2004,
Oman remains on the IMO’s white list (STCW). As Oman seeks to upgrade its various
port facilities while complying with international regulations and standards, the MOTC
13 The International Institute for Strategic Studies. “The Military Balanced 2012” (p.342).

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is currently implementing a series of recommendations brought forth by the IMO.

(The report and its findings remains an internal document, unavailable to the public).
Moreover, the MOTC is contemplating standardizing security regulations for all the
ports while seeking to maintain business friendly practices.

Enjoying a public-private partnership, all Omani ports, each operating by a Royal

Decree and a concession agreement lease its operation to a privately held management

Under the present legislation, Omani ports are structured according to the
European “landlord model,” where the government owns the ports while providing
a concession agreement to port management companies. While the government
continues to be responsible for covering the port’s external security related costs; inside
the port, the operating management company covers security costs. Moreover, each
port management company acts as port authority, leasing out land while granting
concessions to specialized stevedoring and other port service companies. While Oman
is currently consulting Dutch and Belgian ports on respective legislation covering issues
ranging from security to “landlord” best practices practices. In sink with its national
port strategy overhaul, all of Oman’s port security standards and practices are currently
being evaluated, port executives say.

IX. Enhancing Port Security Practices

On behalf of the government, the is responsible for the port’s external security
while MOTC carries the costs for fencing and gates. Within each port, a private security
company is hired responsible for maintaining daily security procedures. As part of
a 24/7 security scheme, all ships docking at Omani ports are susceptible to random
inspections all year around. While the CG patrols the waters outside of the port, the
ROP is responsible for the ports external security on shore.

As a testimony to strict Omani security regulations, a ROP commander is assigned

to each port, and his rank ranges between Colonel to Major, depending on the size of the
port. Given that some of its ports are positioned “between areas of tensions,” the ROP
has issued strict visitor regulations as part of an effort to protect ships and secure its
cargo. Consequently, the ROP is responsible for security standards and practices while
providing security guidelines to the company responsible for managing each Omani
port. The ROP is also responsible for implementing and executing various customs
agreements, falling under the GCC anti-terrorism treaty of 2004.

X. Anti-Terrorism Procedures

Prior to implementing the ISPS code, two annual drills simulating terrorist
attacks were carried out at each port. However, since 2008, one annual exercise is held

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at each port, involving all agencies ranging from ROP, CG, MOTC, Ministry of the
Environment to local and national hospitals. At each port exercise, port officials from
the other Omani ports may join as observers.

Aside from anti-terrorism drills, following the previously specified multi-agency

principle of participation, each port is also carrying out an annual oil spilling exercises;
spearheaded by the Ministry of the Environment. During both the anti-terrorism
and oil spill exercise, only one part of the port is sealed off while the remaining part
continues to be operational. Throughout the year, Oman’s ports remain open, 24/7, with
the exception of the first eight hours of the festival of Eid and on the last 8 hours of the
holiday in question, counting 16 hours total annually.

XI. Conclusion: A Holistic Approach to Maritime Security?

As a testimony to Oman’s visionary commitment to overhauling its various

maritime security policies, while remaining firmly committed to regional peace
and stability, Muscat is currently working on extending its continental shelf with an
additional 150 nautical miles. Following its June 2010 United Nations petition, Oman
is in the midst of crafting a policy centering on its ability to [responsibly] govern the
additional 150 nautical miles.Muscat is expecting to submit its full application to the
United Nations within the next 3-5 years.

In the event Oman’s continental shelf extension request is granted, Oman will
be in full control of the natural resources in the seabed of the extended area but not
the water above it. Muscat is also presently assessing what additional RNO resource
allocations are needed, in terms of manpower and procurement, should its continental
shelf request be granted.

While Oman’s exclusive economic zone (200 nautical miles) covers approximately
550,000 square kilometers, Muscat is not expecting that any of its neighbors, including
India, will object to its continental shelf extension request, officials say.

By extending its continental shelf, Oman is also signaling to the international

community its firm commitment to fighting piracy as its extended naval presence
arguably could help push pirates further into the Indian Ocean. On the other hand, as
piracy and political instability in Somalia continues to threaten Omani interests, it would
be prudent for Muscat - in cooperation with the GCC and the Islamic Development
Bank - to support a number of development initiatives in Somalia to help uproot piracy
networks on land. Moreover, drawing upon Oman’s close geographical proximity and
deep historical ties to East Africa, the Arab states could also strengthening partnerships
with tribal leaders across Somalia.

For Oman to successfully strengthen its overall maritime security, a first and
important step would be to enhance inter-agency cooperation by setting up a taskforce

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that will respond to the highest levels of government on issues ranging from assessing
various threat scenarios to crafting policies that will take into account the interests
of the various security agencies and those of the business community. In order to
establish a successful taskforce, it is critical that all government agencies responsible for
executing the country’s maritime security policies are represented as part of an effort to
break down bureaucratic boundaries and thereby ensuring that a holistic approach to
maritime security can be fully pursued. Within that framework, it is advisable that the
proposed government taskforce consults industry leaders and private sector groups on
issues of mutual concern, and vice versa.

Moreover, as Oman’s maritime security is closely linked to its overall foreign

policy doctrine, it is equally important that the proposed taskforce closely examines the
thematic effectiveness of the country’s various annual naval exercises and where relevant
improvements can be made. In that regard, it is also advisable that the government
assesses how improved intelligence cooperation with its GCC allies and international
partners can help strengthen regional cooperation while crafting the necessary strategies
to fully mitigate risks stemming from the Straits of Hormuz to Somali piracy. Lastly, the
taskforce should also evaluate the government’s maritime security resource allocation
priorities by closely examining issues ranging from defense procurements to funding
required for the necessary staff training.

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Dr. Yusuf Zorba & Mehmet İnanır


Transportation is considerable not only for economy but also indispensable for the
integrity and defense of countries. An important part of the goods handled and moved
through seaborne trade has comprised certain explosive goods that have increasingly
been demanded and used by a great variety of industrial fields. As a consequence, safety
in the operations of the dangerous goods at ports has become an important issue of
debates and regulations. Transportation of dangerous goods makes the widest and
most destructive effects to people and environment in spite of normal commodity. The
most fundamental point for preventing the bad and destructive effects of that kind of
dangerous cargoes are composing and developing a control mechanism and providing
good education.

In this study primarily focused to relationship between the concepts of safety

and security and culture, defined Class 1 type of dangerous cargoes, given the case of
accidental events and estimation was made on the results and impacts that may occur
around the ports. For this purpose ASAP-X excel tables used that also using in NATO
for the works related with the explosive, a possible explosion, the environment, and
human health effects would have been determined.

The purpose of the study is examination of safety management systems at ports of

dangerous cargo handling, and to show the seriousness of the situation in terms of security
and to increase of awareness of danger of carriage of cargoes with different hazards.

I. Introduction

Today’s world trade’s global dimension forces transportation sector to

flourish and continue to its growth. In the scope of transportation, this growth and
development can be seen in ships, ports, cargo quantity and of course in the newly
invented technologies. Nowadays ships especially container ships, show very rapid
technological improvements and in addition safety and security concepts are evaluated
as very important consideration points.

1 This study is prepared using Master’s Thesis of İnanır M. by the consultation of Zorba Y. namely with “Safety Management
Implementations at Sea Ports Handling Class 1 Type Dangerous Goods” in Dokuz Eylül University Graduate School of Social
Sciences, Maritime Business Administration, Logistic Management Program at 2012.

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As the requirement of international trade, emerged variations in ships and cargo

types have also effected the design and equipment requirements of port facilities. In
time port facilities restructured as “terminals” and cargo types handled in their own
respective specific terminals (as passenger terminal, container terminal etc.). Port
ownership and management is directly affected by mentioned restructuring and
significant reforms have been made on these issues (Esmer, 2010: 13). But, even though
ports have been started to specialize in terminal based, it is clearly seen that the ports have
not specialized on explosive and dangerous cargoes which present huge importance to
environment and public health. Of course the quantity of such cargoes and products is a
major issue in that omission but today’s logistic approach demands special precautions
on the transportation of these commodities. Ergo, as a logistical system, major issues
of port design, planning and determination of correct cargo handling equipment’s, are
safety, security, simplicity, flexibility and cost (Watanabe, 1991: 11).

Dangerous goods’, particularly explosive cargoes’ role carried by seaway are

highly important in this planning. The explosive substance is a highly unstable chemical
material which can turn into gas and heat instantaneously if induced with heat or
shocked with physical force. First used explosive in the history is cold Greek fire. Today’s
most common commercially used explosive material is called ANFO.

Explosive materials are classified in different segments in relation to their

chemical compounds, production processes, burning speed and to their commercial
applications. The most dominant separation of explosives is dividing them in to
“Strong” and “Weak” explosives. Both such explosives have different pressure waves
and environmental effects. Detonation speed of the explosive is important in classifying
a material as strong or weak explosive.

Due to complex nature of explosive substances, it is hard to predict different

measures of pressure effect (blast) caused by explosions. A characteristic of a blast is
related to explosive charges energy storage capacity and to the nature of the environment
where damage spreads. Explosive charge is defined as required quantity of explosive
material for the destruction of specific target. The blast of an explosion and effects of
this explosion to the target is related to below factors;
• Type of explosive,
• Shape of explosive,
• Quantity of explosive material,
• Detonation start point,
• Detonation place of explosive charge (air, ground, underground, etc.)
• Floor characteristics at detonation point,
• Geographical form and surface structures where blast wave spreads
• Characteristics of receiver (Zukas and Walters, 1998: 18)

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Many States use rules based upon the explosives, their quantity, and the distance
from the explosive to where people are at risk. These rules are known as Quantity-
Distance (Q-D) criteria, and are based on the approach derived from the Hopkinson-
Cranz Scaling Law, which is further amended by a range of coefficients. It is the basis of
much of the work on the estimation of appropriate quantity and separation distances.
Function about the explosive material quantity and created pressure wave effect is with
below formula. R, distance to detonation point in meters, W quantity of explosive
charge in kilograms.

Following features of explosive materials are demanded by world military

organizations (DoD 6055.09/Std-27);
• Availability and cost
• Sensitivity
• Bresans (Destruction) Power
• Strength
• Hygroscopicity
• Reactivity and availability
• Toxicity

Dangerous goods in trade are classified including explosives for the sake of
logistical process determination. Different classes of dangerous goods require different
handling processes according to their specifications and their hazards. A part of the
United Nations (UN), International Maritime Organization (IMO) has classified these
kinds of dangerous goods in 9 classes in the IMDG Code. The first class of the Code is
for explosives and named as Class 1, and it recommends a lot of special precautions for
the transportation of explosive cargo.

In most of the ports ships carrying Class 1 type explosives are not accepted, thus
workers of said ports are never came in contact with Class 1 cargo. Even the ports which
accepts such cargo, only allow very small quantities to be handled next to pier/ to be sent
to any other destination as fast as possible. The cargo is never stored in open / closed
port areas. Due to explosive materials characteristics and different kind of risks, IMDG
Code, reclassify Class 1 type cargoes in 6 sub divisions. These are listed as follows;

Class 1: Explosives
Division 1.1: substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.2: substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a
mass explosion hazard
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Division 1.3: substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor
blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.4: substances and articles which present no significant hazard
Division 1.5: very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.6: extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion

Transporting dangerous goods by seaway is regulated with laws based on three

different international regulations (SOLAS, MARPOL and CSC). IMO’s main concern
in these regulations is safety of seafarers and ships. But dangerous goods carried by
sea continue to be dangerous even if they are unloaded to the shore. IMO accepted
more regulations to prevent the risks associated with explosive cargoes in port areas by
its assembly in 1973 numbered A.289 (VIII) and named “Recommendations on Safe
Practice on Dangerous Goods in Ports and Harbors”.

IMO regulations are actually safety criteria have to prevent possible accidents
which may occur during the handling of dangerous cargo or while storing the cargo in
port area. As definition “Safety” is being free from natural hazards or mistakes. Safety
in organizations is mostly about the acceptance level of safe organizational culture. The
most known organizational culture definition is “the way things get done around here”
(Deal and Kenney, 1982: 4). But in case of dangerous goods, it must be stated that safety
must be completely free from human errors.

A correct safety management philosophy based on correct management

procedures must be developed for ports to improve safety of dangerous goods
transportation, maritime navigation, maritime service, product quality and port facilities
(Zorba, 2009:175). Because port areas commonly close to city centers, have social and
physical connections to cities mostly grow into city, accidents in ports become extremely
important. Thus such accidents may have serious consequences to the environment and
human life. Contrary to Darbra’s opinion (Darbra and Casal, 2004: 86), due to there is
a real accident possibility in port areas, handling some materials with specific features
(chemical products, hydrocarbons, fertilizers etc.) (Planas-Cuchi, 1997) is highly risky
in port area.

If lack of safety is a product of human errors, it must be a main purpose of the

management to improve safety. A especially about the highly dangerous cargoes, port
managements should give high consideration to security while they are not neglecting
the safety.

After the ISPS procedures, ports also concentrate on security management while
before it they were only used to have safety management system. But actually the ISPS
is just a summary of security codes thus port management should consciously improve
security culture of the port to review inefficiencies in the security system and prevent

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dangerous situations which may occur as a result of insecurity. Because in most of the
studies it has been pointed out that a person’s main devotion is to the management
system and into the organization culture (DeJoy, 2005: 119, Olive, 2006: 133, Lawrie,
2006: 252, Parker, 2006: 553, Obadia, 2007: 377, etc.). Even then, after September 11
process management codes of chemical products are mainly focused on security related
terrorism issues instead of safety (Moore, 2006: 175) thus port managers will be in
ignorance if they neglect the security management evaluations of their own ports.

For the sake of security, in the scope of ISPS regulations threat reviews, another
very important part of near miss incidents’ reviews is after effect analyze. To analyze
such incidents, previously occurred accidents can be used as detailed examples to clearly
assess the situation after such an event.

On 13.08.1986, an explosion occurred in “Kirikkale Explosive Charge Plant TNT

Loading Facility” as a result; 50% damage, 7 firemen’s death, 16 other casualties, 320
million USD worth of damage to property had happened. In the same plant another
explosion on the date of 03.07.1997 had happened at 0850 local time and large scale
property damage occurred including death of 1 person.

On 11.07.2011 black powder stored in 98 containers which had been seized during
their transit between Iran to Syria and brought into to South Cyprus Evagelos Florakis
Naval Base in Limassol area has been exploded. As a result of explosion 12 people died
and 62 people wounded, with the shock wave iron scraps from the explosion had spread
to 2 kilometers radius from blast point and damaged numerous vehicles in the area.
Also fire had started in the neighboring power plant; as a result a long duration power
failure had happened in the area.

On 05.09.2012 another explosion had shocked the Afyon Ammunition Plants. As

a result of explosion 25 soldiers had been martyr and 6,8 million USD worth of damage
to property had been calculated. Shrapnel’s and body parts had been collected inside a
20 km2 area. First incident is classified as an accident while ammunition transporting
but then at the end of the relevant court case incident was suspected to be a terrorist
attack or sabotage. Finally experts overruled that suspicion as the accident very well be
a case of some crates falling over to the ammunition stockpile (http://www.aktifhaber.
com/afyondaki-patlamanin-sebebi-ortaya-cikti-846575h.htm, 01/09/2013).

Many similar case reports can be collected easily. Such reports have tremendous
value for security and safety management procedures about the dangerous goods
transportation and handling practices.

II. Aim of the Study

The aim of this research study is the determination of values that may be affected
if an explosive cargo explodes in port area during storage or in handling processes and

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developing a good security management process that may put proactive regulations to
prevent such accidents.

Another important point of this study, by the conclusion of it, determination

of lack of security or neglected security issues can be easily observed and found and
reliable predictions can be evaluated for property damage which may occur by analyzing
similar past situations. Also by giving measurable results, this study’s analyses can be
re-evaluated by different scientific areas. In conclusion this study will create awareness
on the subject.

III. Methodology

In the study DDESB Automated Safety Assessment Protocol – Explosives

(ASAP-X) work sheet which is released by USA Department of Defense on 01.12.2010
has been used for Port of Izmir Alsancak predictions and results are evaluated.

ASAP-X is a Microsoft Excel Worksheet specially designed to help to DoD and

NATO personal to predict quantity-distance regulations while they work on explosives.
ASAP-X has 3 different versions which consist of 3 pages of worksheet. First page has
entries for name, version, control, date and usage procedures. Second page is used to
input required data. ASAP-X data input page has evaluation for any kind of potential
explosive areas (Deliberate detonation, Hardened aircraft shelters, underground
explosive storage areas and explosive ordnance disposal qualifications distances are
beyond the scope of this worksheet) Third page produces output required to assess the
evaluation of data inputted into ASAP-X. In this part ASAP-X, predicts death toll and
damage to the building but it omits special equipment damage inside the building and
work loss due to structural damage of area.

For the study, said calculations are applied to IMDG Class 1.4 ANFO material
for Port of Izmir Alsancak. Mentioned material is 2000 kgs and carried in a container.
According to calculations of DoD 6055.09-STD for the detonation of said material
in Port of İzmir quantity-distance predictions for residential area and the highway is
30.5 meters. If same 2000 kgs material is recalculated with DDESB Automated Safety
Assessment Protocol – Explosives worksheet if a detonation happens in the pier where
such materials are handled the closest residential place, in this case port’s administrative
building is not damaged at all.

If same material but 100,000 kgs of it reevaluated by DDESB Automated Safety

Assessment Protocol – Explosives worksheet and detonation point is taken same pier
where normally such cargo is handled effected damaged areas are explained in Table 1
and Table 2.

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Table 1. Data I of Affected Area from explosion of Ship X 100000 kgs.

Working Cost of Damage To

Affected Area Distance Area Death
Personal Property Property

TCDD Warehouse 169 2 (Q3.6) 10 9,0 100,000 100,000.00

High Density Traffic
312 4 (Q9.6) 100 4,6 0 0,00
TMO Silos 472 5 (Q14.8/PTRD) 10 0,2 500,000 80,277.78
Passenger Terminal
510 5 (Q14.8/PTRD) 100 1,6 100,000 15,000.00
Waiting Building
634 5 (Q14.8/PTRD) 100 1,4 1,000,000 115,555.56
2764 > 2 IBD 100   1,000,000  
KARŞIYAKA Pier 3041 > 2 IBD 100   100,000  

Table 2. Data II of Affected Area from explosion of Ship X 100000 kgs.

Ship X Results of Analyze

Damage to Damage to
Area Distance Death Death %
Property property %
1 1 (U-IM) 0 0    
2 2 (B-IL) 10 100,000 %100 %100
3 3 (U-IM) 0 0    
4 4 (U-IL) 5 0 %5  
5 5 (PTRD) 4 210,834 %2 %13
6 6 (IBD) 0 0    
7 7 (HS) 0 0    
Total effected workers 320
Total death 19
Death % %5,94
Total cost of property 1,700,000
Total damage to property 310,834
Total damage to property % %18.28
Total affected areas 5

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Figure 1. Port of Izmir Alsancak, Ship X 100,000 kgs, ASAP-X Evaluation

Source: Google Earth (14.06.2012)

If same material but 200,000 kgs of it reevaluated by DDESB Automated Safety

Assessment Protocol – Explosives worksheet and detonation point is taken same pier
where normally such cargo is handled effected damaged areas are explained in Table 3
and Table 4.

Table 3. Data I of Affected Area From Explosion of Ship X 200,000 kgs.

Working Cost of Damage To

Affected Area Distance Area Death
Personal Property Property

TCDD Warehouse 169 2 (Q3.6) 10 9,7 100,000 100,000.00

High Density Traffic
312 4 (Q9.6) 100 14,2 0 0.00
TMO Silos 472 5 (Q14.8/PTRD) 10 0,2 500,000 94,222.22
Passenger Terminal
510 5 (Q14.8/PTRD) 100 1,9 100,000 18,000.00
Waiting Building
634 5 (Q14.8/PTRD) 100 1,6 1,000,000 152,444.44
2764 > 2 IBD 100   1,000,000  
KARŞIYAKA Pier 3041 > 2 IBD 100   100,000  

According to evaluation of data obtained from ASAP-X calculations using inputs

gathered by secondary data analyses methods, it is clearly seen that if handled explosive
quantity increase, its damage to the environment, health and humans increase exponentially.
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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Figure 2. Port of Izmir Alsancak, Ship X 200,000 kgs, ASAP-X Evaluation

Source: Google Earth (14.06.2012)

Table 4. Data II of Affected Area from explosion of Ship X 200,000 kgs.

Ship X Results of Analyze

Damage to Damage to
Area Distance Death Death %
Property property %
1 1 (U-IM) 0 0    
2 2 (B-IL) 10 100,000 %100 %100
3 3 (U-IM) 0 0    
4 4 (U-IL) 15 0 %15  
5 5 (PTRD) 4 264,667 %2 %17
6 6 (IBD) 0 0    
7 7 (HS) 0 0    
Total effected workers 320
Total death 29
Death % %9,06
Total cost of property 1,700,000
Total damage to property 364,667
Total damage to property % %21.45
Total affected areas 5

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Especially due to Alsancak Port’s placement in the center of residential area, it is

determined that it represents a great risk for port workers and people who lives close to
the Port if IMDG Class 1 type cargoes handled in the facility.

IV. Results

Certain investigations at some ports where explosives operations are carried

out reveal that despite various national and/or international restraints/difficulties
encountered such operations are safely and securely carried out. Nevertheless, there
seem to exist some shortages likely to cause certain damages on safety required, which
would in turn damage the environment involved as well as the national security. In
order to avoid such damages, and thus sustain safety and security some of the recovery
measures and adjustments revealed through the overall findings could be highlighted
as follows;

• Considering the fact that unlike the other hazardous cargoes, explosives are
prone to attacks and sabotages by terrorists, the security of the ports hosting
the safety and operations of these items should not be left to responsibility
of only those responsible for the cargo or the units of navy and port security
responsible for the safety of the relevant operations. It should also involve
through a well-organized coordination such other authorities as the relevant
governor, regional security office, the mayor of the municipality, coastguard
and the garrison commander. The protocol signed by all these parties should
also include the class definitions of the explosives involved and certain
scenarios including extraordinary cases/situations.

• Developing certain adjustments so as to maintain the security of the pier

where the explosives related port operations are carried out as well as that of
the warehousing space just adjacent to pier.

• Approximating the extents and the effects of any explosion likely to be

encountered at the port, and the relevant risk evaluation/assessment is to
include the industrial plants, particularly those producing or using any of the
petroleum/oil products and chemicals, operated in the region.

