What Are Modern Pirates?


Quick Answer

Modern pirates are essentially terrorists who attack ships at sea. While they are very similar to historical pirates in goals and certain techniques, modern pirates use electronics and technology to enhance their ability to function.

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Full Answer

Modern pirates are common in coastal areas with impoverished populations and high rates of sea traffic, such as the coast of Somalia or the Straits of Malacca between Indonesia and Malaysia. When an appropriate ship is spotted, these pirates launch small speedboats from shore outposts or from larger motherships, which are kept well out of sight.

These pirates usually avoid harming people and, instead of capturing entire ships and cargo, steal cash from the ship's safe and small electronics that are easily sold. The crime of piracy is much more widespread than generally believed. While some pirates do hold ships and crew for ransom, most prefer the more easily managed robbery.

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