DUBAI -- The U.S. Navy said pirates commandeered a Saudi-owned supertanker bearing more than $100 million worth of crude a few hundred miles off the Kenyan coast, an attack that sharply increases the stakes in an effort by governments and militaries to protect the world's energy-supply lines.The thing is massive, the size of an aircraft carrier. The heist seems to be phenomenally stupid to me. It's like a gang of robbers sneaking into a Beverly Hills mansion and choosing to make off with the 20' tall statue of the Winged Victory of Samothrace instead of the jewelry in the bedroom.
U.S. Navy officials said the hijacking was unprecedented for its distance from shore and the size of its target -- a ship about the length of a U.S. aircraft carrier. The attack appears also to be the first significant disruption of crude shipments in the region by pirates.
I can only see two alternatives and that is blackmail or kidnapping. They must be planning on holding it for ransom and threatening to sink the thing somewhere if they don't get their money. It's not like they can drive it into Mombasa and sell the oil. I doubt they've got anyone on board who can pilot the beast.
Alternatively, they might just kidnap the crew and hold them for ransom. That's much more typical for these creeps. If that's the case, will the tanker be set adrift? That could prove interesting.