• Drawing and experimental the practicability of, an evacuation plan for the
people likely to get affected by any fires which could be triggered a highly
populated place such a plan is to be made by the governor of the relevant
provincial district.

• Taking into consideration the security investigation reports the levels of

education and the awareness of the importance of the operations in terms of
national defense and environmental safety, the employees should be trained
accordingly, their psychological moods should be kept under strict control

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

and it should be secured that they should be informed merely about what they
are supposed to know, keeping certain points confidential/secret.

• Recovering and bettering the communication facilities through both civilians

and soldiers in charge of handling.

• Comparing and contrasting the options for the place to carry out the handling/
operation of explosives and evaluating to what extent the particular port is
proper for such handling. The options mentioned could involve regions, state/
public sector, private sector and navy ports.

• In case of the ship carrying explosives cannot approach the port called,
approximating any effects of such failure on the environment likely to be
sourced from the position permitted for anchoring or any other undesirable
encounters such as fire onboard, attacks to the cargo, or accidents, etc.

V. Conclusion

As a consequence of certain investigations/analyses carried out where a

considerably great amount of explosives are operated, there seems to be need for certain
recoveries and correcting steps to have such operations carried out safely and securely.
Some of the actions to be taken could be highlighted as follows;

• To create protocol between navy and public sector like “Port Safety, Security
and Cooperation Protocol”

• To separate pier and operation area according to IMDG Code regulations,

• Escort and protection service to the ship from the sea,

• To away port facilities from the city center,

• To control transport vehicle and transport route,

• To give importance to education of port workers

• To create well organized communication network.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


Aktif Haber (2013), “Reason of the Afyon Explosion” available at http://www.aktifhaber.

com/ afyondaki-patlamanin-sebebi-ortaya-cikti-846575h.htm, 01/09/2013

Cranz C (1916), Lehrbuch der Ballistik, Springer-Verlag, Berlin

Darbra, R. M., Casal, J (2004), Historical analysis of accidents in seaports. Safety Science
42: 85–98

Deal, T.E. ve Kennedy, A.A. (1982), Corporate Cultures. Boston: Addison-Wesley Pub.

DeJoy, D. M. (2005), Behavior change versus culture change: Divergent approaches to

managing workplace safety. Safety Science 43: 105–129

Esmer, S. (2010), Konteyner Terminallerinde Lojistik Süreçlerin Optimizasyonu ve Bir

Simülasyon Modeli. İzmir, Turkey: University of Dokuz Eylul Press.

Hopkinson B (1915), UK Ordnance Board Minutes 13565.

IMO - International Maritime Organization (2002), IMDG Code – International

Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. London

IMO - International Maritime Organization (1995), Recommendations on the Safe

Transport of Dangerous Cargoes and Related Activities in Port Areas, London.

Lawrie, M., Parker, D., Hudson, P. (2006), Investigating employee perceptions of a

framework of safety culture maturity. Safety Science 44: 259–276

Moore, H. D. 2006, Metasploit Project,

Obadia, I. J., Vidal, M. C. R., Melo, P. F. F. F. (2007), An adaptive management system for
hazardous technology organizations. Safety Science 45: 373–396

Olive, C., O’Connor, T. M., Mannan, M. S. (2006), Relationship of Safety Culture and
Process Safety. Journal of Hazardous Materials 130: 133-140

Parker, D., Lawrie, M., Hudson, P. (2006), A framework for understanding the development
of organisational safety culture. Safety Science 44: 551–562

Planas-Cuchi, E., Montiel, H., Casal, J. (1997) A survey of the origin, type and consequences
of fire

accidents in process plants and in the transportation of hazardous material, Trans. IchemE.
75, 3–8.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

UNODA (2013), International Ammunition Technical Guidelines, Formulae for

ammunition management, UNODA, UN Headquarters, New York, NY 10017, USA

USA Department of Defense (2008), Ammunition and Explosives Safety Standards.

USA Department of Defense (2008), DoD 6055.09/Std, USA Army Ammunition and
Explosive Standarts Textbook 2008-120 Pentagon, USA

Watanabe, I. (1991), Characteristics and analysis method of efficiencies of container

terminal-An approach to the optimal loading/unloading method, Container Age, March.

Zorba, Y. (2009), Safety Management for Dangerous Cargo in International Maritime

Transport: International Maritime Dangerous Goods Shipping Standards - IMDG Code
and its Implementations in Turkey, Dokuz Eylul University, Graduate School of Social

Zukas, A.J ve Walters, W.P. (1998), Explosive Effects and Applications. Newyork: Sprinfer-

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Christopher Ledger


Piracy, terrorism and maritime crime have been with us since man first went to
sea, traded along the coastline and then ventured out beyond the sight of land. The fight
to control, or better still, eliminate the scourge has historically been at least one step

The first years of this Century have seen a quantum rise in serious, economically
important and successful piracy & terrorism attacks and, less noticed or reported on but
just as economically devastating, the interdiction of near coast waterways and ports by
maritime crime.

The Century started with more serious attacks in and around the Malacca Straits,
which ranged from pure theft to hijack of complete ships, often tugs towing barges. The
Gulf of Guinea, specifically Nigeria, where a war of attrition against oil interests, at the
outset anyway in the ‘80’s, was the main motivation, not hijack and ransom. Other areas
were also plagued by maritime crime of varying intensity but the economic effects were
generally not internationally recognized.

I. Background

The last 4 years has seen an increasingly serious, sophisticated, well financed
and well equipped explosion of piracy attacks against large, supposedly well found and
professionally run ships in the strategically vital Gulf of Aden. It is common knowledge
that the main pirates are Somali’s; based in chaotic and war-torn middle and lower
Somalia, rather than the much more stable Somaliland.1 However Yemini’s and others
have also played a part, not least in the Red Sea and along the Yemen coast.

Because of perceived threats to national security, punitive insurance rates, the

flow of oil to the major Powers and a general demand from the Maritime Sector for
action, a number of nations have deployed warships, designed and built to be effective
in the “next maritime war” and thus, with few exceptions, hugely overdesigned – and

1 Why the major powers have not done more to support the hard pressed Government of Somaliland is a complete mystery
and a major miscalculation in the view of many, including the Author

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

very expensive for the task to which they have been assigned - to counter the threat of
a few pirates in skiffs and, especially last year, hijacked ships used as floating mother-

The success of the RN’s RFA, deployed in 2011, shows, I suggest, that expensive,
missile carrying warships are not essential – even if it is good for training and bolstering
the argument for an increase to a naval budget! Warships have finite accommodation for
the specialized boarding parties required, Fleet Auxiliaries do not and can also deploy
more helo’s and boats.

As is always the case various maritime countries and groups of NGO’s have
wanted some of the action (1) to show that their expensive naval toys, designed for
another age or their organization are not irrelevant; (2) that they wish to be seen to still
have an International reach; (3) to give their navies and junior captains a good practical
workup/workout; (4) to show the core sources of their energy supplies in the region that
they will protect their source of revenue.

II. The Paper

This paper will look at the following, with a special emphasis an emerging, key
area, East Africa:

• Maritime Infrastructure Security – some concerns & requirements

• Some thoughts on EEZ/Territorial waters – the shortcomings & responsibilities

of countries under increasing threat

• How International Organisations can play an increasingly key role

• Stimulating a better response from the Private Maritime Sector – a better

balance, higher standards and the case for stronger enforcement

• Some concluding remarks

III. Setting the Scene

III.1. The World Energy Matrix & Main Trade Routes

To understand the pivotal position that the Middle East in general and the Indian
Ocean in particular occupies in the World Economies one only has to look at the volume
of seaborne trade, especially in energy and general commodities that pass through the
region. 2 It is little wonder that the Indian Ocean has become a fertile hunting ground

2 See Appendix for three diagrams which clearly illustrate this dominance

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for increasingly sophisticated piracy as the rewards have escalated exponentially as the
attackers have kept ahead of the abilities of the World authorities to properly deal with
the situation. Practice has indeed made perfect.

However it is on the East African coast and within EEZ of those countries that
border the Indian Ocean, especially where oil and gas finds have mushroomed, that
Idarat and others now believe will become the new area of general piracy, increased
terrorism and maritime crime.

This paper concentrates on the need to develop a systemically resilient doctrine

for proper and appropriate Maritime Infrastructure Protection. Clearly much of
what will be said applies in other parts of the World from West Africa to the Far East
and indeed South America; however it is along the East African coast from Kenya
southwards, a region which is particularly vulnerable, but where concentrated and well
thought through Maritime Infrastructure Protection and support can still make a real
contribution to future economic stability.

III.2. The Essential Elements of Infrastructure Protection Rest on

the Attitudes and Actions of the Countries Themselves to:

• Effectively protect their own maritime coast out to 12nm and preferably to
their EEZ.

• Effectively police their ports, harbours and waterways

Many African states are in the grip of, at best, weak, self-serving elites where
protection of their maritime coastline and assets comes a distinct second to the amassing
of grant aid into questionable accounts and, all too often the misappropriation of
monies earned from natural resources. Where maritime assets have been acquired from
Western defence companies or Far Eastern interests they have proved to be expensive,
over complex, often difficult to maintain and rarely leave their bases with any serious
or effective intent. In short they are the result of diplomatic and/or financial pressure/
blandishments rather than a good, simple tactical appreciation of what is effective and
within the likely capabilities of the country concerned.

This mismatch MUST be addressed as a matter of priority.

III.3. Africa in Context

Some basic statistics:

• Population will double to 2 billion by 2050

• 45 out of 60 states have, or will have proven oil & gas reserves, much of it offshore
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• Maritime crime and the threat of seaborne terrorism is slowly being

acknowledged as a top priority for all African maritime states

• The levels of insecurity due to maritime crime are rising

• China’s oil imports from Africa doubled between 2006 & 2011

III.4. The New Energy Bonanza

A significant number of Oil Exploration Licences have been granted up to the

middle of 2012. Many have been drilled and a significant proportion has struck oil/
or gas in what appears to be at first sight large, commercially viable fields. At the end
of 2012 oil activity is on the rise – and with it the likely threat from piracy & maritime
crime as criminal investors switch their focus from the deep Indian Ocean towards what
they perceive to be, at the moment anyway, easier targets and more easily disposable

III.5. The Common Problems for the littoral countries

• A clear downturn in the crucial economic drivers of fishing, tourism and

coastal trade

• Poor transport infrastructure, lateral as well as internal

• A divided, post Colonial, now often tribal country

• Crippling poverty for the vast majority

• Corruption and poor governance

• Poor Communications – by land, sea and often telephonic

• Innate suspicion of outside interference (often with good reason)

This is not the place to discuss regional macroeconomics. However very little
research has been done in the crucial area of maritime economic drivers.4 All these
problems above add up to a major barrier to any form of sustainable, post oil boom
prosperity returning to the region.

In addition these barriers work against enabling poorer countries, especially

Tanzania, Mozambique or Madagascar, to begin to lay the foundations of state support of

3 in the Appendix are two maps showing current activity and Exploration Licences already granted.
4 In the appendix is an short Idarat commissioned study on the economic effects of Maritime crime – which shows how
little data exists

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the energy bonanza to come if properly handled. Almost without exception the solutions
lie in a maritime infrastructure that can be effectively policed, preferably by national
forces, supported and trained by international task groups. Without that perceived
security in place oil companies will be loathe to commit the very large sums required.

To try and place the whole burden of protection on the energy industry is very
unwise and will lead to the industry attempting to dictate actions that are not in the best
interests of the country concerned.

This is already happening to a small degree, as I illustrate later. But the initiative
is by no means enough and is beset by international jealousies and power plays coupled
with the heady mix of local politics. The age of the local warlord is by no means over
and indeed, with increased income from crime will get worse. Nor is the capacity of the
world power blocks to use the region as a major test of strength.

III.6. Maritime Trafficking

There is a blurred dividing line between Piracy, Maritime Crime and general
Trafficking. It has been shown that Maritime Trafficking fuels and underpins the basic
elements of Maritime Crime. Indeed some would argue that the core differences are the
way they are carried out and the commodity that is traded – techniques and often the
backers, are the same. Stop one and you curtail the rest.5

III.7. EEZ Maritime Crime

East African EEZ Maritime Crime can be split into:

Illegal Fishing

By a number of countries from the next-door neighbour to Far East Fleets as well
as, sadly, European fleets.


Smuggling is endemic, and has been for a thousand years - almost all the peoples
of E.Africa see this as a way of life and so it is not easily eradicated. However in recent

5 Matrix of World wide Maritime Trafficking

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years it has become more serious with organised crime taking a major role and vast
sums are now being made by syndicates; a short step to piracy.
Plain Crime
Tribal raids

The genesis of local piracy is the plundering of the coast and the near shore trade
of a weak nation with few assets to deploy as an effective antidote. With effective, cheap
modern weapons easily available local tribes and warlords become ever stronger, more
aggressive and difficult to counter, as Nigeria on the west coast has seen to its cost.

III.8. EEZ & 12NM Policing

It is very easy to criticise poorer countries for their lack of ability to combat the
rise in Maritime Crime. However very few have good domain awareness, fit for purpose
assets, a properly trained command infrastructure or the willingness to allow other
nations warships into their waters except during well scripted once a year exercises.

If maritime crime is to be reduced to an acceptable level this outlook must

change, and as soon as possible. As I will show later the APR initiative, led by the US,
is undoubtedly having an impact, but much more along the same lines must be done.

There should be no safe havens for pirates, marine based criminals or terrorists
nor collusion along the East African coast and this message needs to be driven home.
Country borders are a largely western imposition of course.

IV. The Motivator for Change

The discovery of oil and gas down the E. African seaboard and inland in Kenya
has triggered a scramble for drilling rights, advanced supply bases and of course great
interest from China in the East, to Europe and the US in the West. A glance at the distances
involved, the change in the strategic balance from an over reliance on the Gulf and the 2
“squeeze points” of Hormuz and el Mandeb as well as the glowing prognostications as to
the size of these emerging fields, make for a heady mix of opportunity for the countries
concerned – but also, as one expert put it recently – an equal spectrum of opportunity
for all types of maritime crime, coastal as well as further out.

This threat has not been lost on the energy companies of course.6 However there
are a number of clear priorities to be addressed as soon as practicable, many of which
the International community will need to have a role to be effective.
6 at appendix 2 maps showing the oil exploration in progress and projected off East Africa

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The priorities are:

• A quantum leap in local maritime capability

• The re-establishment of the rule of law, at least out to the 12nm limit

• A collective drive to improve the maritime awareness capabilities of effected

countries and the building up of their ability to react effectively

• Better support for training, inter navy cooperation and command & control

As I make clear later this is already happening and many influential experts
in the Region are well aware of the need for decisive action. Indeed there was a
Conference on the subject in South Africa in 2012, attended by all the major
players where the theme and discussion centred round better cooperation.

V. The Private Maritime Sector

Many organisations such as IMO, BIMCO with their excellent guidance, BMP4
(soon to be superseded by BMP5) and some Governments with significant fleets or with
a strong maritime tradition have, over the past couple of years have made determined
moves to improve the standards of maritime security. The problem remains however
that the maritime industry has a very long track record of not taking too much notice
or, at best, playing legal lip service to the standards recommended, indeed demanded by
the ISM Code and other regulations.

A more balanced response by the Industry is now necessary. It should no longer

be the case that the significant amounts spent by some national navies, especially in the
GoA over the past 3 years, should not be matched by the Industry.

The Idarat Pentagon, which is at the core of the Ship

Security Assessment Process where a balance is set
according to the ship’s strengths, weaknesses and areas
of operation.

There is a very significant proportion of smaller ships, especially down the east
African Coast where the regulations are totally ignored and/or where coastguards and
ports take a very relaxed view on enforcing them to any degree at all, even if they have
the means to do so.

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The current situation can be summed up as follows:

• Diverse industry, under intense financial pressures

• Concentration on “high end/high value” piracy attacks across Indian Ocean

where there is a reliance on armed guards to the detriment of ship hardening,
briefing & training

• Emphasis on “big players” and Western interests

• Ignoring smaller ships – especially near shore trade affecting economic

wellbeing of many countries – including Africa

It is worth quoting the relevant part of a key IMO Circular:

It is the legal responsibility of all ship owners, companies, ship operators &
masters to take “seamanlike precautions”7 when their ships navigate in any area where
the threat of piracy and armed robbery exists”

The problem is compounded by the erroneous view, taken by far too many
operators, that if armed guards are aboard that is all they need to do8.

There are good reasons to have armed guards for slow ships with low freeboards,
towing or those going to a particularly poorly policed anchorage or discharge point.
However that in no way obviates the need to properly harden the ship or train the
officers and crew nor to have an up to date, audited and practiced Ship Security Plan.

Certainly it is Idarat’s experience in general, and the author’s personally, that

a significant number of the ships that we have inspected or visited, who sometimes
have armed guards embarked, are physically badly protected – if at all - the crew
largely ignorant of what to do, the Master far from clear as to his responsibilities and
an unhealthy reliance on what are often poor calibre guards, badly led. It has to be
said however that reputable security companies take great care to ensure that the ships
they protect are properly briefed and that the Master is happy with the agreed decision
making process.

The Maritime Security Industry has made commendable steps to take a grip
on armed guard standards and contracts, but has had limited success, especially with
guards sourced from the Far East. The time has come for standards to be enforced by
regulation – just like Health & Safety – and not just left to the owners to ensure that they
have contracted to a good security company. Again the Flag States have a crucial role to
play – and some of them are beginning to take the necessary action.

7 The ISM Code, which is mandatory is very clear on this point – see Section 8 of the Code
8 There are a number of issues surrounding Armed Guards. Note 9 in the Appendix

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Some suggestions:
• Much firmer legal requirements & inspections by Flag states9
• A legal requirement for ships over 500dwt to install/follow the
recommendations of BMP4
• A declaration by all ships before entering a Port Area that they are fully
compliant with BMP4 – in line with the mandatory ISPS Declaration
• More snap inspections by Coastguards & anchorage police
• A more rigorous application of the ISM Code by Flag State and ports

The outcome will be that a higher percentage of ships will have:

• Had a comprehensive Ship Security Assessment

• Been properly hardened
• Properly trained
• Been well prepared
• Therefore have a confident crew

And will also be able to deal with any piracy, maritime crime or plain theft.

VI. The African Partnership Station

An increasingly successful International Initiative that gives some interesting

pointers for the way forward.10 Some Initiatives that NATO, EUNAVFOR and others
who have warships deployed should be considering as the nature and probable changes
in how piracy and maritime crime begin to evolve:
• The building of mutual trust with local navies
• More mentoring and training of local maritime defence forces
• Exercises with & support for local navies
• Provision of more effective local domain awareness
• Providing the critical bridge between knowing what to do & when – and
supporting local forces doing it
• Disrupting locally based pirate tactics/concentrations by more targeted,
intelligence led proactive operations within a country’s 12nm limit

9 At Appendix are 2 diagrams showing, 1, the relationship between Flags state and likelihood of hijack & 2, the Nationalities
of hijacked crews related to the nationalities of the deployed Naval forces
10 A short, pp based APR brief is at appendix

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VII. Conclusions

• Piracy and maritime crime is evolving in the Indian Ocean NOT reducing

• The areas of the World where it is becoming more than just a threat to
Worldwide vested interests is diversifying

• The effect of maritime crime on wildly differing countries is expanding at a

time when Global Trade is facing major economic challenges and the ability
of a few of the richer nations to contribute to a Maritime Police Force may be

• Countries at risk of attack or economic ruin should be encouraged and

supported to take responsibility for their EEZ by those richer Nations with
whom they trade, have post colonial ties and above all, whom they trust

• Solutions within the capabilities of those countries should be encouraged

rather than the sale of the latest, over-specified kit linked to a need by senior
commanders to parade unsuitable “toys”

• Solutions should be expertise & transfer of skills driven – NOT money per se

• The Maritime shipping community should be held more accountable for the
security standards on their ships – whatever the size of ship or company.


1-) The key Energy sea routes and Prime World refineries

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2-) A snap shot of AIS tracking organisation’s clients ship on 1 day in October 2012

3-) This data is centred on ships that fall within the ambit of the IMO and the
larger flag states. It does NOT show the many hundreds of small but essential coastal
craft who regularly fall victim to maritime crime

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9-) The Use of Armed Guards – Legal and Practical Issues

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Over the last few years many shipping companies and security advisors have seen
the deployment of armed guards as the best solution to the problem of piracy. While it
is the case at the time of writing that no ship carrying armed guards has been captured
off Somalia there are a number of serious issues relating to the use of armed guards on
civilian vessels that need to be considered.

The issues relate to the legality of the carriage of weapons on board ships; the
potential legal liability of the ship’s Master and the owners where armed guards kill or
injure third parties, or cause damage to the ship and its cargo; the cost of deploying
armed guards; and the consequences of over-reliance on armed guards at the expense of
other protective measures. I will also look at the emerging international guidelines and
the need to establish effective rules of engagement for the use armed guards.

Legality of carrying firearms under International Law

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (“UNCLOS”) regulates
activity on the high seas generally, rather than the carriage of weapons in particular.
Instead, Article 94(1) of UNCLOS stipulates that each State must exercise jurisdiction
and control over vessels flying its flag. Accordingly, it is up to each individual State
to legislate on this matter. So the regulations governing the carriage of weapons are
those laid down by the flag state, but a vessel must also comply with the law within
the waters of each coastal state it enters. A state may therefore prohibit the carriage of
any weapons into its territory, even though there is no contravention of the law of the
ship’s flag state. As at February 2012 states including France, Spain (where a licence is
also required), Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Brazil required prior notice that a ship was
carrying weapons, Australia also required registration with a number of government
agencies. In South Africa all firearms must be registered, which in practice means that
foreign vessels cannot bring guns into the country; in one week in 2011 two masters
were arrested and charged under the South African Firearm Control Act.[1] Although
national requirements change, and this is far from being a comprehensive list, it does
highlight the fact that the carriage of weapons on board merchant ships is not straight-
forward. Indeed, some armed response teams have illegally hidden weapons on board
a ship, creating a potential legal problem for the Master and the ship’s owners; while
some others have been forced to ditch their weapons overboard before entering national
waters, in order to avoid problems.

Some countries, like the United States, have actively encouraged the use of armed
guards. U. S. Coast Guard Maritime Security Directive 104-6 (series) requires U.S.
flagged vessels operating in the Horn of Africa (HOA) and Gulf of Aden (GOA) regions
to provide additional armed or unarmed security as needed. However, other countries
were, at least initially, reluctant to endorse such measures.

