Just after dawn on March 23, as the Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel MV Almezaan was churning toward the port of Mogadishu, Somalia, the ship’s lookouts spotted three boats approaching at high speed. In the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden off the eastern coast of Africa, it was a scene that has played out all too often over the past several years, but this time things would be different. The plan of the two small skiffs manned by seven Somalis and the larger “mother ship,” one ...

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