Asad ‘Booyah’ Abdulahi: Modern Pirate Hijacking Ships for Ransoms

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Till date, you would have read the biographies of several historical pirates. The fashion of pirate shirts and other outfits of these swashbucklers are the results of fame of these raiders. But, have you ever thought of the modern pirates of Somalia, who perform their activities in the Indian Ocean. These pirates usually attack the ships for ransoms. Many of the countries have deputed their forces to combat these swashbucklers.

When we pay heed towards the background of some of these pirates, we find some positive points in them also. Searching for the biographies of modern swashbucklers is really a difficult task. But, we can know about them from the interviews given by them to the newspapers.

One of the big names in this regard is of Asad ‘Booyah’ Abdulahi. He is involved in piracy since 1998. An interview of him was published in The Guardian in 2008, which is the source of his biography.

Birth and Early Life of Asad ‘Booyah’ Abdulahi

According to the age told by him, he was born to be in 1966. His father was a fisherman. He took the education and passed high school. He was interested in taking more education, and he wanted to go the university. But, unfortunately, Asad was born in a poor family. So, he had no money to continue his education. Therefore, he decided to become a fisherman in Eyl in Puntland like his father.

Dream of Asad and Collapse of Somali Government

Asad also had another dream. He wanted to work in a company. But, he could never fulfill this dream because of the problem that his country was facing. In the year 1991, the civil war started in Somalia. So, the Somali government collapsed. The country became unstable, and opportunities of the corporate jobs became low.

Attack by Foreign Fishing Vessels

Still, Asad was living a peaceful life as a fisherman. But, the troubles were still behind him. Some of the sea foreign fishing vessels started confronting the ships of the Somali fishermen. There were some of them, who were authorized by the Puntland authorities, whereas there were some others who had no license at all. All of them didn’t want them to compete. Therefore, they started destroying their boats. Many time they forced Asad and other fishermen to flee for saving the lives.

Hijacking the Ships and Collecting the Ransoms

Eventually, these Somali fishermen were also forced to get involved in the outlaw acts. They also started hijacking the boats of these foreign fishermen in 1998. Asad had no special training, but still he did these acts very bravely. He also captured the ships, and for the first capture ship, he hand his newly formed crew got the ransom of $300,000.

With the help of this money, they purchased the small speedboats as well as AK-47s. Till 2008, he had captured around 60 ships. In this mission of hijacking the ships, they faced many obstacles. Several times, they had to go through the rough winds. Some of them would get sick, and some of them used to die. The same thing and be witnessed today also.

The European ships have always been given priority by them. The reason behind this is that they get the high ransoms from these rich countries. For getting their attention, they shoot near the ship. If it does not stop they use their rope ladder. Then they count their crew and find out their nationalities. Thereafter, they ask the captain to phone the owner and say that they have seized the ship and will keep the ship until the ransom is paid.

Kind Behavior with Hostages

These new age pirates also make friends with hostages. They also tell them that they just want money, and they do not want to kill them. Sometimes, they even have the meal with the hostages. When the ransom is paid to them, they count the dollars at the ship and leave the hostages.

Support to Piracy by Investment Men and Considering Ransoms as Road Tax

Then their friends come to welcome them at Eyle, and they go to Garowe in Land Cruisers. They split the money and pay a large amount to the investment men who paid the money in order to accomplish their mission. They are the pirates according to their communities. But, Asad and his friends consider themselves as the heroes who run away from poverty. They do not see these acts as piracy, but as the road tax as they have not central government to control the sea.

Difficulties to Asad and His Crew by Patrolling of Foreign Warships

But, now Asad and his friends have started facing difficulties because of the reason that the foreign warships are on the patrol. But, still they are getting new boats and weapons. In the interview given to The Guardian in 2008, Asad told that they would not stop until they had a central government to control the sea.

These new age pirates with modern weapons are getting more and more popular with the passage of time. It will not be a surprise if one day the people start getting attracted towards these swashbucklers’ lifestyles and their pirate clothing becomes a fashion.

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