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The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code requires all vessels
flagged in a signatory state of SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at
Sea, 1974), to put in place a safety plan specific to each vessel. These measures are not
prescriptive, and so the carriage or use of firearms for self-defence is not prohibited. The
International Maritime Organisation (“IMO”) initially strongly discouraged but did not
prohibit the carriage and use of firearms by seafarers for the purpose of defence from
piracy. Increasingly it is moving towards the adoption of an international regime to be
established which will provide a framework for flag states that decide to allow vessels
to deploy arms on board, according to the IMO’s secretary-general Koji Sekimizu. Mr.
Sekimizu dismissed the current industry schemes, and said ‘What is clear now is that
the way forward is not industry self-regulation on a voluntary basis.’ [2] The IMO has
issued guidelines to security companies and ship owners.

There are serious concerns about the dangers of carrying weapons. In particular,
there is concern as to whether some of the armed guards deployed have sufficient
competency and skill to use weapons, and apprehension that the use of weapons may
escalate an already dangerous situation.

Criminal sanctions

If someone is killed or injured in the territorial waters of a country or in a port,

the perpetrator of the killing may be subject to the criminal laws of that country.
States are also likely to claim jurisdiction where their citizens are killed in unlawful
circumstances in international waters; as India has done in the case of the killing of
two Indian fishermen by the Italian naval guards, Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore
Girone, who were on board the MV Enrica Lexie in February 2012. Italy has claimed
that the vessel was in international waters when the incident took place. Italy says the
shooting took place in international waters outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
India disputes this, saying the incident occurred in a “contiguous zone” where Indian
law applies.[3] The two Italians face charges of murder if the Indian Supreme Court
claims jurisdiction.

In a previous incident off Oman in April 2010, crew from a passing cargo ship
fired upon a group of fishermen, thinking they were pirates, killing one of them and
injuring another. Raju Ambrose, 34, was declared ‘dead on arrival’ by doctors at the
Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah on the south western coast of Oman. Shots were fired
without any warning or provocation from the ship at the group of nearly 75 fishermen
who had set off from Salalah in 25 boats.[4] I believe, from conversations with maritime
officers, that there have been many similar incidents, and most have gone unreported
because the victims were killed far out at sea. It does appear that many security guards are
virtually untrained and are not operating with any rules of engagement, and that seeing
a man in a small boat they will shoot him without asking questions. What is surprising
about the incident off Kerala involving the Italians is that they were trained military
personnel, who would have been expected to fire warning shots, not fatal rounds.
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There are likely to be criminal and civil law implications for the guards, the master
and the ship owner under most Flag State national laws if death or personal injury is
caused by the use of a firearm. Not all States will exonerate the user of the firearm on
the basis that he acted in self-defence. Seafarers may therefore find themselves facing
unforeseen penal consequences under foreign laws. The International Tribunal for the
Law of the Sea, in its M/V Saiga No 2 judgment, which related to naval personnel, said
that ‘international law … requires that the use of force must be avoided as far as possible
and, where force is inevitable, it must not go beyond what is reasonable and necessary in
the circumstances. Considerations of humanity must apply in the law of the sea, as they
do in other areas of international law.’ The judgment further suggests that practices which
are normally followed before resorting to force must be used. These include both visual
and auditory signals such as firing shots across the bows, and a variety of other measures.

Insurance Issues

There are a number of insurance issues that ship owners need to concern
themselves with. The first set of issues relates to insurance against damage, death or
injury, caused by the armed guards, and the second set relates to compliance with the
provisions of the insurance contracts that cover the vessel and its cargo.

Section 41 of the UK Marine Insurance Act 1906 implies into every contract of
insurance a warranty that the voyage is lawful and that, so far as the assured can control
the matter, the voyage will be carried out in a lawful manner. If the assured decides
to undertake self-defence involving lethal weapons, this could amount to carrying out
the voyage in an unlawful manner. For public policy reasons, a breach of the implied
warranty of legality cannot be waived by underwriters. If the ship owner’s self-defence
measures are not lawful, then underwriters will be automatically discharged from
liability under the policy from the breach onwards. As a further point, many contracts
will contain provisions which will oblige owners to waive their right of recourse against
the security company, should they have caused damage or loss to the vessel. In view of
this, hull and war risks underwriters need to review and approve the ship’s insurance
contract when armed guards are carried.

The Cost of Using Armed Guards

It is normally estimated that a ship owner will pay around US$5,000 or more a
day for a team of three to four armed guards. For a ship that regularly transits the Gulf of
Aden and/or the Indian Ocean they may carry armed teams for around 100 days a year,
at a cost of US$500,000 a year. For an industry that is suffering from depressed freight
rates, particularly for bulk carriers (reference the collapse in the Baltic Dry Index), this
represents a severe financial burden. Other measures, including hardening the ship and
the use of water cannon, can normally be undertaken for a reasonable fixed cost and
represent a real alternative to the use of armed guards. It is also the case that the use of

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armed guards does not mean that other protective measures are not required. I have read
at least one confidential report in which it was said that the pirates nearly overwhelmed
the guards, and the ship had no other defensive measures in place to fall back on.
At the minimum a ship transiting the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Oman and the
Gulf of Aden needs to have effective razor wire in place, a citadel and armouring for the
bridge and preferably the accommodation decks. Best Management Practices Version
4 (BMP4)[5] says that ‘If pirates are unable to board a ship they cannot hijack it.’ BMP4
adds that ‘if armed Private Maritime Security Contractors are to be used they must be
as an additional layer of protection and not as an alternative to BMP.’[6]

The Management of Armed Guards

The management of armed guards on ships raises a number of problems. Article

34-1 of SOLAS Regulations provides that, ‘The Owner, Charterer, the Company operating
the ship as defined in Regulation 1X/1 or any other person shall not prevent or restrict
the Master of the ship from taking or executing any decision which, in the Master’s
professional judgment, is necessary for the safety of life at sea and protection of the
marine environment’. This is reiterated in the ISPS Code which requires that the Master
of the ship must have the ultimate responsibility for the safety and security of the ship.
So legally the Master of the ship must be in charge. However, security companies often
demand that the Master does not have overall control over their operations, nor make
the final decision as to whether or not weapons are deployed and used. That decision
may rest with the security team, on terms that the Master only need be consulted “if
there is time”. The justification is that, if faced with a lethal threat, the right to self-
defence outweighs the Master’s overall responsibility to his crew and the environment.
This means the Master may not have full control of a key area of the vessel’s security,
which in turn may affect the safety of the crew and vessel. Further, there may be a
contractual obligation with the security company to follow ‘security’ instructions from
the guards, which may even extend to the re-routing of the vessel, which in turn may
result in a breach of contractual obligations to charterers and/or cargo interests.

In all circumstances the use of weapons on any ship must be governed by clear
Rules for the Use of Force (‘RUF’) agreed by the owner and the security company. At
present there are no generally accepted standards for RUF. The RUF should reflect the
laws of the flag state.  They should also make clear that lethal force should only be used
where there is serious and imminent threat to life, and only where use is proportionate.
The use of armed guards places a serious responsibility on the shoulders of the Master
and the ship owner, and in particular on the company’s directors, who may be held to be
personally liable where death or serious injury results. The ship owner should also have
a process in place to review the proposals for the provisions of armed guards, to have
knowledge of the personnel used, of the weapons deployed and their licensing and for
training the ship’s crew how to react in case of an engagement.

Some relevant factors for consideration when hiring a security company include:
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• The place of registration & business, how long they have conducted business
and the size of the organisation;

• The background, experience and qualifications of the management and


• Whether the company has specific marine experience;

• Whether sub-contractors are permitted;

• Whether the Company is a member of any industry organisations such as

the BAPSC (British Association of Private Security Companies) or SAMI
(Security Association for the Maritime Industry);

• If the company has signed or is it willing to follow the IOCC (International

Code of Conduct for Private Security Companies);

• Whether the law and jurisdiction provided for in the contract are acceptable
to the ship owners and their underwriters;

• If the company offers additional services beyond that of security;

• Whether they are independently audited; and

• Whether they have implemented a ‘no drug, smoking and alcohol’ policy.

International Guidelines

In May 2011 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved interim

guidance to ship owners, ship operators and shipmasters on the use of private armed
security personnel on ships. This guidance was revised and issued by the IMO as
MS.1/Circ. 1405 on the 25th May 2012. Other guidance documents were also issued
to flag states. The IMO did not endorse the use of armed guards, but said that, ‘The
absence of applicable regulation and industry self-regulation coupled with complex
legal requirements governing the legitimate transport, carriage and use of firearms2
gives cause for concern. This situation is further complicated by the rapid growth in
the number of private maritime security companies (PMSC) and doubts about the
capabilities and maturity of some of these companies.’[7] The IMO added that, ‘The use
of PCASP [privately contracted armed security personnel] should not be considered
as an alternative to Best Management Practices (BMP) and other protective measures.
Placing armed guards on board as a means to secure and protect the ship and its
crew should only be considered after a risk assessment has been carried out. It is also
important to involve the Master in the decision making process.’[8]
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The IMO’s guidelines stress the importance of undertaking a risk assessment

and, if it is decided to use armed guards, to undertake a full evaluation before selected
a supplier. It also says that, ‘As the quality of the service delivery depends to a very
great extent on the quality and experience of the individuals that make up the on-
board PCASP team, the quality of the selection and vetting of that team is essential.
PMSC should demonstrate that they have verifiable, written internal policies and
procedures for determining suitability of their employees.’[9] The guidelines also deal
with insurance issues, the licensing and control of firearms, the composition of the
armed team, command and control issues, training, record-keeping and rules for the
use of force (RUF). These guidelines represent a logical and sensible approach to the
deployment of armed guards, although it will be a long time before all ship owners
follow them.
At present there are large numbers of untrained and unsuitable men acting as
armed guards, the bad, the good and the downright awful. I have heard stories of bus
drivers, middle-aged prison officers and other similar ‘adventurers’ going to sea with
guns, of ex-soldiers spending weeks being sea-sick, of men from the Far East being
paid less that $100 a day and having no weapons training, and of teams of three (four
is the minimum, two on watch at any time) who would stand little chance if a surprise
attack caught them unaware. Unfortunately it is only a matter of time before an armed
team is overwhelmed, the aftermath would be bloody as revenge was taken, and the
consequences do not bear thinking about. To repeat BMP4, ‘if armed Private Maritime
Security Contractors are to be used they must be as an additional layer of protection and
not as an alternative to BMP.’
This is not to argue that armed guards should never be used. For slow and
vulnerable vessels like cable layers, tugs, oil rigs and the like there is no alternative, but
for modern fast vessels in full compliance with BMP4, and possibly with additional
protection from effective water cannon, guards are an option, not a necessity. It all
depends on the vessel and the security assessment undertaken by the ship owner. Local
regulations can also limit the use of armed personnel, for example off West Africa, so
armed guards can never be a universal answer to ship security. India’s attempts in 2012
to try two Italian marines for murder also highlight the risks that armed guards and
their employers run; there are no easy solutions.


[1] The West of England (insurer) 1 April 2011,

[2] ‘IMO Plans To Launch Global Standards For Armed Guards’, Lloyd’s List, 18
May 2012, London
[3] ‘Italy challenges India in Supreme Court over fishermen’s deaths’, Reuters,
The Times of India, 29 August 2012,

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articleshow/15955783.cms accessed 5 September 2012
[4] Rahul Das -‘Mistaken for pirate, Indian fisherman shot off Oman coast’, The
Indian Express, New Delhi, 22 April 2010,
mistaken-for-pirate-indian-fisherman-shot-off-oman-coast/609609/ accessed 5
September 2012
[5] Best Management Practices Version 4, Witherby Publishing Group Ltd.,
Edinburgh, August 2011, p. 23
[6] Ibid p. 40
[7] ‘Revised Interim Guidance To Ship owners, Ship Operators And Shipmasters
On The Use Of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel On Board
Ships In The High Risk Area’, MSC. 1/Circ. 1405/Rev 2, International Maritime
Organization, 4 Albert Embankment, London SE1, 25 May 2012, Annex p. 1
[8] Ibid, Annex p. 1

[9] Ibid, Annex p. 3

11. Inshore Maritime Crime and East African Economies:

Effects, Issues and Potential Remedies

Executive Summary

Piracy off the coast of East Africa is no longer contained to the waters bordering
Somalia and is spreading south to Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. There has been
little analysis or data gathering focused on this shift, but preliminary analysis suggests
four major effects. (1-2)

Damage to coastal trade in a region dependent on sea-borne traffic for intra-state

commodity distribution. This topic is in particular need of further research. (3)

Damage to the fishing industry. Fewer applications for licenses, diminished

catches. Data is sparse for continental Africa, but the Seychelles reported a 4% loss of
GDP due to piracy’s effect on fishing. (4)

Tourist visits to the region, particularly cruise ships, have almost disappeared.
Kenya down from 35 visits in 2008 to 0 in 2011. Similar story in Tanzania. (5)

Despite recent discoveries of large oil fields, the industry will not develop them
until a level of security is assured. Supply boats particularly vulnerable. (6)

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Local navy’s patrol capabilities perhaps most powerful anti-piracy tool. However,
regional navies lack equipment, training, and funding. Mainly limited to inshore/
harbour area patrols with little capability to defend full territorial waters. (8-9)

Conclusions: (10-11)

More research needed, particularly on current coastal trade and fishing industry
trends. Recommends outside research funded by UK Government or interested private
research organisations.

Damage of piracy to tourist industry alone suggests need to strengthen regional

patrol capabilities. Suggests examination of the type of assistance required by regional
navies and how systemic assistance would benefit their patrol abilities.

(1) Piracy in the western

Indian Ocean is one of the world’s
most expensive security threats.
Academics and policy analysts
alike have focused extensive efforts
on examining the phenomenon—
especially piracy directly off the
Horn of Africa. However, in the
last 18 months, reports of pirate
attacks in international waters
have increasingly occurred further
south, off the more vulnerable
coasts of Kenya, Tanzania, and
Mozambique. Alongside these Source: Oceans Beyond Piracy 1
attacks, there has been a dramatic
increase in attacks in territorial waters with Tanzania reporting 57 such attempts
between February 2011 and February 2012.11 These numbers are supported by data
from both the IMB and IMO. This brief report lays out the major economic effects on
the afflicted countries resulting from this maritime crime, identifying the (many) holes
in existing data, suggesting avenues for potential research, and examining what might
be done to counter the threat. Where this paper differs from most analyses is in its
almost exclusive focus on attacks within the 12-mile limit of territorial waters. While
not technically piracy under international law, the term is useful shorthand and will be
used throughout to refer to these attacks.

(2) Various studies, most notably by Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), have pegged
the economic cost of piracy in the billions of dollars range. However, these studies have
focused almost exclusively on the costs borne by the shipping industry, in the forms
of preventive measures and ransoms, and by foreign militaries attempting to interdict


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pirates. Little work has been done to

identify the costs of inshore piracy
to East African states. Preliminary
research suggests there are four main
economic effects of piracy within
territorial waters. First, a reduction in
coastal trade; second, destruction of
the fishing industry; third, damage to
tourism, particularly in terms of cruise
ship visits; and fourth, the retardation
of oil development efforts. Briefly
explaining the existing evidence from
each of these effects, this analysis Source: Oceans Beyond Piracy 2
illustrates that additional research
is needed to gain a quantitative
understanding of the economic effects. In addition, however, it will become clear that
there is a developmental case to be made for the strengthening of the coastal patrol
capabilities of East African navies.

(3) Given the limited nature of onshore road

and rail infrastructure linking the coast to the
interior, coastal trade is a vital part of the East African
economy. Large, ocean-going vessels dock at major
ports and are unloaded into smaller coastal craft, often
less than 1000dwt, which distribute needed goods up
and down the coast. Reliable, current data for coastal
shipping is largely unavailable; however, the Tanzanian
government’s statistics suggest coastal shipping has
declined in recent years.12 In addition, though piracy
is down overall in 2012 compared to 2011, according
to the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre 4 of the 5 attacks
off of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique have occurred
within those countries’ territorial waters.13 While large
shipping firms are increasingly investing in anti-piracy
shipboard equipment, these smaller ships are less able to afford these measures and are
thus unable to withstand assault. Finally, the damage to trade has caused regional food
and commodity prices to increase. A recent report by the Institute for Security Studies
suggested that Kenya’s imported commodity prices are 10% more expensive than the
previous year.14 However, the overall lack of independently gathered data suggests the
impact of piracy on the cost of basic needs, and the ability of coastal trade to deliver
them, is a prime target for additional research.
13 International Maritime Bureau, Piracy Reporting Center

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(4) Fishing is one of East Africa’s largest economic drivers and is vital for
economic growth in the region. In recent years, however, there has been a drop in
fishing across the region. The Seychelles’ government has compiled perhaps the most
detailed analysis of piracy’s effect on their fishing industry and can be used as a proxy
for regional dynamics. At a workshop dedicated to the effects of piracy on fishing in the
Indian Ocean in February, the Seychelles’ Minister for Development claimed that the
island nation was losing approximately 4% of GDP each year.15 Fishing dropped 46%
between 2008 and 2010 in the island nation.16 In both Tanzania and Kenya the number
of fishing licenses requested has dropped in recent years and anecdotal reports suggest
local fisherman are easy targets for Somali pirates. In April, the Tanzanian Deputy
Minister for Fishing suggested that the $2 million in government revenue collected
from fishing licenses could have been doubled if not for piracy.17

(5) The tourism industry has been equally hard hit by East Africa’s newfound
reputation for piracy. While attacks on land by militants in Northern Kenya, most
notably the series of kidnappings near Lamu, have certainly played a role, the effects
of piracy on visits by cruise ships is dramatic. In 2008, 35 cruise ships called at Kenyan
ports, and it was hoped that number could rise to 50. Instead, however, the number
dwindled to zero by 2011. Given that each cruise ship stop generates about $300,000,
the Kenyan economy is missing out on approximately $15 million each year.18 Tanzania
has experienced a similar decline; from a peak of 20 visits by luxury liners in 2006, in
2010 just two visited. By 2011 no cruise ships were stopping at the East African country’s
ports, according to Tanzania’s Naval Commander.19 Data on Mozambique’s tourism
trade is unavailable, but as piracy continues its march southward (see map below), it
also is likely to suffer similar drops in the tourism trade.

Source: EU/

15 The Impacts of Piracy on Fisheries in the Indian Ocean, European Bank of Conservation and Development Meeting,
February 2012

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(6) The final economic effect of inshore piracy on East African states is the
slowing of offshore oil industry development. In the last year major oil fields have
been discovered off the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania, the size of which rival North
Sea reserves. Further south, off of Tanzania and Mozambique, natural gas reserves
equivalent to several billion barrels of oil have been discovered and, if developed, could
provide much needed financial reserves to develop these states. However, oil companies
are extremely cautious about beginning exploration and extraction given the security
problems that surround the region. Political instability is a further challenge, but the
vulnerability of oil platforms and their supply boats, combined with the spread of piracy
southwards, is an important source of oil industry caution.

(7) The spread of piracy to the southern reaches of East Africa necessitates a
dual response, divided into the strategic and the operational levels. The long-term,
strategic goal must be to remove the attraction of piracy through the development of
Somali government, infrastructure, economy and education. However, given the OBP
calculation that a pirate makes upwards of 100 times the next potential income, such
development will be a decades-long process at best. In the meantime an operational
response is needed to protect innocent vessels and raise the opportunity cost of piracy.

(8) While the EU and US-led taskforces have UN permission to operate within
Somali waters, further south they are excluded from East African territorial waters
(though, along with South Africa, they do patrol in international waters). There remains,
therefore, a need for Kenyan, Tanzanian and Mozambique navies to patrol and interdict
piracy within the 12-mile limit. However, none of these navies are effectively equipped
to deal with piracy problems. While accurate assessments are difficult, the Tanzanian
navy, with patrol duties covering over 1400km of coastline, is thought to have less than
15 active patrol boats, many of which are of 1980s vintage.20 The Mozambique navy is
even worse off, and is largely limited to patrolling the area around Maputo harbour. This
leaves over 2400km of territorial waters unprotected.21 It possesses only a handful of
ocean-going craft alongside approximately 20 RHIBs donated by the US. Many of these,
however, are dedicated to patrolling inland waterways.

(9) The Kenyan navy is the best equipped of the three, having had a series of patrol
boats and offshore patrol ships donated by western countries. It is the only one of the
three able to undertake any operations outside its territorial waters. However, its fleet
is aging significantly; many of its vessels were built in the 1980s and a few even in the
1970s.22 Therefore, a significant need exists, especially in Tanzania and Mozambique,
for coastal patrol vessels that can deter and interdict pirates operating in territorial
waters. However, given the economic difficulties of both countries, it is unlikely either
can afford to buy such vessels at all, let alone provide the needed numbers, equipment
or training to make them truly effective.

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(10) This analysis offers an introductory brief on the economic effects of piracy
on East African economies south of Somalia. As piracy has spread, so, too, have the
negative effects on the three countries along the African coast. Two conclusions can be
drawn. First, there is a serious lack of independent data and first-hand research done on
these issues. The issue of coastal trade, in particular, would merit further examination to
understand how best to protect the livelihoods of coastal traders and to ensure needed
commodities reach far-flung local ports. In addition, given the importance of fishing to
these economies, a more detailed analysis of piracy’s effect on the industry, as has been
done in the Seychelles, is a research project ripe for investment.

(11) The second conclusion, tentatively based on the evidence available, is that
piracy is having a significant negative effect on East African economies (tourism
numbers alone suggest that conclusion) and that increased investment in patrol vessels
is needed to safeguard the coasts. While donations from the US and other countries
have provided some capability in terms of harbour and inshore patrols, assets capable
of patrolling up to and beyond territorial waters are needed. This analysis, therefore,
recommends an investment in research to more fully understand the effects of piracy on
East African economies alongside a full investigation into the patrol boat requirements
of the Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Mozambican navies.


About Africa Partnership Station

Africa Partnership Station (APS) is more a concept than any specific ship or
“station.” With our international partners, APS is a series of activities designed to build
maritime safety and security in Africa through working together with African and
other international partners. Not all navy activities around Africa are considered part
of APS. Instead, we conduct certain events which embody the spirit of cooperation and
partnership that help build African Maritime Safety and Security capability and capacity.
APS responds to specific African requests for assistance that benefits the international
community as well as the United States. APS is in line with the mission of the United
States Africa Command. It seeks to bring partnerships into action through cooperation
among many different nations and organizations, and promotes maritime governance
around Africa. Whether ships are pulling into ports and working with the host nation to
address maritime issues, or countries partnering in law enforcement operations, these
events fall within the scope of APS. APS is inspired by the belief that effective maritime
safety and security will contribute to economic prosperity and security on land. To
address each of these issues successfully, partners must work together with a common

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We believe that security of the seas is essential for global security. There is a
relationship between security of the sea, the ability of countries to govern their waters,
a country’s prosperity, stability and peace. The oceans of the world are a common bond
between the economies and countries of the world. Seventy percent of the world is
water, 80% of the world lives on or near the coastline and 90% of the world’s commerce
is transported on the ocean. Individual nations cannot combat maritime problems
and crimes alone and APS is a direct response to the growing international interest in
developing maritime partnerships.

A Shared Vision

APS and partner nations in Africa, the United States and Europe want to answer
African leaders’ requests to build a prosperous Africa. We all want to achieve safe
borders, stability and prosperity.

This project is about enabling African nations’ militaries to stand on their own.
Our goal is to empower African nations to stop maritime crime and the movement of
illegal goods at sea on their own. To do that, we are working together to create a set of
shared goals, including improving maritime security which will help ensure African
coastal nations are better able to protect their own resources and citizens.

Working together through this shared vision, we are all contributing to safety and
prosperity throughout Africa.


APS provides a unique opportunity for various agencies and non-governmental

organizations from Africa, the United States and Europe to work together. Since APS
typically takes place on ships, it does not require a permanent base in Africa. The ship
functions as a mobile university, moving from port to port to provide training and
long-term collaboration between American, European and African nations. During
each of these port visits, APS offers specific courses of training to build and develop
partnerships and achieve common goals through working together.


The idea for APS began in 2006 during a series of maritime conferences in West
and Central Africa when African leaders stated their desire to improve the ability of
African countries to govern their waters and create a stable maritime environment. The
first official APS mission deployed in November 2007 for six months. To date, APS visits
have trained thousands of military personnel in skills such as seamanship, search and
rescue operations, law enforcement, medical readiness, environmental stewardship and
small boat maintenance.

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Michael McNicholas
Phoenix Group


There is a plethora of case studies, incidents, and open-source reporting

substantiating the wide-spread usage of commercial maritime conveyances – large
ocean-going vessels, cruise ships, and coastal freighters – by terrorist groups to transport
personnel from one country to another. While ships are being used as unwitting hosts,
the preponderance of reporting of such incidents suggests that in the majority of the
cases either the ship owner or crew are knowledgeable of or participate in these transport
operations. The transport of large quantities of weapons, ammunition, and explosives
to terrorists groups generally is via maritime containers. The existence of a “business
alliance” between terrorists and a vast network of profit-oriented transnational criminal
organizations greatly enhances the operational control, complexity, and likely success
of these activities and in the Western Hemisphere is the primary driver directing
the transport of terrorists and materials via commercial maritime transport. These
terror transport operations present a formidable challenge to the security programs
of unsuspecting seaports and ships; however, the terrorists’ usage of innocent ships,
cargoes and containers can be mitigated, in part, through the design, implementation,
and management of a well-planned seaport/ship security strategy.

Keywords: Al Qaeda, AUC, coastal freighters, crewmembers, cargo, containers,

cruise ships, Drug Trafficking Organizations, FARC, Gangs, Hamas, Hezbollah,
Honduras, M-18, MS-13, Panama, seaports, terrorism, terrorists, Transnational
Criminal Organizations, weapons.

I. Introduction

Terrorist groups use ocean-going commercial cargo vessels, cruise ships, and
coastal freighters as conveyances to transport terrorists, weapons, and materials around
the world and to facilitate the exchange or bartering of terrorism-related goods and
services. A “business alliance” between terrorists and a vast network of profit-oriented
transnational criminal organizations (TCOs), which include regional gangs and

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international drug trafficking organizations, and support from sympathetic nation-

states, facilitate these operations – and their success. These terrorism-related activities
present a formidable challenge to the security programs of unsuspecting seaports and
ships. Like drug and weapons smuggling, mitigation of the terrorists’ usage of ships,
cargoes and containers can be realized, in part, through the design, implementation,
and management of a well-planned seaport/ship security strategy, one which is tailored
to the potential threats, defines critical assets and vulnerabilities, and integrates security
policies, plans, procedures, and resources utilizing defense-in-depth and layered, inter-
locking security rings.

II. Transport of Terrorists via Ships and Containers

There is a plethora of case studies, incidents, and open-source reporting

substantiating the wide-spread usage of commercial maritime conveyances – large
ocean-going vessels, cruise ships, and coastal freighters – by terrorist groups to
transport personnel from one country to another. In some cases, neither the ship nor
her crew were complicit, however, in many cases – possibly the majority – the owner
or the crew had knowledge of and/or participated in the activity. In general, terrorists
board unsuspecting commercial ships while in port or at anchorage, utilizing the same
tactics employed by drug couriers and stowaways; i.e. climbing the anchor chain,
mooring lines, or waterside, hiding in containers to be laden, or posing as and blending
in with stevedores. In the Western Hemisphere, the concern of terrorists hiding aboard
unsuspecting commercial cargo vessels dates back to at least the late 1980’s when the
Central Intelligence Agency issued a warning report that “Colonel Hawari,” leader of
the 15 May terror organization, a pro-Palestinian militant group, had dispatched six
operatives to Panama and that these operatives would assist other terrorists in stowing
away onboard cargo ships there for clandestine travel to US ports.1 Fast-forward to 2001
and the evidence suggests that concerns over terrorists traveling onboard unsuspecting
commercial vessels and containers were indeed warranted. Examples that demonstrate
this point are as follows:

• In October 2001, an Egyptian terrorist was discovered in an empty container

in the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro. The container was to be loaded
onboard a commercial container ship destined for Canada and the United
States. The container was outfitted with a bed, toilet, and food, as along with
a laptop computer, cellular and satellite telephones, and forged airport ID
badges and aircraft mechanic certificates for New York’s John F Kennedy, Los
Angeles International, and Chicago’s O’Hare airports.2

• In May 2002, the news media cited a U.S. Coast Guard report that 25 Islamic
extremists had recently stowed away onboard commercial cargo vessels in two


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Latin American port anchorages and successfully disembarked at major U.S.

seaports on the east and west coasts.3

• In February 2002, Italian police in the port of Trieste captured eight al Qaeda
terrorists as they jumped from the cargo ship M/V Twillinger, which had
recently arrived from Egypt. The terrorists were Pakistani and carried large
sums of cash and fraudulent identification.4

• The following year, in January 2003, Phoenix Group Vessel Security Team
officers in the port of Manzanillo International Terminal–Panama spotted
a motorized cayuco (native canoe) with several persons onboard entering
the port area and passing below the dock. The Panamanian Coast Guard
(SMN) responded to a call for assistance and captured the intruder boat and
passengers. The two would-be stowaways were carrying backpacks containing
food, water, and clothes; one was Colombian and the other an Irish national.
Further investigation by Panamanian Immigration and Coast Guard identified
the Colombian as a member of the Colombian terrorist group FARC and the
Irishman as a probable member of the IRA.5

• According to a 2006 report by London-based Protection and Indemnity Club,

in the previous two years there had been several instances of “pirate attacks”
occurring off Somalia, in the Malacca Strait, and other waters off Indonesia,
where terrorists were left onboard the “attacked” vessel for use of the vessel as
a conveyance to travel undetected from one country to another.6

Figure 1. “ S/S Enchantment of the Seas”

5 Phoenix Group Intelligence Report, Republic of Panama, January 2003.
6 Interview of confidential source in London P & I Club, December 2006.

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• According to Panamanian law enforcement reports in 2009, it was observed

that many of the “Arab” passengers traveling on the cruise ship S/S
Enchantment of the Seas – who board in the port of Cartagena, Colombia and
disembark at the Colon 2000 Cruise Terminal – are not departing Panama to
return to Colombia. (Note: Colon 2000 is a newly-established “home port”
cruise terminal) Royal Caribbean International’s “S/S Enchantment of the
Seas” (Passenger Capacity: 2,446) has a seven-day itinerary and the route
is Panama-Colombia-Aruba-Bonaire-Curacao-Panama. While most of the
passengers board in Panama, approximately 500-600 passengers board in
Cartagena, Colombia. When the ship returns to Panama at the end of the
voyage, about 50 percent of the passengers stay onboard and then disembark in
Cartagena. The other 50 percent of the passengers disembark in Panama and
return to Colombia via commercial airlines. However, Panama Immigrations
and Customs officers have noted that many of the “Arab” passengers do not
depart from Panama. Moreover, law enforcement surveillance noted that in
several instances small groups of these persons travelled directly to the Colon
Mosque and then were transported to safe houses of persons known to be
affiliated with terrorist organizations.7

While ships are being used as unwitting hosts, the preponderance of reporting
and incidents suggest that in the majority of the cases either the ship owner or crew
are knowledgeable of or participate in these transport operations. This complicity
negates the need for individuals to surreptitiously board the ship and in instances when
the vessel is at berth, terrorists access the vessel under the guise of being new crew,
visitors, or passengers or bribed port security do not challenge their entering the port
or the ship. Frequently, terrorists board these ships while she is staged off the coast.
In these cases, terrorists are ferried – via inflatable boats, canoes, fishing boats, and
yachts – to waiting freighters. Well publicized cases in Europe include the August 2002
incident involving the cargo vessel M/V Sara – whose captain radioed an emergency
SOS to Italian marine authorities claiming that 15 men brought aboard in Casablanca,
Morocco, were threatening him and his crew. According to press reports, the captain
stated that he had been “forced” to take the men aboard by the ship’s owners, a company
called Nova (suspected of being an al Qaeda “front” company), which, according to U.S.
and Italian intelligence sources, had a long history of smuggling illegal immigrants.
The Italian authorities discovered that the 15 passengers were all Pakistanis linked to
al Qaeda cells in Europe and were in possession of money, fraudulent documents, and
detailed maps of Italian cities. This vessel and the M/V Twillinger and the M/V Tara
– were owned by Nova and had been involved in the transport of terrorist personnel,
weapons, and documentation for several years.8

The Caribbean Rim of Central and South America has been, and continues to be,
highly active with similar incidents taking place on a regular basis. Over the past ten
7 Interview of confidential source in Panamanian law enforcement, March 2009.

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years, the migration of Hezbollah, Hamas, and al Qaeda terrorists to South America
generally has followed a route from the Middle East, Near East, and North/East Africa to
Venezuela, Guyana, and Ecuador. While some of these terrorists travel to havens in the
Tri-border Region or Iquique, Chile or port towns in Ecuador, a large percentage travel
west from Venezuela and Guyana -- or north from Ecuador -- onboard general cargo
and container coastal freighters to Riohacha, Colombia (closest port to Maicao) or to
Panama. At these South American and Panamanian locations, the al Qaeda, Hezbollah,
and Hamas terrorists are staged in the homes, businesses, and secret residences of
cooperating Muslim businessmen. Interestingly, many of these terrorists carry valid
Venezuelan passports. Once in the Muslim communities of the Caribbean Rim, the
terrorists take on a “Western” appearance (jeans, polo shirts, short hair, clean shaven,
etc.) and receive instruction in the English and Spanish languages. From Panama, the
terrorists either travel onboard coastal freighters to seaports in Honduras, Mexico, or
Cuba or overland in commercial trucks or buses to Mexico.9 As evidence, consider the
following incidents and reports:

• According to Panamanian Customs reports, in October 2001, four Palestinian

terrorists were transported in a vehicle assigned to the Lebanese Consulate in
Panama to the port of Colon Container Terminals, where they were met by
the captain of a docked coastal cargo freighter. The four terrorists boarded
the vessel as passengers, disembarking in Havana, Cuba. This same ship, and
others owned by the shipping line, made numerous trips to Cuba with other
Palestinian terrorists over the following several years.10

• In late 2002, two individuals (Figure 2) were arrested at a domestic airport in

Panama City, having arrived from a local airport in a small seaport town on
the Colombian/Panamanian border. Subsequent investigation by Panama la
enforcement revealed that the two individuals were al Qaeda “couriers” and
had arrived at the Panama border via a cargo freighter that departed a port in
northeast Colombia.11

• In early March 2003, four Palestinians described as Hamas members arrived

in the port of Cristobal, Panama, from Cartagena, Colombia, onboard a
container ship. After a few days of meetings in the Colon mosque with two
suspected al Qaeda representatives, the four Hamas members stowed away
onboard another commercial container ship and traveled to a seaport in south

• In April 2003, the break-bulk cargo vessel M/V Dona Julia Inez arrived in the
port of Sambo Bonita (Colon) with three Jihadists onboard. The captain was
9 Operation Cazando Anguilas, US Department of Defense-contracted research study, March 2009.
10 Interview of confidential source in Panamanian law enforcement, January 2002.
11 Interview of confidential source in Panamanian law enforcement, December 2002.
12 Interview of confidential source in Panamanian law enforcement, April 2003.

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complicit in the transport of these passengers from Colombia to Panama. At

the port, the terrorists were greeted by the cooperating owner of a business in
the Colon Free Zone. The terrorists spoke no Spanish and had to communicate
with the crew onboard the vessel via hand gestures.13

• According to local Panamanian press reports in April 2003, the Panamanian

Coast Guard stopped a coastal freighter near Portobelo (east of Colon), which
was inbound from Turbo, Colombia. Of the seven undocumented aliens
onboard, two were described by the Coast Guard officers as non-Spanish
speaking “Arabs.” A few days later, Panamanian police observed several small
launches ferrying passengers from a cargo freighter off the coast of Portobelo
to the shore. Surveillance and capture of one of the groups netted three illegal
aliens described as non-Spanish-speaking “Arabs.”14

• In mid-2003, the coastal freighter M/V Jaguar departed the port of Coco Solo,
Panama, with a group of Colombian drug couriers and Jihadists onboard—
and with the complicity of the captain and crew. The “passengers” disembarked
in Bluefields, Nicaragua. This ship had made several similar voyages with
Jihadists and drug couriers during the previous year, disembarking the
passengers either in ports in Honduras or Nicaragua.15

• According to Panamanian law enforcement and national security reports, on

numerous occasions from 2007-2009, tankers arriving in the refinery port of
Las Minas from Venezuela were noted to disembark “non-crew” persons who
were suspected of being Hezbollah or al Qaeda members. Additionally, on
other occasions, ship crewmembers were observed to meet in the port with
representatives of the Colon mosque, for the purpose of delivering sealed
envelopes and packages.16

• According to press reports, on 18 September 2010, Panamanian law

enforcement raided a beach house along the upper coast of Colon, seizing
500 kilos of cocaine and capturing several persons subsequently identified by
Customs officials as probable FARC and Jihadists.17

The transporting of terrorists via commercial vessels plying the waters of

the Caribbean Rim continues in a robust but increasingly more efficient manner.
Additionally, a recently detected transit route via commercial cargo freighters is from
Iquique, Chile or Guayaquil, Ecuador to Tumaco and Buenaventura, Colombia. From

13 Ibid.
14 Interview of confidential source in Panamanian law enforcement, May 2003.
15 Interview of confidential source in Panamanian law enforcement, July 2003.
16 Interview of confidential source in Panamanian law enforcement, March 2009.
17 and interview of
confidential source in Panamanian law enforcement, September 2010.

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Colombia, the terrorists board coastal freighters destined for Panama’s Pacific coast or
nearby islands.18 As an example, in March 2012, Yaee Dawit Tadese was arrested in
Quito, Ecuador, along with 66 recently arrived person from Asia, East and North Africa
(specifically Somalia), and the Middle East. Tadese, who was immediately deported to
the US on terrorism charges, was the mastermind of a vast human smuggling network
transporting immigrants – some of them terrorists – from Somalia and the Middle
East to Ecuador and Venezuela. Terrorists migrating to the US via Tadese’s network
frequently used the routes noted in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Migration routes of Hezbollah and al Qaeda affiliated Terrorists through

South and Central America Al Qaeda

III. Use of Commercial Conveyances to Ship Weapons & Materials

to Terrorists

The transport of large quantities of weapons, ammunition, and explosives to

national armed forces – and also to terrorists – generally is via maritime containers.
While some of the weapons shipments to terrorists may be arranged via state sponsorship
– such as in the case in 2002 of the 50 tons of Iranian arms seized onboard the M/V
Karine-A and destined for Palestinian terrorists – or are paid for in cash, other times
the terrorists barter for the purchase and delivery of the arms. Terrorist groups also
utilize commercial vessels to transport materials such as communications, data, and
other materials. A few cases to demonstrate these points are:

• In late November 2000, a commercial cargo vessel laden with bananas arrived
in the port of Ilyichevsk, in Odessa, Ukraine, from Santa Marta, Colombia.
During the discharge of the boxes of bananas, 245 boxes packed with compressed
marijuana—totaling 6,000 pounds—were discovered. The marijuana was

18 Interview of Colombian Military advisor, October 2010.

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seized by authorities, and the resulting investigation established that there

had been several similar shipments previously, including via other shipping
lines. Also revealed was that the drugs were being exchanged for weapons
and these operations had been a coordinated effort of elements of Russian
organized crime, the Colombian “Atlantic Coast Cartel” and the paramilitary
United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia command (Autodefensas Unidas de
Colombia, or AUC) in northeast Colombia. Additionally learned was that
five months prior to the seizure, four narcotics smugglers aligned with AUC
commander Hernan Giraldo had relocated to Odessa, Ukraine, to coordinate
the smuggling operations.19

• In March and May 2001, the U.S. Coast Guard racked up two drug seizures
which yielded a total of 21 tons of cocaine. The drugs were discovered in
fishing vessels crewed by Russians and destined for Mexico. Colombian
authorities reported that these cocaine shipments were owned by the FARC,
elements of Russian organized crime were performing the transportation
function, and the drugs were to pay for arms from Mexico. Investigations
related to multiple drug seizures in Mexico and onboard coastal freighters
in the Pacific Ocean identified the presence of a strategic alliance between
the FARC, a Russian TCO, and the Mexican drug trafficking organization
“Arellano Felix Organization” (AFO). Moreover, according to press reports,
Mexican law enforcement reported the discovery of documentation in raids
on AFO locations detailing an ongoing business relationship between the
FARC and this drug trafficking organization.20

• In November 2001, the coastal freighter M/V Otterloo departed from the
Nicaraguan port of El Rama after having loaded 14 containers onboard. The
containers held a total of 3,000 AK-47s and 2.5 million rounds of ammunition.
Supposedly destined for the Panamanian National Police, Panama-based
Israeli arms broker Simon Yelinek diverted the ship to Turbo, Colombia
and its arms shipment into the waiting arms of the paramilitary United Self-
Defense Forces of Colombia command (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia,
or AUC).21

• In early 2003, Panamanian Police arrested a cruise ship crewmember of

African origin as he was attempting to board the ship with a backpack
containing several kilos of cocaine. This arrested prompted the initiation of
dedicated surveillance operations of cruise ship crewmembers while the ships
were in port. An unintended result of these surveillances was the revelation
that other African crewmembers, from multiple vessels, were noted to deliver

19 Phoenix Group Report of Investigation, Santa Marta, Colombia, December 2000.

21 La Prensa, Republic of Panama, February 19, 2003.

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envelopes to the Colon mosque or persons associated with the mosque and
likewise retrieve envelopes from these persons. Additional reports indicated
that the envelopes contained written communications and data CDs.22

In 2003, according to press reports, al Qaeda senior leader Khalid Shaikh

Mohammed (KSM) attempted to invest in a Pakistani clothing factory for the purpose
of shipping undefined weapons within their loaded containers which were destined for
New York.23 A US Department of Defense-contracted research study conducted in 2009
shed light on another Pakistani-based clothing corporation, one which has operations
in Central America, the Caribbean, and the US and whose owner reportedly is linked
to al Qaeda. This case is useful because it offers a view of the global nature of shipping
and sheds light on how legitimate commerce can easily shroud probable contraband
operations.24 An extract of this portion of the study is as follows:

A very interesting terror facilitator in Honduras is Yusuf Andani, a prominent

Pakistani-born businessman and formerly an Advisor to past Honduran President
Manuel Celaya Rosales. Andani is the General Manger of “Grupo Karim’s,” a multi-
national corporation which has dozens of sub-companies (including banks) based in
Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, the U.S., and Pakistan.
Grupo Karim’s regularly ships a large number of containers loaded with yarn from
their five mills in Pakistan to dozens of apparel and textile manufactures in Central
America and the Caribbean. The finished products are then shipped to the U.S. One of
these Honduran-based textile assemble companies – which ships directly to Miami – is
“Green Valley,” a company which has been suspected of involvement in drug smuggling.
According to U.S. Embassy and international law enforcement contacts interviewed,
Andani is a point-of-contact in Central America for al Qaeda and uses his web of
companies and banks to launder terror organization money and transfer funds to terror
cells based in Panama, Central America, and Mexico.25

A closer look of the shipping operations of this company raises additional questions
and obvious red flags for illicit smuggling, which may include drugs, weapons, money,
humans, and/or other material. For example, a review of the shipping documentation of
several of Grupo Karim’s containers exported from Honduras to the US revealed:

• The company ships containers to the same location in Miami but uses multiple
shipping lines. This is an unusual business practice.

• One of the shipping lines used only calls in Fort Lauderdale and not in Miami.
Discharging containers in Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) increase the
operational costs as they have to be drayed to the Miami destination.
22 Phoenix Group Intelligence Reports, Republic of Panama, 2003-2005.
24 Operation Cazando Anguilas, US Department of Defense-contracted research study, March 2009.
25 Ibid.

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• The Freight fees of the containers were “pre-paid”, which is unusual for a
regular Exporter.

• The “notify telephone number” was not listed on the company website and was
an unpublished or restricted number, which is contrary to standard business

• The import location on the shipping documents was noted to be a “suite” in a

typical office building, and not a warehouse or a typical final destination for
this type of cargo.

• One container shipped was noted to hold “159 boxes of cotton string”. This
shipment is illogical and begs the question, “why would a Honduran factory
ship raw material to an office in the US?”

IV. The TCO-Terror Nexus

The existence of a “business alliance” between terrorists and a vast network of

profit-oriented TCOs, which include regional gangs and international drug trafficking
organizations, greatly enhances the operational control, complexity, and likely success
of these activities and in the Western Hemisphere is the primary driver directing the
transport of terrorists and materials via commercial maritime transport. A fundamental
tenet in this discussion is an appreciation that TCOs are “for-profit” enterprises
that view terrorists and their materials simply as commodities to be delivered for a
paying client. An August 2008 meeting at the Arab-Panamanian Islamic Cultural
Center in Colon, Panama, noted in a US Department of Defense-contracted report,
exemplifies this business relationship. Attendees at the meeting included Samir Zayed
and Akran Abou-Zeenni, owners of multiple Colon Free Zones businesses used to
launder narcotrafficking and al Qaeda and Hezbollah monies and to provide logistics
coordination and support for transiting terrorists. Also in attendance were personnel
from Venezuelan Circulos Bolivarianos, representatives of the Colombian FARC, and
representatives of the Central American gangs M-18 and MS-13. The purpose of the
meeting was to discuss the coordination and logistical arrangements and fees to be paid
for the transporting (via commercial coastal freighter) and escorting of al Qaeda and
Hezbollah terrorists from Venezuela and Colombia to Panama and then via land or sea
to Mexico. The agreement entailed a cash payment for this service, but in addition,
the transiting terrorists were to provide weapons and explosives training to gang and
Circulos Bolivarianos members.26 It is interesting to note that in 2010 several M-18 and
MS-13 gang members incarcerated in Texas and Arizona jails had tattoos with words in
Farsi and symbols of Hezbollah.27

26 Ibid.
27 Interview of the Editor of Homeland Security Today, July 2010.

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The Central American-based gangs M-18 and MS-13, like the Mexican Los Zetas,
now operate from the US to Brazil – with MS-13 having already established a foothold
in Spain – and are highly organized and extremely violent transnational criminal
organizations. A US Department of Defense-contracted research study conducted in
2009 states:

Throughout Central America, especially in Honduras…and increasingly in

Panama, there exists a strategic and tactical alliance between M-18, MS-13, Muslim
businessmen involved in money laundering, and transnational DTOs, specifically
Mexico’s Gulf Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel. The roles played by M-18 and MS-13 in this
triangular alliance include; international “couriers” (mules), “personal security escorts,”
and “enforcers” – in support of the operations directed by Muslim money launders and
Mexican DTOs [drug trafficking organizations] and their subordinate entities. Gang
members escort terrorists and illegal drugs from Panama to Honduras, via land and
maritime routes, and then – in the case of the Islamic terrorists – north to Mexico and
to the U.S. border, as a “for-profit” service. An example of the role played by gang
members – and the depth of the business relationship between the three entities (the
Maras, Muslim businessmen, and drug traffickers) – can be appreciated in the “El Hajet
– Urtecho – Sinaloa Cartel” smuggling alliance discussed below. The key actors in this
smuggling operation are:

Michael el Hajet, owner of Intercaribe Zona Libre, S.A. (Colon Free Zone,
Panama), also manages and has ownership in a fleet of coastal cargo freighters which
operate between Riohacha, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and several ports in Honduras.
These vessels include the: “DONA ISABEL”, “INTREPIDE”, “DON EDGAR”, “ORURO”,

Coronel Wilfredo Urtecho Jeamborde, formerly second-in-command of the

Honduran National Police, but removed from his position in 2000 for ties to the Atlantic
Cartel. Urtecho presently operates a fleet of 20+ fishing vessels along the Honduran
Caribbean coast and is married to Honduran Congresswoman Edna Carolina Echeverria
Haylock. Reportedly, Urtecho has some percentage of ownership or representation in
Michael el Hajet’s vessels.

Honduras-based MS-13, has several members listed as “crew” or “passengers”

onboard some of el Hajet’s vessels. These personnel board in Honduras with caches of
currency/weapons and travel south to Panama for transfer of currency and weapons
to partnering business owners in the Free Zone. Similarly, on northbound vessels
gang members function as “escorts” of terrorists transiting from Venezuela, Guayana,
Maicao, Colombia, and Ecuador.28

28 Operation Cazando Anguilas, US Department of Defense-contracted research study, March 2009.

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Figure 3. One of the vessels used to transport terrorists

Figure 4. Another of the coastal freighters used to transport terrorists

As visualized in the map above (Figure 5), terrorists board westbound vessels in
Riohacha, Colombia and disembark to small boats along the coastline east of Colon
(from Isla Grande to Nombre de Dios), or in the ports of Coco Solo or Cristobal. Drug
shipments also are loaded onboard in Riohacha and off the coast of Barranquilla/Turbo
and transported to Panama. In the next leg of their journey, the terrorists board an “el
Hajet” freighter either in a Colon port or off the coast and travel to an island near Roatan
or to La Ceiba, or transfer at sea to one of Urtecho’s fishing boats for ferrying to the
coast. Upon arrival on shore, M-18 or MS-13 in 4x4 off-road vehicles rendezvous with
the terrorists and transport them – generally under Honduran Border Police escort – to
the Guatemalan border. The route generally is from the coast to San Pedro Sula to Santa

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Figure 5. “El Hajet – Urtecho – Sinaloa Cartel” Smuggling Operation: North and
Southbound route for transporting terrorists and contraband

Barbara to Copan and across into Guatemala. According to press reports, in April 2010
the US Coast Guard intercepted a coastal freighter off the Caribbean coast of Panama
and detained five MS-13 members found onboard. The gang members were brought to
port, transferred to US Embassy personnel, and flown out of Panama. Panamanian law
enforcement identified the coastal freighter as one in el Hajet’s fleet.29

V. Mitigation Strategies

These terror transport operations present a formidable challenge to the security

programs of unsuspecting seaports and ships. Like drug and weapons smuggling,
mitigation of the terrorists’ usage of ships, cargoes and containers can be realized,
in part, through the design, implementation, and management of a well-planned
seaport/ship security strategy. The most comprehensive and effective seaport security
program is one based on the military concept called Defense-in-Depth. Applied to a
seaport, this concept involves the design and establishment of a series of layered
security “rings” around and in the port, as well as encircling critical assets within the
port (such as cranes, vessels, etc.). The number of security rings established and the
specific components (security systems and measures) of each ring will vary and depend
on the port’s layout and operations; its assets; and the level, type, and duration of the
threats. While the rings themselves are permanent or long-standing, the individual
components within the rings may be long term or temporary, as in the case of measures
implemented to address a crisis situation or a short-term threat. These security rings
should be layered and integrated, but capable of functioning independently. Security
29 and interview of confidential
source in Panamanian law enforcement, April 2009.

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ring components include physical security measures, security procedures, specialized

assets, and personnel resources.

It is important to appreciate that no one component can efficiently or effectively

accomplish the overall task without the support of the others. As an example, while
a security officer may be deployed at an entrance gate to control access, if there is no
written or defined access control procedure or an identification badge system in use, he
cannot effectively perform this function. While many of the component systems and
measures deployed in a security ring configuration may be permanent, others may be
temporary, such as those enacted during an increase in the port security level (Maritime
Security or MARSEC), in response to a terror alert or other emergency situation. The
temporary implementation or activation of special security components or procedures
due to heightened threats should be preplanned and part of an overall security level
status system and detailed in the port facility security plan (PFSP). While the security
program should be based on the results of the analysis of the port facility security
assessment (PFSA) and incorporate measures and procedures defined in the ISPS Code
and MTSA, every port should have a baseline security design, i.e., a blueprint.

An abbreviated listing of the components and topics within an outline of a seaport

security program, one which is designed for a multi-threat environment, includes:

EXTERNAL SECURITY RING - Intelligence Operations & Government and Law

Enforcement Liaison.

Figure 6. Waterside security patrol launch

PERIMETER SECURITY RING - Physical Security Barrier and Illumination,

Waterside Security Measures, Perimeter Intrusion Detection, Entrance and Exit Gates,
Access Control Policy and Procedures, Port Identification Badge System, and Narcotics,
Explosives, and WMD Detection at Access Points.

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INNER SECURITY RING - Mobile Security Patrols, Foot Security Patrols,

Security Operations Command Center, and Shift Security Superintendent.

SITE AND ASSET-SPECIFIC SECURITY RINGS - Administrative and Operations

Office Building, Bonded and High-Risk Warehouses, and Critical Assets and Essential

VESSEL SECURITY RING - The key to effective vessel security and deterring
or preventing incidents involving the transport of terrorists and their materials is to:
exercise strict access control at the gangway, including a search of all persons and items
carried onboard; know who is onboard at all times; maintain the waterside secured;
scrutinize all trailers, containers, hustlers, etc., entering or exiting the vessel; and
conduct post-arrival and pre-departure inspections. All vessels calling on the port
should be assigned a vessel security team [VST]. The VST, depending on the type of
vessel, should include 4-7 security personnel, and should be deployed from the time of
arrival until time of departure, as well as when the vessel is at anchorage.

Figure 7. Security Officer patrolling the Waterside and another inspecting the
engine room during vessel search


Employment Screening, Security Training, and Security Officer Equipment.

PORT SECURITY DIRECTOR - Highly experienced, full-time position and

supported by a capable administrative staff. The function of this position includes
directing the shift security superintendents, who also perform the duties of the port
facility security officer (PFSO).

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PORT FACILITY SECURITY PLAN - There is an old military adage that states,
“Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” This is likewise true for port and vessel
security. The absence of comprehensive, realistic, and tested written security policies,
plans, and procedures likely will ensure the failure of the port security program.30

In conclusion, the volume of incidents, press reports, and research clearly

demonstrates and validates that terrorist groups use ocean-going commercial cargo
vessels, cruise ships, and coastal freighters as conveyances to transport personnel,
weapons, and materials around the world. Likewise, these terror transport and
smuggling operations are greatly aided which results from a “business alliance” between
terrorists and a vast network of profit-oriented TCOs, which include regional gangs
and international DTOs, and support from sympathetic nation-states. Moreover, these
terrorism-related activities present a formidable challenge to the security programs of
unsuspecting seaports and ships; however, mitigation of the terrorists’ usage of ships,
cargoes and containers can be realized, in part, through the design, implementation,
and management of a well-planned seaport/ship security strategy.


Kimery, Anthony, Unholy Trinity, Homeland Security Today, Vol. 6, No. 8 (2009), 24-36

McNicholas, Michael, Maritime Security: An Introduction, Elsevier, USA, 2008.

30 McNicholas, Michael, Maritime Security: An Introduction, Chapter 8, Elsevier, USA, 2008.

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Abdulkadir MOHAMED NUR


Crucially, the offshore anti-piracy maritime mission in Somalia provided quite

enormous efforts to tackle piracy and creation of piracy free environment, while
the programs absorbed both immense funds and human cost, and yet the mission didn’t
render the desired outcome but rather became in-effective and made slight reduction to
piracy attacks offshore Somalia. The phenomenon of tackling piracy in-land does not
receive much attention but definitely is seemed as an effective measurement to tackle
piracy. While using soft power solutions, the land-based mission can generate much
more effective outcome in anti-piracy mission in Somalia as noted several scholars
and experts. Yet the cost of offshore anti-piracy maritime mission in Somalia exceeds
billions of US Dollars every year and this is quite huge funds which causes much trouble
to the international community. The establishment of a stable Somali with capable
government institutions including the Somali Naval forces, supportive atmosphere
to the Somali young generation, fishing cooperatives, and tackling piracy through
development initiatives in long-run strategy can better render quite indispensible
outcome In regard, these land-based soft power solutions can only absorb fewer funds
and also can work better efficiently if it’s diverted to several other measures including
stabilization of Somalia, building Somali naval and security forces, establishment of
anti-piracy security network, establishing and enhancing Somali maritime academies,
development of Somalia and maritime economy and provision of public campaigns.

Key Words: Somali, Piracy, Land-based solutions, Offshore, Onshore, Piracy Cost.


I.1. Somali Piracy

Following the collapse of the Somali Central government, there were massive
destructions of several institutions including the maritime security forces, which
were involved in securing the longest coastline in Africa and Middle East.

This has spawn the way to the emergence of uncontrolled waves of illegal activities
including, illegal fishing, dumping toxic and waste materials, while these activities had
created structured piracy groups hijacking the vessels using the route in the mid of

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1990s, as the route became widely uncontrollable and commonly used by different
groups fulfilling their own interest and all these illegal activities made the Somali
Coastline the most dangerous water in the World.

In the mid of 2005, the piracy on Somali Coastline has widely become the most
dangerous attacks against the vessels using the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. On the
emergence of the piracy there were young groups claiming to protect their own sea
and ocean. Continually in 2006 pirates began to expand their attacks off the Somali
coast up to 350 nm while also they had extended their attacks both the Indian Ocean
and Gulf of Aden, the piracy activities on Somali coast had escalated and worsened and
consequently the area of Somali Federal member state of Puntland became the most
dangerous coastal area of the region.

Somalia has hit the press, as we are all aware of, what we are seeing there is
unprecedented criminal phenomenon, where pirates are exposing attacks including
the seizure of vessels, boarding of vessels, kidnap of crew as well as general attacks
and continued robbery. As the Somali Coast piracy attracted the attention of the
international community globally.

According to the study of Bowden and Basnet, 2012, notes that since 2005 the
number of the recorded piracy attacks and attempts was significantly high according
to several international specialized divisions of maritime issues where more than 97
were recorded in the first quarter of the last year 2011 off the Somali coast, however
previously the number shows slight more.(Bowden & Basnet, 2012)

As the costs of offshore anti-piracy maritime mission is quite immense and non
efficient, yet the mission has not been re-calculated and while the strategy is not adding
up for the achievement of the required outcome, but unlikely it only focuses on offshore.
Amid of 2008 a UN resolution permitted the entrance of Somali territorial waters with a
mandate of anti-piracy, these countries has been notified under UN and NATO.

I.2. The Expansion of Somali Piracy

The piracy attacks off Somali coast had sky rocketed since 2005 and then attracted
the eyes of the international community on 2008, as the numbers of hijacked vessels for
ransom were over-counted, this was about several other factors which added up to their
advancement of both technology and equipment.

In the most significant pirate hijacks occurred mid of 2008 when they seized a
vessel carrying Soviet Tanks, ammunition and other heavy weapons, to Mombasa Kenya.
The hijack M/V Faina Vessel caused the Somali piracy to be seen as more dangerous
than before, however this was not their last hijack of a significant vessel but on the same
year they seized again another huge vessel carrying crude oil which worth billions of
dollars, while these hijacking took place near the coast of Kenya next to Somalia.

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Source: One Earth Future Foundation

The above image shows the expansion of Somali Piracy and their effect of World’s
trade hub, while considering Kenya and India as important trade areas.(Bowden &
Basnet, 2012)

In consequence to these hijacks Somali Piracy was overwhelmingly appeared

in every news bulletins and hit the press than ever before, hence the international
community began to respond in regard to the safety of the future vessels which will use
the route and to those already in seized.

Along with their mother ships they became capable of attacking deep in the sea
and developed further their capabilities to ultimate availability.

II. Offshore Mission

The Somali piracy mission is widely focused on offshore patrolling activities

which is largely seemed more consuming, resource absorbing and human cost.

There were several studies conducted to discover the impact of Somali piracy, one
of these studies include a study conducted by One Earth Future Foundation on 2012
which estimated that Somali Piracy had already caused an impact of USD 7 billion a
year in just about on Indian Ocean.

The study by Bowden & Basnet, (2012) also continued to note that international
governments has been spending USD 1.3 billion per year in order to strengthen
their support to tackle Somali Piracy under the UN mandated mission of Somali Anti-
piracy mission.(Bowden & Basnet, 2012)

These over-exceeding costs will be sustained even in the near future, so it is quite
important to consider sustainable solutions which can provide the required outcome.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Source: Oceans beyond Piracy, a program of One Earth Future Foundation

These figures and much more are not showing the better expected outcome on
offshore Somali anti-piracy maritime mission, while again the study of One Earth
Future Foundation estimates that almost USD 5.5 billion spent only by the shipping
industry per year on shipping Indian Ocean. There are also much more estimated costs
incurred by the Shipping industry while they travel on the Indian Ocean, including
costs of speed of navigation, and other efforts.

The Somali Pirates had enormously adapting with the anti-piracy maritime
mission, while they were adjusting their tactics, techniques, in order to stay on
the business. Moreover the number of pirate attacks has decreased slightly in 2012 due
to the patrolling naval operations, but the outcome is not yet encouraging.

III. Cost of Piracy on Somali Citizens

In Somalia, Piracy is considered as one of the biggest problems facing the Somali
citizens and also rendering several other problems to global, and these modern Somali
pirates are causing irritations to ships using the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, where
a great number of vessels carrying commodities use this route. Somali Coast was
experiencing constant increase of pirate attacks during the years beginning from 2005.

There is no doubt that Somali Piracy had a major impact on every Somali citizen
which has effected widely on several live aspects stretching from daily life to joining and
collaborating with global businesses. Increase in the normal shipping cost to scarcity of
vessels to ship goods and other materials to Somalia become a devastating problem on
Somali citizens and businessmen. Most probably every boat carrying goods to Somalia
will calculate imaginable insurance costs which eventually have direct effect to last
consumers, while everyday these costs are hit their peak.

The cliché of that piracy has contributed to the Somali economy remains baseless,
while the tremendous costs related to the Somali piracy were over counting. Never
mention the piracy problems imposed on the normal Somali fishermen who routinely

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

strive for their daily live, depending on their catch, and the ad hoc tackle of piracy
directly affect their daily fishing. In most recent days some reports indicated that the
Somali Fishermen cannot go beyond 3 KMs deep into the sea or otherwise they face
imminent threat from the patrolling warships in the area.

In Most recent years pirates were massively contributing to the insecurity of the
whole country while they paid some direct stream of money to Al-shabab which impose
threats both Somali citizens and in large scale to the whole world.

In terms of piracy investment of both light and heavy weapons were also major
problem to the security of the nation on the long run. Currently Somali piracy is
enjoying overpower against the Federal sate member of Puntland, where they dare to
hold hijacked ships and personnel inside the territory.

Somali piracy had also immensely worsened the image of Somalia in general,
some Somali scholar referred that piracy had changed the Somali image for ever given
their imposed uncountable problems on Somali citizens; in just about some folks
engaged in these activities it imposed bad image on every citizen.

In this regard, Somalia has much to offer with its longest coastline on the continent
and its unexploited natural wealth, it would be the engine of growth and prosperity for
the region.

IV. Home Based Solutions Seem Effective

The thing which is widely accepted is that in order to contain a situation, home
grown solutions are quite effective and productive; while Somali piracy remained
a global threat it had already cost hundreds of millions with great number of lives.
Curbing the Somali piracy in a parallel with non sustainable stability will again cost a
lot, so in this paper I suggest several soft power solutions for curbing the Somali piracy,
while referring to the findings of several studies about the Somali Piracy and their best
proposed solutions.

V. Land-based Soft Power Solutions Seem Effective

The phenomenon of tackling piracy onshore is quite acceptable, due to several

attempts being made towards curbing the Somali piracy on the sea, while there are
only quite few initiatives of onshore piracy tackling.

As the Pirate attacks in parts of Somalia coastal were brewing, there were
several other places inside Somalia where pirates could not dare to wage actions against
vessels. Unlike South Central Somalia, Somaliland remained relatively safe from
piracy and other sea crimes.

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In terms of tackling Somali piracy we should focus on providing a glance to land

based soft power solutions and similar measures and programs which can enhance
the effectiveness of curbing the piracy, this onshore piracy program can be directed to
strengthening the legal and judiciary system in Somalia in a parallel with the security
measures of state institutions which can support the discouragement of the pirates in
wide and comprehensive manner.

VI. Stabilization of Somalia

Considering the situation of Somalia which remained volatile in the past two
decades, building stable environment is quite indispensible for the long run guarantee
of piracy free area, where regulations are executable for the advantage of both Somali
citizens and safety of the vessels sailing through Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.

The Improvement of Somali situation will also broadly help the success of the
international efforts towards tackling piracy and also will make effective the reach of the
desired outcome.

VII. Extending of Governmental Structures in Piracy Safe

Heaven Areas

The achievement of piracy free area requires stable environment where

law and order are enforceable, hence the establishment of governmental structures
including the Policing service and capable Paramilitary forces which can operate inside
these cities can eliminate the piracy attacks, while mostly of these pirates plot their
attacks from inside these cities. These piracy stronghold cities including Eyl, Hobyo
and Harardhere are quite safe heaven area for Somali Piracy, and sure they host more
than 90% of pirate groups of Somalia.

Currently the Somali Government is making progress in increasing its

territorial control and this will provide the opportunity to work with the Government
and facilitate the land based mission of anti-piracy, also will provide opportunity to
the UN, NATO and EU naval forces which currently operating in offshore maritime
anti-piracy mission in Somali to provide necessary trainings, equipments and financial
support to the Government structure, in order to make sure the achievement of tasks.

Moreover the current naval forces operating in offshore maritime anti-piracy

mission in Somali may have the opportunity to establish temporary basis inside these
cities to eliminate the roots of piracy.

VIII. Building Somali Naval Forces

Crucially, almost the structures and governmental institutions of Somalia have

not been well functioning in the past two decades, for instance the Somali coastguard
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and the measurers to fight piracy and illegal activities were not in operation also
in past two decades, but absolutely there were some trials and initiatives being made
to enhance the Somali maritime security. Currently there is an enormous need to re-
establish the structure of Somali naval forces, in order to fill the largest gap of maritime
security which the nation lacks.

International governments are pouring funds to the offshore anti-piracy mission

in Somalia but yet this seems quite over-consuming, where these huge funds can
generate sustainable advantage in tackling Somali piracy in long run strategy.

According to Bueger, (2012) “The phenomenon of tackling piracy onshore is

quite acceptable, due to several attempts being made towards curbing the Somali piracy,
beside there are only quite few initiatives of onshore piracy tackling”. (Bueger, 2012)

The establishment of a stable Somali with capable government institutions

including the Somali Naval forces, supportive atmosphere to the Somali young
generation, and tackling piracy through development initiatives in long-run strategy
can better render quite indispensible outcome.

Considering the studies conducted to discover the impact of Somali piracy, one of
these studies include a study conducted by One Earth Future Foundation on 2012 which
estimated that Somali Piracy had already caused an impact of USD 7 billion a year in
just about on Indian Ocean.

According to the study of Bowden & Basnet, (2012) Moreover the studies also
continued to note that international governments has been spending USD 1.3 billion
per year in order to strengthen their support to tackle Somali Piracy under the UN
mandated mission of Somali Anti-piracy mission. (Bowden & Basnet, 2012)

Just building the Capacity of local security forces and the judicial sector of
Somalia can relatively bring a difference to the attainment of the free piracy area, while
financing in a sustainable manner and in parallel with the structures and governmental
institutions. USD1out of $10 of the current incurred cost can work efficiently if
it’s diverted to building Somali naval and security forces. For Instance; utilizing from
Somali Security Forces will only absorb $200-500 per month per person, where
currently incurred thousands with the offshore anti-piracy missions.

IX. Establishing and Enhancing Somali Maritime Academies

Somali Maritime Academy (SOMA) considered the backbone for protecting and
tackling illegal activities on the longest coastline in Africa, and Middle East.

There are also quite numerous initiatives to implement the soft power solutions
and also land-based mission, which can provide acceptable outcome.

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X. Establishment of Anti-piracy Security Network

In order to better tackle the Somali piracy, there is a need to establish anti-piracy
security Network which aimed to monitor the piracy movements and other activities
and also to design for early detection and giving warnings if they try to engage attacks to
vessels. Monitoring hot areas will also allow detecting the piracy bases and capabilities
which eventually reduce their capacity to engage any illegal activities.

XI. Development of Somalia and Maritime Economy

In regard to the development of Somalia, the Pirates can be tackled in a long term
developments in several sectors which can contain the boost of the economy of the
country, as the economy of Somali depends on sectors including livestock, agriculture
and fishery, the phenomenon re-establishment of the Somali light factories will enhance
the emergence of industries that could boost the economy massively.

Bueger, (2012) explains as the Somali coast is quite rich; the maritime economy
of Somalia can immensely boost the approach of discouraging pirate activities.
Establishment of cooperative fishing groups equipped with the required fishing
capabilities will help them generate their income and eventually contribute to the
economy of the country in a whole.(Bueger, 2012)

In the long term, the solution to prevent the recurrence of famine lies in the
sustainable development of the drought sensitive regions, this will require long term
investment in many areas including security health, education, and infrastructures so
the people in this area will have the opportunity to engage in productive economic
activities and up-lift their living standards.

As Somalia relatively a large country and it is quite rich in un-exploited natural

resources, and geographically strategic area in the horn of Africa, while enjoying the
longest coastline in Africa and Middle East, this could contribute the achievement
of sustainable development in every sector and give the opportunity to its young
generations not to engage in any illegal activities.

On the other hand, Somalia was once the first in Africa of livestock raising,
and was moving towards more industrialized country before the civil war erupted,
hence again we can promise the re-establishment of Somali economy and creation of
developed nation.

XII. Provision of Public Campaigns

According to Holzer & Jürgenliemk, (2012) as there is another approach of

discouraging piracy and potentially help free piracy area is the provision of campaigns
aimed to discourage the piracy activities and make the public understand that
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these activities are illegal and will cause devastation to both Somali citizens and their
reputation in the international arena.(Holzer & Jürgenliemk, 2012)

XIII. Reforming Somali Pirates

Programs like giving rehabilitation and reformation of ex-pirates will also

indirectly contribute the achievement of piracy free environment. Giving opportunities
to those already took part in pirate operations is quite important for folks not to go back
the illegal activities again and again.

XIV. Conclusion

In regard to the cost of anti-piracy maritime mission in Somali which exceeds

billions of US Dollars spend by several international governments and shipping
industries, beside its inefficiency and non-effectiveness, the thing which is widely
accepted is that in order to contain a situation, home grown solutions are quite effective
and productive.

The phenomenon of tackling piracy onshore is quite acceptable, due to several

attempts being made towards curbing the Somali piracy, beside there are only quite few
initiatives of onshore piracy tackling.

The establishment of a stable Somali with capable government institutions

including the Somali Naval forces, supportive atmosphere to the Somali young
generation, fishing cooperatives, and tackling piracy through development initiatives in
long-run strategy can better render quite indispensible outcome.

USD1out of $10 of the current incurred cost can work efficiently if it’s diverted
to building Somali naval and security forces, For Instance; utilizing from Somali
Security Forces will only absorb $200-500 per month per person, where currently
incurred thousands with the offshore anti-piracy missions.

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Şebnem Udum

I. Introduction

September 11 terrorist attacks raised weapons of mass destruction (WMD, that

is, nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons) proliferation and terrorism
with the use of WMD to the top of the international security agenda. WMD terrorism
is, thus, a new issue, and it has an important but understudied aspect: The risks at the
sea. Commercially significant sea routes, seaports, cargoes and ships are vulnerable
to attacks and constitute likely terrorist targets. Also, they suffer from some security
deficits that might allow terrorists to take advantage of them to transport “hostile
cargoes” to carry out attacks. Furthermore, they may exploit them as “kinetic weapons,”
that is, potential weapons of “mass destruction.”

This study seeks to analyze the relationship of maritime security and nuclear
terrorism. It will demonstrate the place and the significance of sea in nuclear terrorist
attack scenarios, analyze the risks at the sea, and put forward recommendations
to prevent or mitigate such risks. It tries to answer the following questions: What is
nuclear terrorism? What are the steps for carrying out a nuclear terrorist attack? What
are likely targets? Where is the sea in this picture? What are the legal instruments that
the international community has used so far to cope with this threat at the seas?

To answer these questions, the chapter is structured as follows: The first part will
introduce the “threat.” Taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of the maritime domain
in order to carry out a terrorist attack (or more specifically nuclear terrorism at the
sea) and threats to maritime security are two different but related issues. This study will
tackle them both: In the first case, in general, terrorists seek to find the vulnerabilities
of a state to carry out an attack. Maritime domain presents such vulnerabilities, such as
the lack of sufficient controls for cargo before, during or after the shipment. The second
is about giving harm to maritime commerce, bottlenecks, seaports, etc… to disrupt the
commercial flow of goods or strategic commodities, to paralyze trade, and probably
with serious environmental consequences, hence giving damage to state security at
military, political, economic and environmental levels. These issues need clarification,
thus the first section will introduce the threat and likely scenarios. Then, it will focus
on nuclear terrorism and the steps to carry out a nuclear terrorist attack. It borrows
from Ferguson and Potter that if any link in this chain of steps can be cut off, the risk of
nuclear terrorism can be mitigated (Ferguson and Potter 2004, p. 6).

Next, the capabilities to conduct nuclear terrorism will be introduced, and the
threat will be assessed in the context of the transportation of material and delivery of
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the weapon in order to understand the risks at the seas and to see the possibilities that
terrorists might exploit. The article will present the likely scenarios of transportation and
delivery, such as cargo ships and oil tankers carrying “nuclear cargoes,” or detonation
of the bomb at the port. The literature also draws attention to the difficulties in delivery,
which will be mentioned as well.

The second section will be devoted to responses to nuclear terrorism through

the seas, and particularly the legal instruments that the international community could
produce to address the threat. Along with others, there are two documents that deserve
particular attention: The United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540
(2004), and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety
of Maritime Navigation and its Protocol (or the SUA Convention). The chapter will
underline their significance, and will show the relevant articles that address the threat.
It will also refer to mechanisms that present viable methods to cope with the threat.

I. The Threat

I.1. What is Nuclear Terrorism?

The spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)- that is, proliferation- and
international terrorism have been identified as two of the most significant threats to
international security since the end of the Cold War.1 They became prominent security
threats particularly after September 11, 20012 attacks as terrorist groups expressed
interest to use WMD in order to inflict mass casualties and create instability (Mowatt-
Larssen 2013).

Broadly, weapons of mass destruction include nuclear, chemical and biological

weapons, and ballistic missiles as the most notable delivery systems. They are also
referred to as CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons). 9/11
attacks made it clear that a new form of terrorism emerged with wider political aims
than the terrorist groups had during the Cold War. New terrorism is waged through
transnational networks in different parts of the world, rather than being confined to
a limited geography. It is based on value and belief systems, which, most of the time,
question the prevailing political and economic system/order. The discourse of Al-Qaeda
signaled “apocalyptic war” against the United States and the system it represented. To
achieve their ultimate aim and to make headlines, they sought to create mass casualties
(Muller 2003, pp. 25-29). That is why, one of the concerns after 9/11 was the “alliance”
between terrorist organizations and “states of concern,” where the latter might provide
the former with CBRN material. Chemical and biological weapons could be attractive
1 For more information on NATO’s policy towards proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, See: “Weapons of
Mass Destruction/ Evolution,” NATO, < >; EU Strategy against
the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, The Council of the European Union, Brusells, December 10, 2003: The
National Security Strategy Strategy of the United States of America,September 2002.
2 Will be hitherto referred to as 9/11.

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for terrorist groups, because it is hard to find the perpetrator. Terrorist groups find
WMD attractive in terms of prestige: Possession would “raise status” due to the use of
“advanced” means to carry out an attack.

The type of weapon that would have the highest physical and psychological
impact is nuclear. It would kill people, destroy infrastructure and have long-lasting
effects. The so-called “loose nukes” have been a cause of concern after the dissolution
of the Soviet Union due to lax controls on idle nuclear material and insufficient border
security (Allison 2000, pp. 34-35). Although it is hard for terrorist groups to obtain or
manufacture a nuclear device, there were reports on the possibility of an attack with a
radiological device (or a “dirty bomb”) or a “suitcase bomb” (Muller 2008).

Nuclear terrorism means the use of nuclear materials to carry out terrorist attacks.
Terrorists may target nuclear facilities, steal or purchase nuclear weapons and detonate
them, build nuclear weapons (which is a low probability), or disperse radioactive
materials. They may attack nuclear facilities, carry out sabotage on these facilities,
especially nuclear power plants, which would result in the release of large amounts of
radioactivity and nuclear material. Also, they may attack spent nuclear fuel pools (in
nuclear power plants) which are more vulnerable than the nuclear reactor core, because
they contain five times as much radioactive material as the reactor core (Zalman 2012).

Apart from acquiring nuclear weapons and detonating them, terrorists might
steal or purchase fissile material, fabricate a nuclear weapon and detonate it. The weapon
they build is called an improvised nuclear device (IND). They may also find it attractive
to build an IND with lower-grade unenriched U-235 even if that would not yield tens
of kilotons equivalent of TNT, but only a few. Finally, they may acquire radioactive
materials, fabricate and detonate a radiological dispersion device (RDD), that is, a dirty
bomb, or a radiation emission device (RED) (Ferguson and Potter 2004, p. 3).

Terrorism with nuclear explosion would have severe consequences including

lives, property, infrastructure, economy and a following radioactive contamination.
The consequences of an RDD include loss of lives, economic loss, and long-term health
effects. The costs of panic and evacuation must be added to all these cases (Ferguson
and Potter 2004, p. 4).

One needs to see the steps to carry out a terrorist nuclear attack in order to reduce
its risk, that is, to know where and how to apply counter-measures. These are:

1. Organizing a terrorist organization with technical and financial resources

2. The choice of carrying out a terrorist nuclear attack

3. Acquiring an intact nuclear weapon or acquisition of fissile material (either

HEU or plutonium) to make an IND

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4. Getting the knowledge on how to bypass or defeat any safeguards in an intact

nuclear weapon or how to assemble an IND from the fissile material

5. The ability to transport the IND (or its parts) or the intact nuclear weapon

6. Detonation of the IND or intact nuclear weapon (Ferguson and Potter 2004,

It can be argued that if any link in this chain can be cut off, nuclear terrorism risk
can be mitigated (Ferguson and Potter 2004, p.6).

Terrorists need some capabilities to conduct nuclear terrorism, such as state

sponsorship to acquire or deliver an intact nuclear weapon, financial and technological
resources to build an IND, and an organized group with adequate funds, arms and
training. To deliver an RDD, they may fill a conventional bomb with radioactive
material, or fill a suitcase with unshielded radioactive source to expose by-passers to
gamma radiation (hence build and RED) (Ferguson and Potter 2004, pp. 55-56).

Terrorists might choose to fabricate a gun-type bomb with HEU since it is

relatively easier (Medalia 2004c, p.2). In a gun device, two sub-critical masses of
uranium-235 form a critical mass when detonated (Federation of American Scientists).
Some cargoes in cargo ships are similar to the size and weight of the gun-type bomb
which was dropped on to Hiroshima. It might also be possible to make it lighter or even
a lightweight “suitcase bomb.” (Medalia 2004c, p. 3)

How likely is a nuclear terrorist attack in the maritime domain? What are likely
targets and scenarios? The next two sections seek to answer these questions.

1.2. Threat Assessment

The global economy will be immediately and significantly affected by disruptions

in the maritime domain (DHS 2005, p. 2). To understand the risks at the sea, the threat
will be assessed in the context of the transportation of material and delivery of the
weapon. In this context, the article will look at likely targets and scenarios. But, one
needs first to understand the concept of vulnerability. Craig Allen defines “vulnerability”
and “risk” as follows:

“Vulnerability” refers to weakness that can be exploited. A “threat” exists when

a party has the capability and intent to exploit vulnerability in order to inflict harm…
“Risk” is the probability of harmful consequences resulting from interactions between
threats and vulnerable assets…[R]isk is the product of the probability of an event
multiplied by the predicted severity of its consequences. (Allen 2008, p. 175)

When there is low and/or uncertain risk with large-scale consequences, this
is a challenging risk scenario: a low probability-high impact event is considered as
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unacceptable (Posner 2004, pp. 120-122 cited in Allen 2008, p. 176), such as with use of

Maritime transportation system is vulnerable: Ports in the middle of cities could

be potential platforms to launch an attack on population centers. The international
supply chain rests on the maritime transportation system. Shipping containers are
frequently used for transportation in this chain, and they may become potential
threats. Usually, containers are packed and sealed by the product supplier, however,
the so-called “economic operators”- who are authorized in transportation, storage and
handling- have access to the container before it reaches to its final destination. Thus,
before reaching the ship, containers may be vulnerable to theft or tampering (Allen
2008, p. 172). To ensure security, the International Safety Monitoring (ISM) Code is
used since 1998.

A 2007 Congressional Research Service report underlines that smuggling and

detonation of a nuclear or dirty bomb device in a shipping container is one of the
outstanding threats concerning maritime security (Parfomak and Fritelli 2007, p. 18).

The Report states that:

Shipping containers may be particularly vulnerable to terrorist infiltration
compared to other types of cargo for three reasons: First, shipping containers are
relatively large…. Second, containers… are packed at the factories… far and wide
from the loading port, making it impossible for government authorities to ensure
that only legitimate cargo has been packed. Third, containers are typically trucked to
the port of loading, during which the integrity of the shipments rests entirely on the
trustworthiness or due diligence of the truck drivers. (…) …if terrorists were to attempt
a nuclear or dirty bomb attack in a US port, they would be unlikely to do so using a
shipping container because it would put the device beyond a terrorist group’s control
(Parfomak and Fritelli 2007, p. 18).

Terrorists may also smuggle a bomb (Parfomak and Fritelli 2007, p. 19). Therefore,
terrorists may use the maritime transportation system as a conduit to transport weapons
or to disrupt maritime transportation. They may transport CBRN, high explosive
weapons, weapon components, narcotics, and prohibited or restricted commodities
with commercial ships. The threat with greatest consequences is the use of the maritime
transportation system to deliver a nuclear weapon (DHS 2005, p. 3), which will have a
devastating impact.

Threat scenarios include importation of a fully assembled nuclear device, RDD,

chemical and biological weapons or conventional high explosives. WMD concealed
in a container for detonation in a megaport would constitute a particular concern
(Allen 2008, p. 177). In these scenarios, terrorists may ship an intact nuclear weapon,
fissile material, an IND or RDD by using a cargo container, a crude oil tanker or a boat
(considering that a weapon will occupy a small place). The material can be shipped

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from providing countries, thus, terrorists may avoid security checks at the point of
initiation (Medalia 2004b, pp. 3, 4, 6). Legal and illegal crossings present opportunities
to terrorists: Legal crossings include seaports, airports and border stations although
smuggling a nuclear weapon through a legal crossing could be hard. Illegal crossings are
lines, i.e. unguarded coasts and land borders (Medalia 2004b, p. 4).

Transportation of nuclear material presents vulnerability, thus makes them a

potential target for terrorists. Increase in demand for nuclear energy resulted in an
increase in the transportation of nuclear material (Smith 2010, p. 26). There is a so-called
“nuclear renaissance,” that is, a reviving interest in civilian nuclear power. The increase
in demand in some regions could be such that it requires transportation through the
sea, for example as a result of the plans to construct facilities on the coast and shipment
of nuclear materials (esp. back end) by sea (Smith 2010, p. 26; Shaker 208, pp. 33-41).
The bulk of nuclear material is transported by sea in containers along with commercial
cargo. They may include “yellowcake” (refined uranium ore), uranium hexafluoride
(UF6) and fresh fuel (all low radioactive), back-end material of research reactors, which
use commercial ships both for fuel supply (Smith 2010, pp. 26-27), fresh fuel for power
reactors, highly radioactive spent fuel and operational wastes, radioactive isotopes for
medical, industrial or research purposes (Smith 2010, p. 25).

Also, highly-enriched uranium (HEU) might be found in two marine locations:

new fuel rods on a nuclear-propelled submarine, and fresh fuel for research reactors
which operate on HEU. However, terrorists will have to take the ship to the port in
order to recover such cargoes (Smith 2010, p. 31). The threat assessment of cargo should
cover more than the information regarding the cargo, but the totality of transportation
process including the vessel(s), crew, ports of call and intermodal connections (DHS
2005, p. 5).

If the aim of terrorists is to cause human casualties, they may target passenger
ships or carry out an attack in a heavily populated port. If their aim is economic loss, they
may target oil tankers or their routes to disrupt shipping to impact critical infrastructure
or commerce, and to give environmental harm. The aim of new terrorism is to inflict
huge damage to maximize media coverage, public awareness and psychological impact.
Terrorists may use ships as delivery vehicles for WMDs or chemicals and explosives in
cargo ships or onshore storage tanks to attack maritime communities or give harm to
infrastructure (Parfomak and Fritelli 2007, pp. 3-5).

I.3. Terrorist Attack Scenarios

The 2007 CRS report lists the following terrorist attack scenarios involving the
use of WMD:

• explosives attack on a chlorine storage tank in port

• a nuclear device aboard an incoming vessel in a 55-gallon drum

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• attack on a port with a biological disease agent (Chawkins 2003cited in

Parfomak and Fratelli 2007, p. 9)

• detonation of a dirty bomb in a shipping container in port (O’Sullivan 2004

cited in Parfomak and Fratelli 2007, p. 10).

• sarin gas attack on a cruise ship in port (Shear 2004 cited in Parfomak and
Fratelli 2007, p. 10)

• dirty bombs in cargo containers

• bombing and sinking LPG tanker in a major commercial and naval shipping
channel (Pinto and Talley 2006 cited in Parfomak and Fratelli 2007, p. 10)

• attack on a LNG terminal and tanker in port” (Parfomak and Fratelli 2007,
pp. 9, 10).

Some of these scenarios do not involve the use of CBRN but they may be
considered as “WMD” due to their consequences. Also, what is transported might be
the target of attack (Smith 2010, p. 26). The CRS 2007 report tackles three prominent
attack scenarios: nuclear or dirty bombs smuggled in shipping containers, attacks on
LNG tankers and on passenger ferries (Parfomak and Fratelli 2007, pp. 3-7).

Allen underlines that:

Supply chain threat scenarios range from importation of a fully assembled nuclear
device, RDD, chemical and biological weapons or conventional high explosives… The
threats of particular concern come from those who might conceal a WMD in a container
for detonation in a megaport (Allen 2008, pp. 177, 178).

The level of “mass disruption” one could expect from a “dirty bomb” in a
container might be produced by recreational and other small fishing vessels (Grenberg
et. al. 2006, cited in Allen 2008, p. 179). WMD may be smuggled in ship-borne cargo
containers and maritime terror attacks may be carried out in ports or at sea in areas of
concentrated shipping, such as the Straits of Gibraltar (Parfomak and Fratelli 2007, p.
4) or the Turkish Straits.

Terrorists can also use boats and light aircraft loaded with explosives for suicide
attacks, consider merchant and cruise ships as kinetic weapons to hit another vessel,
warship, port facility or offshore platform. Commercial vessels (vessels for civilian use)
may be seen as “launchers” for missile attacks; they may employ underwater swimmers
to infiltrate ports and unmanned underwater explosive delivery vehicles. They may use
vessels to transport explosives or WMD to detonate in a port or an offshore facility
(DHS 2005, p. 4).

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Shipping containers are the most likely targets of terrorists to transport or

smuggle a nuclear weapon or WMD. These containers are around 2.5*2.5*6 meters
or 2.5*2.5*12 meters, and container ships carry thousands of them. Terrorists may
place a bomb in a container and ship it. Under the Container Security Initiative (CSI),
containers are screened before being loaded onto ships at certain ports. However, they
might try to evade the CSI by cooperating with a trusted shipping company, falsifying
data, infiltrating CSI ports or shipping from non-CSI ports (Medalia 2004b, p. 6).
Terrorists may avoid the risk of smuggling if they can place a weapon in an airplane
or a ship and detonate it before an inspection, for instance, while the ship is entering a
seaport (Medalia 2004b, p. 6).

The use of an oil tanker to transport a nuclear weapon is another possible scenario.
If terrorists consider a nuclear attack using a tanker, they would need to acquire a nuclear
device and smuggle it onto the ship. They might seek to place it inside one of the oil
tanks, but this would require them to make it sit tight. Detection of a nuclear bomb in
an oil tanker is hard, especially for a bomb inside an oil tank. It is hard to detect a bomb
inside a supertanker, first due to its size, and second due to the thickness of steel. These
factors make the detection devices using gamma rays unworkable. Another means is
neutron activation to find out radioactive material however, this method would fail,
because the neutrons will be absorbed by the hydrogen and carbon atoms in crude oil.
There are also problems with alternative detection methods (Medalia 2004c, pp. 3, 4).

A bomb in a tanker, if detonated would have enormous impacts: It could devastate

an oil port by the blast and by secondary fires in nearby refineries, and oil storage tanks.
Or, it might be used against other maritime targets and as a result crude oil shipments
might be suspended (Medalia 2004b, p. 8).

When we look at the likelihood of a terrorist attack with the use of WMD, in
2008, the Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism
surmised that the likelihood of a WMD terrorist attack is likely towards the end of
2013 “unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency” (Allison et
al. 2008, p. xv) Also NATO, in its Comprehensive Political Guidance, endorsed in the
2006 Riga Summit, underlined that “[t]errorism,… and the spread of weapons of mass
destruction are likely to be the principal threats to the Alliance over the next 10 to 15
years” (NATO Comprehensive Political Guidance , 2006). However, the probability of
a terrorist nuclear attack is very low (Global Security Newswire 2011; Allison 2008).
The possessor states would be expected to refrain from supplying material to a terrorist
group fearing from retaliation from the international community, and especially the
United States (Ferguson and Potter 2006, p. 9).

A terrorist attack is expected in the maritime domain (Reuters 2004). However,

terrorists would have technical difficulties in successfully detonating a nuclear device,
because there will be operational challenges in a maritime terror attack. Still, since they
are high consequence attacks, the low probability of such an attack does not mean that

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the threat can be ignored. Terrorist attacks with the use of RDD are seen among the
gravest maritime terrorism scenarios, which would have devastating impact on world
economy since it could cripple global trade (See Medalia 2004a). The likelihood of a
dirty bomb attack has been seen relatively likely than a nuclear attack (Lugar 2005, p. 6).

Obtaining a dirty bomb is not easy and poses challenges. The most likely scenario
is the potential smuggling and detonation of a nuclear device or dirty bomb in a
shipping container at a port (GAO Report 2012, p.1; Lipton 2006). The vulnerability
of shipping containers to terrorist infiltration makes an attack more likely due to the
above-mentioned reasons: In short, their large size, being packed far and away from
the loading port, and the transportation means being trucks, which makes the integrity
of the cargo to rest on the trustworthiness of the truck drivers (Parfomak and Fratelli
2007, p. 18).

The challenges of carrying out a WMD terrorist attack at the sea decrease the
likelihood of a maritime terrorist attack. There are operational difficulties in carrying
out terrorist attacks in maritime environment, especially compared to attacks on land
which could be a preferred option for terrorists (Parfomak and Fratelli 2007, p. 23).

The CRS 2007 report determines the following challenges for terrorists in
maritime environment:

• The scarcity of maritime targets compared to land targets

• The inconvenience of concealment at sea rather than on land due to surveillance

• Terrorists must take into account tides, currents, wind, sea state, visibility and
proximity to land in a maritime terror operation

• Terrorists may need to acquire skills in navigation, coastal piloting and ship

• Their training on attacks and tests of weapons would be harder to conceal at

sea than on land

• Maritime targets are few, the probability of damage is low and casualties
are secondary to the intended target. There are also problems with filming
the attacks at sea, which will lower the probability, thus it may reduce the
desirability of maritime targets (Pelkofski 2005, pp.20-24 cited in Parfomak
and Fritelli 2007, pp. 23, 24).

There may also be technical difficulties: While transporting nuclear cargo,

terrorists may be exposed to a lethal dose of radioactivity if they open them. There are
technical difficulties in carrying out a nuclear terrorist attack. The material to protect
nuclear or radiological material is resistant to fire. To set it to fire, they would need

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another vessel full of explosives. However, even if it is a failed operation, an attack with
the use of nuclear material would still create publicity/media event (Smith 2010, p. 30).

II. Addressing the Threat

To address the threat of maritime terrorism, interdicting the shipments of

WMD or WMD-related materials to or by states of proliferation concern as well as
container security is highly important. The first was tackled in the Proliferation Security
Initiative (2003) and the second was addressed by the Container Security Initiative
(2002). Technology, intelligence and forensics will help the efforts and cooperation in
preventing WMD smuggling and terrorist attacks with WMD (Medalia 2004b, p. 11).

According to the Maritime Commerce Security Plan for National Strategy for
Maritime Security prepared by the United States Department of Homeland Security,
applying security measures at different levels- that is, “layered security”- mitigates
threats better than single point defense, because by layered security, threats in the
supply chain could be identified earlier, especially before the cargo enters the maritime
realm and is loaded on vessels.

To ensure the security of maritime commerce, cargo needs to be secure when it

is loaded and during transit. The framework to ensure security has five levels: accurate
data, secure cargo, secure vessels/ports, secure transit and international standards and
compatible regulations. Accurate data would help identify threat and assess the risk
of cargo before it enters the maritime domain (DHS 2005, p. 7). Secure cargo requires
a procedure to ensure that the information of the cargo that is loaded on the vessel
match the information that is electronically transmitted to authorities. The security of
the cargo is assured through that of the vessels and ports (DHS 2005, pp. 8, 9).

The procedure of secure transit aims to ensure that cargo remains secure as it enters
and moves through the maritime domain. Appropriate international organizations
should be engaged to ensure consistency and improvements across the supply chain
(DHS 2005, p. 8). A layered approach has the advantage of identifying and interdicting
threats while they are away from national borders and this is essential for maritime
security. The risk of a weapon of mass destruction concealed in a shipping container is
a potential worst case scenario (DHS 2005, p.9).

The efforts of the international community to cooperate in maritime transport

security yielded Container Security Initiative, Megaports Initiative, and International
Ship and Port Facility Security Code, which is a set of comprehensive measures to
enhance the security of ships and port facilities, adopted by the International Maritime
Organization (IMO). The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is another important
effort: The PSI aims at nonproliferation of WMD, their delivery systems and related
materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern through
partnerships and cooperation in interdiction and interdiction exercises. Another

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measure could be bi-lateral ship-boarding agreements to board vessels suspected of

carrying WMD-related shipments (DHS 2005, pp. 11, 12).

III. Legal Basis of the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism

in the Maritime Field

The efforts for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and WMD in general
are embodied in the respective international regimes (international law, regulations,
international organizations, etc…) to prevent their spread, but they are too broad to be
tackled in this piece.

9/11 was the turning point regarding the development of responses to nuclear
terrorism at the international level, and led states, especially the United States, to take
measures. Terrorism and proliferation of WMD along with illicit trafficking of material
were listed as top threats on the international security agenda (The National Security
Strategy of the United States of America, 2002; European Security Strategy, 2003).
There were several governmental and non-governmental efforts to address them in the
years 2004 and 2005. The main legal documents lying at the basis of the prevention
of WMD proliferation and terrorism in the context of maritime security are the UN
Security Council Resolution 1373 which addresses terrorism, the UNSCR 1540 dealing
with threats posed by non-state actors with weapons of mass destruction, and the SUA
Convention (1988) and its Protocol (2005).

The UNSCR 1540 (2004) was passed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and
its first sentence reads: “Proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as
well as their means of delivery constitutes a threat to international peace and security.”
“Maintaining international peace and security” is the primary purpose of the UN.
The wording that “proliferation is a threat to international peace and security” makes
prevention of proliferation a primary goal that should be reached by any means possible.
It is also an important document, because for the first time, it is explicitly stated that
states should refrain from supporting non-state actors “that attempt to develop, acquire,
manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons
and their means of delivery” (Article I, UNSCR 1540, 2004). Thereby, it discourages
state sponsorship of terrorism by signaling the “consequences,” because these provisions
are supported by Chapter VII of the UN Charter (titled, “Enforcement”). According to
the Resolution, States should adopt national legislation to prevent WMD proliferation
and to establish domestic controls over related material to prevent their illicit trafficking
(Article II, UNSCR 1540, 2004). The Resolution also encourages enhanced international
cooperation on such efforts (Article XIII, UNSCR 1540, 2004).

The Resolution also established a committee for the implementation of its

provisions. Its mandate had been extended briefly since 2006. When the Security
Council extended the mandate of the 1540 Committee further in 2011 for a period of ten
years, it was indicative of a commitment for continuous efforts at national, regional and
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international levels to effect the full implementation of the Resolution. Resolution 1977
(2011) mandated the Committee to focus more on providing technical assistance and to
enhancing cooperation with relevant international organizations (The 1540 Committee-

The other legal text that concerns the prevention of illicit trafficking of WMD and
terrorism is the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation
(in short the SUA Convention-1988) and its Protocol (2005). Just as the UNSCR 1540
commences with the sentence that WMD proliferation is a “threat to international peace
and security”, the Protocol specifies that “terrorism is a threat to international peace and
security,” thus referring to the Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

The 1988 SUA Convention was introduced to address the legal uncertainties
concerning the fundamental issues of the law of the sea, following the Achille Lauro
incident in 1985. It adopted the provisions of the previously existing anti-terrorism
conventions to the maritime field. But its difference is its underlining of a deep concern
about acts of terrorism, because terrorism is considered as a grave threat to international
community (Tuerk 2008, p. 374). However, it did not sufficiently address the limitations
of the law of the sea and international criminal law. For instance, law enforcement
provisions to address an impending offence were missing (Young 2009, p. 9).

As terrorism and proliferation of WMD threatened international community

more visibly after 9/11, there was a need to upgrade the Convention. So, the Protocol
was added (Tuerk 2008, p. 366). The 2005 Protocol to the SUA Convention included new
provisions to prevent the use of a ship as a weapon or a vehicle of committing a terrorist
attack, or transportation of cargo intended for use in connection with WMD programs
by ship (Tuerk 2008, p. 366). It also allowed boarding a ship beyond the territorial sea
if there are reasonable grounds of suspicion towards a ship or person on board (Young
2009, p. 9).

9/11 demonstrated the vulnerability of vessels and global transport infrastructure

both as a potential target for terrorist activity and a potential WMD (Balkin 2006, p. 5
cited in Tuerk 2008, p. 354). The transportation of cargo has increasingly been done by
containers. This has reduced transparency in the shipping industry, and enhanced the
potential risk of terrorist attack. Containerized systems made containers a potential
security threat because shipping companies put emphasis on speed, which means
that cargo is insufficiently inspected. Thus, the efficiency of containerized systems
create security risks: “…[T]he only parties with true knowledge of the contents of
the container are the shipper and the recipient” (Mellor 2002, pp. 348, 349) Terrorists
may target vessels either in port or close to the shore, or they may target important
areas of international maritime transportation (Hesse and Charalambous 2004, p. 125;
Jesus 2003, p. 370). Considering that 90 % of world trade is carried through the sea,
terrorist attacks occurring in vulnerable and strategic sea routes would severely disrupt
international trade (Balkin 2006, p. 2 cited in Tuerk 2008, p. 354).

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The provisions of the SUA Convention proved insufficient for the new kind of
terrorism targeting international commercial shipping, because it would be impossible
to deter suicide bombers (Wolfrum 2006, p. 12). So a Diplomatic Conference was held
in December 2002, and it adopted various new security measures (IMO 2002a). There
were amendments to the 1974 Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) to
enhance maritime security and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code
(ISPS) was adopted to enhance the security of ships and port facilities (IMO 2002a).
This new maritime security regime for international shipping entered into force in July

The SUA Convention also went through examination by the IMO Legal
Committee, and it was concluded that the unlawful (refers to acts of terrorism) acts in
the 1988 Convention and Protocol were too narrowly defined and that they required
expansion to cope with new terrorism, and the transportation of WMD or related
material (IMO 2002b). Also, they did not allow inspections in the high seas or help
ships that were attacked. The original SUA Convention and Protocol were amended
and now are called the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime
Navigation and its Protocol (2005).

The core provisions of the 2005 Protocol to the 1988 Convention are Article
3bis and Article 8bis. Article 3bis enlarged the offenses covered by the Convention,
and Article 8bis relates to ship boarding and provides a mechanism to enforce the
provisions (Harrington 2007, pp. 107-122 in Tuerk 2008, p. 358). The Preamble of the
Protocol states that terrorist acts threaten international peace and security. This is the
endorsement by the international community that it is a significant threat that should
be prevented and the means to that end will be legitimate.

The focus of Article 3bis (1)b is on the transportation of materials that could be
used in a terrorist attack. It specifies the following as an offense if a person transports
on board a ship:

…any explosive or radioactive material to be used in a terrorist attack, any BCN

weapon, any source material not covered under the IAEA’s comprehensive safeguards
agreement, and “any equipment, materials or software or related technology that
significantly contributes to the design, manufacture or delivery of an BCN weapon with
the intention that it will be used for [a terrorist attack] (SUA Protocol 2005, Article 3bis

Article 3bis of the 2005 SUA Protocol introduced four new offences: These
are offences with motives of terror, transport offences, NPT and its exceptions, and
other offences. For the first category, the Protocol introduced offences like using
or discharging explosives, radioactive material or biological, chemical and nuclear
weapons against a ship or from ship, discharging oil, LNG and hazardous and noxious
substances, using the ship in a manner to cause death or serious injury or damage and
threatening to do these acts (SUA Protocol 2005, Article 3bis (1)a). Transport offences
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cover the transport of explosives, radioactive materials, biological, chemical and nuclear
weapons, fissionable material or equipment designed to use, process or produce special
fissionable material, equipment or software technology to produce NBC weapons. The
exception is the control of the transport of material by a State Party to the NPT and
subject to the conditions of the Treaty SUA Protocol 2005, Article 3bis (1)b. The other
offence category includes helping criminals, that is, people who committed an offence
according to the Protocol, engaged in terrorist acts or who are trying to evade criminal
prosecution (SUA Protocol 2005, Article 3ter).

Article 8 reads that “the master of the ship of a State Party (flag state) may
deliver to the authorities of any other State Party (the receiving state) any person who
the master has reasonable grounds to believe has committed an offence set forth in the
Article 3, 3bis, 3ter or 3 quater” (SUA Protocol 2005, Article 8). The act of boarding at
sea is the major contribution of the SUA Protocol:

Article 8bis (4) reads: “A State Party that has reasonable grounds to suspect that
an offense set forth in article 3, 3bis, 3ter or 3quater has been, is being or is about to
be committed involving a ship flying its flag, may request the assistance of other States
Parties in preventing or suppressing that offence.” Article 8bis (4)b states that “… the
requesting Party shall ask the first Party [the “flag state”] for authorization to board and
to take appropriate measures…” (SUA Protocol 2005, Article 8bis (4)).

The SUA Convention of 1988 and its Protocol (2005) constitute an international
response against terrorism on ships and fixed platforms, armed robbery at sea, and
proliferation of WMD (Gehr 2009, p. 8). These legal instruments tackle not only
maritime offenses, but also those involving illicit use of WMD, nuclear material,
explosives, radioactive material, oil, LNG and other hazardous and noxious substances.
The 2005 SUA Protocol criminalizes WMD-related offences and includes new offences
like using a WMD against a ship or fixed platform, discharging WMD from a ship or
fixed platform, and transporting nuclear weapons on ships (SUA Protocol 2005, Article
3bis). With the inclusion of these new offenses, the 2005 SUA Protocol also emphasizes
environmental protection. It also criminalizes the intention of using these substances to
intimidate a population or to compel a government or international organization (SUA
Protocol 2005, Article 3bis(1)b(i)).

Apart from UNSCR 1540 and the SUA Convention and Protocol, the NPT,
Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement (CSA), and the Model Additional Protocol (AP)
are important measures to enhance maritime security by preventing illicit trafficking of
nuclear material at sea (Seseanu 2009, p. 19).

Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which is an international effort to address

WMD proliferation from the supply side is also important, but it does not have legally
binding status. It is based on voluntary actions of states to stop the trafficking of WMD,
their delivery systems and WMD-related materials. Based on counter-proliferation, it
aims at interdicting this trafficking from and to states or non-state actors of proliferation
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concern (United States Department of State, Proliferation Security Initiative). Although

the PSI does not introduce a new law, its statement of interdiction principles encourages
states to enact national laws to support their commitments. One such national legislation
is the US Coast Guard container inspection: Following an accident that resulted in a
leakage of hazardous material, the United States Coast Guard started to inspect cargoes
and containers. Also, to prevent illegal shipment of hazardous material, the Coast Guard
inspects containers of general cargo (United States Coast Guard).
Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements are international treaties concluded
between a state or states and the IAEA, and are designed in the context of NPT
INFCIRC/153 (corr.), which is titled, The Structure and Content of Agreements
Between the Agency and States Required in Connection with the Treaty on the Non-
Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, dated 1972. It enters into force following the approval
of the Board and the written notification by the state. With the CSA, states accept
safeguards on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities
within their territory or jurisdiction. States are required to provide information to the
IAEA regarding nuclear material, facilities and activities. The state has to grant the
IAEA access for inspections and allow the IAEA to verify design information. States
are expected to cooperate with the IAEA in the implementation of the safeguards
agreement, particularly in establishing a national system of accounting for and control
of nuclear material (IAEA-INFCIRC 153 corr. 1972).
Comprehensive safeguards agreements are instrumental in controlling the illicit
trafficking of nuclear material. Through the establishment and maintenance of state
system of accounting for and control (SSAC) of nuclear material, states would fulfill
their international nonproliferation obligations, maintain the security of nuclear
material and combat illicit trafficking. Under SSAC, nuclear material is accounted for
at all times and any changes in national inventory of nuclear material is recorded and
reported to the IAEA. An effective SSAC would confer the state the ability to deter
terrorism and malicious acts, and the means for their early detection. A sound legislative
and regulatory system is needed for an effective SSAC (Suseanu 2009, p. 20).

Another instrument is the Model Protocol Additional to the Agreement(s)

Between State(s) and the International Atomic Energy Agency fort he Application of
Safeguards, in short, the “Additional Protocol” (IAEA-INFCRC 540 corr.). Through the
provisions set forth in the Additional Protocol, the IAEA receives complete information
about a state’s nuclear fuel cycle including research and development activities. The
Additional Protocol grants the Agency the right to make intrusive inspections and to
have broader access to locations within a state, such as uranium mining spots or storage
facilities (IAEA Additional Protocol, Article 2 (a) v, and Article 8 (b)). The Agency is
enabled to transfer the collected information the regional offices and to the headquarters
in Vienna thanks to the use of advanced communications systems (Suseanu 2009, p. 21).

States need to keep their nuclear activities transparent according to Additional

Protocol. States, then, are entitled to have increased access to nuclear technology, and

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

the IAEA ensures that there is no undeclared material or activities. Thus, the IAEA
can conclude that all nuclear activities are peaceful. Appropriate implementation
of safeguards requires a sound legislation and regulation system, which must be
consistent with international obligations. The provisions of SSAC, licensing, inspection,
enforcement, criminalization and import and export control should be included in
national legislation (Suseanu 2009, p. 21).

IV. Conclusion

As terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) occupy

the international security agenda since 9/11, the use of WMD in a terrorist attack is a
likely scenario. The maritime domain is conducive to the transportation of individuals
and means to carry out such attacks, and ships may be the target or the vehicle of terrorist
attacks that would result in enormous impacts on state and international security.
Maritime security and the vulnerability of maritime field have been understudied in the
debate on proliferation and terrorism, and this piece has sought to identify and assess
the threat and present the efforts of the international community to address it.

The threat of terrorism at the sea was addressed by the 1988 SUA Convention
and Protocol for the first time. With the 2005 amendments to the Convention and the
Protocol an international treaty framework was provided to combat and prosecute
individuals who use a ship as a weapon or means of committing a terrorist attack, or
transport terrorists or WMD-related material by ship. These new instruments reflect
the shift in the mood of the international community and the perception that terrorism
is an international crime that can only be addressed successfully by international
cooperation (Tuerk 2008, p. 366). The UNSCR 1540 and the SUA Protocol explicitly
state respectively that proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism are
threats to international peace and security-which underlines that the international
community strongly supports measure to cope with them.

Containerized cargo and container ships seem to be the most vulnerable to

terrorist infiltration to transport “WMD cargo” or individuals with hostile intent. Also,
terrorists may target commercially or politically significant sea routes or ports to carry
out attacks with or without using CBRN. Still, their attack with conventional means or
the ship itself may constitute a “weapon of mass destruction” due to the consequences
of an attack. The international community is expected to tighten security checks and
introduce new measures to ensure maritime security. The challenge is likely to be
dual-use items, which this article has not studied in detail due to the focus on nuclear
materials. It applies mainly to chemical and biological weapons proliferation and some
materials to manufacture delivery capabilities. Theft and sabotage on these articles are
likely scenarios, and international regulations on export controls must align commercial
interests in containerized trade to the standards of securing these materials.

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Allison, Graham (2000), “Russia’s ‘Loose Nukes’: The Continuing Threat to American
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Hesse, Hartmut and Nicolaos L. Charalambous, (2004), “New Security Measures for the
International Shipping Community,” WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs, 3 (2), 123-138.

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Attack Using Oil Tankers, CRS Report for Congress, Washington, D.C.

Mellor, Justin S.C. (2002), “Missing the Boat: The Legal and Practical Problems of the
Prevention of Maritime Terrorism,” American University International Law Review, 18
(2), 341-397.

“Militants Eyeing Seaborne Attacks, US General Says,” Reuters, 26 August 2004.

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Dominion University, Maritime Institute, Working Paper, Norfolk, VA.

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Sümer Kayser

I. Introduction

The proliferation of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN)

Weapons/Devices, mostly referred as “Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)” and
their means of delivery continue to be a matter of serious concern for Turkey.

Being situated close to regions posing high risks of proliferation, Turkey not only
monitors developments in this field, but also takes part in collective efforts aimed at
devising measures to reverse this alarming trend.

II. Maritime Trade & Risk

90% of world trade currently travels by sea, representing around 93,000 merchant
vessels, 1.25 million seafarers, and almost six billion tons of cargo. Since the end of the
Second World War, seaborne trade has doubled every decade.

The rise in international terrorism in recent years has increased the potential for
CBRN attacks against not only ground forces and installations but also against maritime
forces. CBRN agents were not used to attack the USS COLE and Merchant Vessel
LIMBURG1, but these two well-known conventional explosives attacks by terrorists
show the desire and capability of terrorists to reach marine vessels afloat and indicate
that maritime forces are vulnerable to CBRN incidents.

Today global economy is inseparable with the global security. In this respect, the
task of securing the sea lines of communication, nodes, ports and terminals along with
related infrastructure has increased the responsibilities of the littoral states since a sea
borne security crisis or a disaster has a domino effect all around the globe.

When in port and operating near shore, ships are more vulnerable. Ships in port
are usually static, with open hatches to allow storing and maintenance. Additionally,
port area often presents many opportunities for clandestine attack. Ports themselves are
often attractive strategic targets for hostile attack, which may include the use of CBRN
weapons or devices.


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III. Maritime Security against Global Threats

The worst and most dangerous scenarios, as far as Maritime Security is concerned,
are the ones represented by the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction,
Terrorism or the combination of both. In order to prevent and avoid these, the United
Nations is trying to improve the mechanisms provided by the SUA Convention, for the
Suppression of Unlawful Acts at Sea, to empower nations to interdict ships suspected of
carrying nuclear components and to avoid attacks on platforms at sea.
The international and interagency dimension of Maritime Security is strategic in
nature because of the global effects of the existing risks and threats and the enormous
amount of security activities that need to be coordinated. The general arrangement of such
activity is beyond the reach of most of the navies, yet the international and interagency
implications of Maritime Security must be present in the military contribution to
overall Maritime Security and therefore in this work. Within this context, navies need
to agree on a common concept of use for naval assets, gather expertise and develop
specific capabilities to confront their responsibilities in the field of Maritime Security.
Before dealing with the more detailed tactical considerations some broader operational
guidelines must be established.

IV. Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)2

The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is a global effort that aims to stop
trafficking of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems, and related
materials to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern launched by
US in May 2003 at a meeting in Krakow, Poland, the PSI has now grown to include the
endorsement of 98 nations around the world.
The idea of the PSI is generally credited to John R. Bolton, former US under-
secretary of State for arms control and international security and former US ambassador
to the United Nations, after 15 scud missiles found on board an unflagged North Korean
freighter, the So Sen, heading towards Yemen had to be released when it turned out
that international law did not allow them to be confiscated. Given this apparent gap in
international law, several months later US announced the initiative with his counterpart,
Poland in Krakow on May 31, 2003.
Initially, the PSI included 11 “core” states (Australia, France, Germany, Italy,
Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, US and Poland). On
September 4, 2003, in Paris, these countries detailed the principles governing the PSI in
a document titled the “statement of interdiction principles”. Since the initial core group
of 2003, PSI has expanded to include an “Operational Experts Group” (OEG)3 of 21
nations as well as 102 other endorsee states.
3 Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands,
New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Turkey (The author was the member of OEG meetings
between 2004-2006), United Kingdom, United States

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PSI activities include the regular holding of activities known as “exercises,” which
aim to test the authorities and capabilities of endorsee nations to interdict WMD-related
materials. Exercises can include “live action” events such as ship boardings or container
searches, or be limited to “tabletop” activities where subject matter experts (SME)
explore legal and operational interdiction questions related to a fictional scenario.

IV.1. PSI Exercise, Anatolian Sun-064

After nearly 11 months of planning and hard work by around 20 government

and local institutions, involving 1800 people in total, Turkey has successfully hosted
the Anatolian Sun-2006 Sea, air and ground interdiction exercise, between 24-26 May

Purpose of the exercise was to enhance action readiness and cooperation among
national institutions as well as a swift and effective cooperation between participating
states, in order to counter illicit trafficking and proliferation of CBRN weapons as well as
missiles and materials that could be used to produce such weapons or delivery vehicles
to terrorists and countries suspected of trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

The exercise aimed at developing; intelligence sharing, political decision making

process, command control and operational capabilities concerning interdiction
measures, operational and legal framework within PSI context.

Elements present in the exercise were civil defence services, security and customs
check, CBRN control, health measures, prosecution, hailing and boarding, coast guard.

Maritime part of the exercise was conducted in Antalya port and bay in a LIVEX
environment. The air and ground part of the exercise was conducted as CPX. Turkey,
US, France and Portugal provided some naval, air units and special teams5 . The detailed
inspection in quarantine area was established in Antalya Bay

IV.2. Lessons Learned From Exercise Anatolian Sun-06

PSI is still a developing concept. In this process, more work needs to be done
to harmonize PSI activities with international and national law and hence, promote
its globalization. Turkey’s geostrategic position, her surrounding neighbors, coastal
states and different security blocks must be realized by international community. To
implement all PSI commitments are not easy task.

The following specific lessons learned with respect to interoperability challenges

among government agencies;
5 Turkey; 1 commodore, 2 frigate, 1 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), 2 helo, 2 coast guard boat, 2 naval CBRN team, 1
EOD team, 1 diving unit, 1 target ship. US; 1 frigate, 1 MPA, 1 EOD team. France; 1 frigate1 MPA, Portugal; 1 Corvette

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The exercise has highlighted the need to improve the administrative and technical
skills and capabilities of Turkish institutions. As a result, many institutions including
Turkish Navy have begun improving their skills and capabilities in order to better cope
with our PSI commitments.

It is understood that the gadgets or CBRN defence are not the only solution for
proliferation concern. It is required more holistic approaches which are included more
government agencies work together before, during and after the event.

National and international law remain the basis of conducting PSI activities. It
is required that a national or prime minister directive needs to bring all government

The cultural differences among government agencies (defence, law, local

authorities) has resulted time and recourses consuming results during the planning of
the exercise, MFA needs to employ naval officers for planning multinational maritime
operations because they are not familiar naval terminology and doctrines,

There are different national and international agencies against WMD proliferation.
The process of coordination between those agencies is so slow because of bureaucracy
and different understanding international maritime law. So during the worst-case
scenario (if there is a confirmed intelligence a merchant ship is carrying WMD related
material) present mechanisms like NATO, OBSH6 could be used for deterrence or seize
the unlawful shipment.

The technical part of the exercise has to be coordinated and supported by an expert
government agency. Otherwise lots of technical skills and procedures are hampered to
the PSI’s other commitments including intelligence sharing, political decision making
process, command control.

The all counter proliferation exercise should be reviewed and lessons learned
issues could be transferred to NATO doctrine documents7.

7 The author, Sümer KAYSER was served as CBRN Defence officer in Turkish Naval HQ between 2002-2008.
He participated to NSA Doctrine & Terminology Panels and drafted Maritime Section to AJP 3.8.1 (CBRN Defence in
Operations). After ratification of AJP 3.8.1, he drafted a new CBRN Chapter to ATP 71 (MIO), this new chapter was sent by
CBRN OPS WG to MAROPS WG. He was the project officer of “Naval WMD Responcce Center.

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V. Naval WMD Response Center8-Turkey

The urgent and mandatory need to develop capabilities, concepts, regulations in

order to prevent Proliferation of WMD and related material has been emphasized by
many different international bodies and organizations in recent years. Besides PSI, UN
Resolution 1540, the protocol added to SUA in 20059 and new NATO CBRN Defence
Concept points out preventing the proliferation of WMD.

Turkey, being a member and supporter of such international bodies and initiatives,
decided to increase its capabilities in order to support preventing the proliferation of
WMD. With the need of a new specialist Naval CBRN capability (first tested it in above
mentioned Exer Anatolian Sun-06) against proliferation of WMD at sea, Turkey started
to work on a new concept regarding WMD Counter Proliferation as a part of Maritime
Security Operation (MSO). The result of this concept development gave birth to a new
command (unit) called “WMD Response Center”.

WMD Response Center was established in İstanbul in 2010. It is composed of 2

CBRN Defence Teams, 1 CBRN Security Team and 1 CBRN EOD Team.

CBRN Security Team is basicly a SOF (Special Operations Force) unit which is
CBRN trained and able to conduct boarding operation to a vessel in CBRN environment.

CBRN EOD Team is CBRN trained EOD Team; capable to dispose CB weapons
and also able to conduct EOD tasks in a CBRN environment.

CBRN Defence Team members are all CBRN Specialists. Divided into 3 separate
units within, they are able to conduct CBRN Recce, Survey,Sampling, Warning &
Reporting; CBRN Decontamination and Medical Countermeasures.

The roles and responsibilities of the WMD Response Center as follows;

• To conduct CP (Security, DIM, Sampling) as a part of Maritime Security


• To train naval vessels ‘boarding party to get “CP in MSO Certificate” before
attending an Operation,

8 This paragraph was drafted by Lt.J.G.Gökalp Kürşad GÜNGÖR.He is currently working in Naval WMD Responce
9 The 2005 Protocol to the SUA Convention adopted a set of well-defined procedures for boarding a ship in international
waters suspected of violating its provisions. It is significant that the participating Parties at the diplomatic conference were
extremely cautious to maintain the primary jurisdiction of the flag State in line with codified and customary international law.
The Protocol subjects the right to board a vessel suspected of committing violation of the acts provided under the Convention
to the express consent of the flag State. It stands to reason that if international consensus existed for expanding the right to
interdict foreign vessels in international waters, certainly the 2005 Protocol which deals with the prevention of international
terrorism would have provided the right legal forum. The strong will of States to maintain flag State jurisdiction over a vessel
on the high seas was reaffirmed by the international community under the 2005 Protocol. This provides further evidence of
State practice in limiting the exceptions allowed to interfere with the right of freedom of navigation on the high seas

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

• To assist military ports and terminals (if requested) in terms of CBRN Defence
as an expert team,

• To act as a hub for establishing multinational counter proliferation task force

Since CBRN training and capability development depends on experience

and lessons learned through exercises and trainings, WMD Response Center has
participated some international exercises and workshops. In May 2011, CBRN Defence
units conducted a combined workshop and also a joint training with Norwegian Navy
CBRN units. In 2012, CBRN Defence Units and CBRN EOD Teams participated to
“Toxic Trip” exercise which is one of NATO’s biggest (almost 20 different countries
participated) CBRN exercise that took place in Belgium. Naval WMD Response Center
will continue to participate in such exercises and trainings in the future.

VI. Naval WMD Response Center & MARSEC COE Relationship

Maritime Security Centre of Excellence (MARSEC COE)10 is officially opened on

12 November 2012 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Aksaz Naval Base in Marmaris-

The Alliance Maritime Strategy11 and the Smart Defense12 initiative constituted
the main incentive for the Turkish Navy to establish MARSEC COE in participation
with interested allied and partner countries aiming to contribute to maritime security
conceptually and practically.

The main philosophy behind the MARSEC COE, inspired from smart defense
approach, is to draw together the experience from allied and partner countries and
exploit this pool of expertise to foster dialogue among relevant military and civilian
stakeholders on the basis of multinational, cross-functional, interagency coordination.

The last decade the risks affecting maritime security can be categorized in 7 areas,
these are the focus areas of the MARSEC COE;

• Terrorism at sea,

• Proliferation of WMD,

• Piracy and armed robbery.

• IED in maritime environment

10 The author was the Project officer of MARSEC COE in Turkish Naval HQ between 2009-2012. He served as a Maritime
Security Branch Chief

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• Organized crimes & illegal immigration

• Smuggling

• And big scale maritime pollution

Above mentioned risks solutions needs first a “Political Will”, second

“Working together in a Multinational Environment”. So, MARSEC COE will be
manned by NATO and Partner Countries (MD, ICI, PfP, and Partner across the

In order to develop cost-effective capabilities for Maritime Security,

MARSEC COE works with relevant military and civilian stakeholders on the
basis of multinational, cross-functional, interagency coordination. So, Naval
WMD Response Center is one of the military stake holder of the MARSEC


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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

Özlen Çelebi

It has always been an important issue for human beings to ensure their security.
It is also possible to claim that not only for human beings but for all the creatures
living is about staying secure in their living places. But what is security? Security as
a concept is too large and complex to define easily. It is difficult to make a general
definition of security because, there are many components that draws the limits of our
security perception. Whose security we are talking about? How to provide security?
Which elements do we or may we have to secure our lives and environment? In general
it is assumed that security is the degree of protection from real or perceived harms or
threats. It is also difficult to talk about security without having any references to the
term “insecurity”. These two concepts define our living ways in many aspects. Security
is defined in most of the dictionaries as “freedom from risk or danger, safety” or “state
of being secure” or “the state of being free from danger or threat.”1

It is possible to analyze security at different levels such as national security (state

level), security of a group of persons (societal level) and/or security/safety of a person
(individual level). It is also possible to analyze security politics at international level
(systemic level). Furthermore, it is possible to claim that there is no clear-cut separation
between those levels: they are linked with each other. Academic disciplines such as
international relations, economics, finance, sociology, law, electronics and computer
sciences en have spared large rooms to study on security issue (both in theory and in
practice). Security is an inseparable part of military (armed) institutions’ studies, as well
(whether public or private).

Although security is one of the constant figures of human life, definition of the
concept may (actually does) change by time. Thus, security perception does change.
Parallel to changing security perceptions the tools and devices to provide security
do change, too. Beginning with the last episode of the 29th Century, in other words
1990s, scope of security studies have been enlarged. Security is a larger concept now
than it was 30 years go. Traditionally, security was studied in International Relations,
for instance, as an area specific to national security. It was assumed that security was
about protecting the national borders, the state and the nation (as a national property
or an asset) from real and possible threats posed by enemies. Enemies were usually the
other states or sometimes terrorists. Although this way of looking to security issues/
studies is still available at many circles (academic and non-academic) there are new
definitions of the term. Following the end of a bi-polar structure of international system
at the end of 1980s-beginning of 1990s, security studies started to get concentrated not
only on national security but also on societal and individual security, too. Normative,

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constructivist and critical theories and/or theoretical approaches have directed our
attentions to the different components of security concept. Currently, it is quite often
to talk about new topics such as environmental security. Today, it is possible to talk
about floods, epidemics, poverty, human trafficking as well as arm and drug trafficking,
pollution, information, media sources as some of the challenges to security. Furthermore,
contemporary security studies are gaining a new characteristic: Today security studies
have an interdisciplinary characteristic more than ever. The interdisciplinary nature
of new generation security studies also requires enhanced international cooperation.
Sates, international governmental and non-governmental institutions and individuals
(let them be statesmen or leaders or an ordinary person on the street) can and should
play greater roles in providing security on earth. Another repercussion of enlarged
scope of security studies and increasing numbers of interdisciplinary security studies is
changing security perception of world public opinion. Although it is early yet to claim
that there is a growing world community with a greater respect to peace, there are signs
which increase hopes that the new generation security studies will contribute to the
establishment a more peaceful international order. However, on the dark side of the
moon, there are other factors that contribute to the deepening of insecurity feelings/
perceptions of World public opinion. World-wide terrorist activities, environmental
degradation, civil wars, growing poverty and less efficient administrations in struggling
with those challenges do obviously not contribute to the development of a peaceful and
secure environment for human beings.

State as an institution is the most dominant actor in providing security.( It is

also possible to claim vice versa.) In the final analysis, it is the State itself to provide
national security, to develop and sustain necessary measures to ensure national security
as well as social and personal safety. In other words, both at national/domestic and
international/foreign levels, the state is the strongest and primary actor. It is true that
there are other actors such as international organizations. They can be functional
at global or regional levels; they can be intergovernmental or non-governmental
organizations. They are, of course, vitally important in international cooperation in any
fields. They can even limit the states’s behaviors let put aside defining international law
or appropriateness rules and norms on the states. But, in the final analysis it is still the
state itself to provide and protect or to break security environment. States, basically,
protect national security in their territories. States property is composed by its territory.
National territory, according to a classical and a legal definition, is composed of land,
water and air spaces of a country. Protecting the land, water and air borders by military
and non-military means against real and probable threats and risks historically have
been the main duty of any states. Traditionally, it was assumed that protecting borders
would ensure national security. Nevertheless, developing technological instruments
besides other factors which increased and multiplied the sources of threat, made it
impossible to ensure national security only by traditional military, intelligence and
economic policies. Neither land nor water or air borders could be protected efficiently
without required economic means, without a well-functioning and a stable domestic
order, without a non-hostile international environment, and without an international
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cooperation. Decision-makers and decision-making institutions within a state should

be able to develop most efficient policies on behalf of a state to ensure national, societal
and their citizens’ personal security/safety. There is an undeniable relationship between
national and international security environments; they support each other.

Security and state are two concepts with a deep relationship. They are supposedly
to support each other in a constructive way. International and national security
environment do draw a framework within which national and international security
policies and decision-makers’ security perceptions are defined. On the other hand,
national states and state structure (together with the domestic political-cultural structure
and leadership) have impacts on international security environment. There is another
concept which is used even interchangeably with the concept of security: Safety. It is
defined in most sources as “the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause
danger, risk, or injury.” 2 This concept is generally used for human safety. However, it
is possible to claim that it is not that easy to make a separation in most cases between
safety and security.

Maritime security is a very important branch of security in general. It is not

possible to develop a national security policy without a well-planned, efficient and strong
maritime policy (except few states without sea borders). A successful maritime policy
should meet the economic (financial trade), military, environmental and technologic
requirements of the time. It should serve to national policies while keeping a balance
with international norms. An efficient, strong and sustainable maritime policy should
be able to provide national security, to contribute to international security on the
security-safety nexus.

As it was stated above, there are contemporary challenges to maritime Security.

These challenges have many faces – piracy and armed robbery, maritime terrorism, illicit
trafficking by sea, i.e. narcotics trafficking, small arms and light weapons trafficking,
human trafficking, global cli-mate change, cargo theft etc. They keep evolving.
Furthermore, these challenges are usually interconnected and unpredictable mix of
traditional and irregular warfare, terrorism, and/or organized crime. According to Lutz
Feldt, Dr. Peter Roell, Ralph D. Thiele maritime security “appears to be a large and
sometimes nebulous concept. In fact it has become a large task involving many entities
from international, public and private sectors aiming at preserving the freedom of the
seas, facilitating and defending commerce, and maintaining good governance at sea.”3

As having well aware of the importance of maritime security and in conformity

with the norms of international law MARSEC COE was established and officially
activated in November 2012. Establishment of MARSEC COE is an expression of
3 Lutz Feldt, Dr. Peter Roell, Ralph D. Thiele(2013), ISPSW Strategy Series, Focus on Defense and International Security
Maritime Security – Perspectives for a Comprehensive Approach, Issue No: 222, p.2.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

the will of partners on more international cooperation. The aim is to foster dialogue
amongst the NATO member and partner countries.

Maritime security rules were applied for many decades without a major change.
However, contemporary problems and facilities are challenging this old regime to adopt
new instruments (legal, technological and so on). Chapters of this book reflect both
the traditional approaches and new challenges. First, just like the security concept in
general, maritime security concept is getting enlarged. It is obvious that there is a need
for an enhanced cooperation at international level to prevent threats and risks imposed
by the new challenging forces. Almost every chapter refers to that fact. Second, there is
a need for more interdisciplinary studies in maritime security field, too. The book itself
is an outcome interdisciplinary study. Editors and authors who do belong to different
fields of study and profession came together in conference hall to analyze military and
non-military aspects of maritime security. The presentations and discussion at Aksaz
Workshop, 2012 have evolved into chapters of this book. Third, this book may contribute
not only to an accumulation of knowledge or literature in maritime security field, but
also may contribute to further discussions on prospected security-safety nexus. It is not
possible to rely only on the state itself to provide maritime security and safety of people
and goods at sea. There are other actors than the state. These actors had to be given a
wider role to act at international level. Furthermore, security cannot be ensured at the
expense of safety of people. There is a need for more humanitarian approach.

Finally, it is obvious that this book has raised many questions for further research
in such areas as the role of technology, how to break down the barriers that so often
impede efforts at cooperation and coordination, the relationship between piracy and
terrorism and the relationship between safety and security. Perhaps the most pressing
issue that emerged involved maritime domain awareness and the need to delineate its
dimensions in a precise manner.

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons


Joseph S. Szyliowicz is the founder of the University of Denver’s Intermodal Transportation

Institute and a Professor at its Graduate School of International Studies. He is author, co-author,
or editor of half dozen books and reports and has contributed more than two dozen chapters
and articles to various books and to such publications as the Review of Policy Research, Studies
in Conflict and terrorism, Transportation Policy Journal, Transportation Quarterly, and the
Encyclopedia of Terrorism.

Özlen Çelebi is Assistant Professor Doctor at the International Relations Department of

Hacettepe University. She is author and co-author of several book chapters, articles and books on
politics of international migration and on Turkish Foreign Policy. She is serving as the Director
of Strategic Research Center of Hacettepe University.

Yusuf Zorba is Assistant Professor Doctor at Dokuz Eylül University. He teaches on Ship
Handling, Meteorology, Emergency Procedures, International Maritime Conventions, Voyage
Planning and Management, and Security management at Sea. He has served a Deputy Head of
Department of Marine Transportation Engineering at Maritime Faculty since 2002.

Brian Wilson is the Deputy Director of the Global Maritime Operational Threat Response
Coordination Center. Captain Wilson is also an adjunct Professor at the United States Naval
Academy, where he teaches Piracy, Maritime Terrorism and Law of the Sea. Captain Wilson has
written numerous articles and book chapters on interagency and maritime security, with his
work appearing in Harvard International Review, Columbia Journal of International Affairs and
Stanford Journal of International Law.

Taner Albayrak is Assistant Professor Doctor at and also Vice Dean of Maritime Faculty
of Piri Reis University. He served in Turkish Navy mostly in operations, education and training
management duties. He also served as captain of frigate and Commodore of a naval division. He
also served at NATO HQ and several UN Peacekeeping Missions.

Laurent Etienne is a research fellow in geomatics at the University of Delhousie in the

Industrial Engineering Department. He was a research assistant at the French Naval Academy
Research Institute where he got his Ph. D. in Geomatics. His main research interests are spatial
data mining and knowledge discovery from moving objects databases, spatio-temporal patterns
of mobile objects, outlier detection and maritime Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Allen Hjelmfelt is a researcher at the Center for Naval Analyses since 1994. He has
received his BA in Chemistry from Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. After graduation he
conducted research as a chemist in Germany for two years.

Edgar Bates is worked in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations for almost
ten years, his last position being Head, Integration, Interoperability and Transformation
Branch, Warfare Integration; Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Communication
Networks (N2/6) where among other activities in his portfolio he was instrumental in

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Global Maritime Security: New Horizons

the fielding of Maritime Domain Awareness, a key initiative of the Secretary of the Navy.
After serving nine years as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Navy, he was instrumental in the
integration of a revolutionary signal processing and tracking system within the Navy’s Integrated
Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) spearheading the Navy’s evolution to network centric
Undersea Warfare. He was a principal systems engineer at Raytheon (originally Hughes) for
several projects including the Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) which is part of the
National Missile Defense program; the winning proposal ($3.6B) for the next generation of Navy
ships; and a state of the art RF communications network for rangeless air to air combat training.
He has directed and supported the activities of numerous large-scale software installation, test
and integration activities at sites around the world. Dr. Bates is a former member of the research
faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Upendra D. Acharya is Assistant Professor Doctor of Law at Gonzaga University School

of Law. He has a Doctorate of Juridicial Science (SJD) on International and Comparative
Environmental Law. He has earned his degree in 2002. Constitutional Law, Human Rights and
Environmental Law are among his practice areas.

Sigurd Neubauer is a specialist on media analysis He is interested with issues on national

security. He contributes to the White House News Summary.

Michael A. McNicholas is the Managing Director of Phoenix Group in the USA, Panama
and Costa Rica. He is the author of Maritime Security: An Introduction. He has served at the
US Army as Officer. He is a former sworn Police Officer. He is a specialist in counter-narcotics
trafficking and international terrorism.

Christopher Ledger has served in the army between 1961-1974. He has joined in 1974
Shell UK Exploration and Production in Public Affairs department. He He was appointed as
Head of Shell UK Films in 1979. He left Shell in 1992. He set up a crisis management company
using computer software to manage crisis. Called Cicero the software revolutionized the abilities
of organizations to communicate accross management in times of crisis and often complete
confusion. He set up Idarat maritime Ltd. as a systemis resilience advisor to several governments,
firm owners and lawyers.

Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur is working as First Secretary at Somali Republic Embassy in

Turkey. He is a Ph. D. Candidate at Ankara University.

Şebnem Udum is a Lecturer at Hacettepe University, Department of International

Relations. Dr. Udum is also Vice-Director of Hacettepe University Strategic Research Center.
She took her Ph. D. Degree from Bilkent University. Her academic studies are focused on the
diffusion of weapons of mass destruction. She has conducted researches on missile proliferation
in the Middle East and Turkey’s policy on missile defences. She has been affiliated with several
international organizations such as International Pugwash and European Union Studies

Sümer Kayser is a Captain. He was graduated from the Naval Academy in 1990. Currently
he is working in MARSEC COE as Deputy Director. He is a member of Contact Group on Piracy
of Somalia WG. His decoration includes NATO Medal (Kosovo and Former Yugoslavia).

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