This is coolbert:
Thanks here to Robert Spencer at JihadWatch, and others before him!
There is nothing here really to speak of? This is a much-to-do-about-nothing? The Times, printed in South Africa, is a tabloid type newspaper that specializes in sensationalist news items designed to scare?
So we hope!
"Pirates die strangely after taking Iranian ship"
"A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates."
"Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill 'within days' of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died!
“'We don’t know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them had died. There is something very wrong about that ship.'”
"the ship was secured by more pirates — about 50 on board, and another 50 on shore."
"But within days those who had boarded the ship developed mysterious health trouble."
Somali pirates boarded and captured a cargo vessel. And promptly became sick in a strange and unanticipated way from something aboard that same vessel! Hmmmm!!
Somali pirates are a hot button topic now? Pirates just seem to catch the imagination of the public! Something we thought was a thing of the far distant past is now occurring with increasing frequency in a way not thought possible just a short time ago now!
That entire shoreline of the Indian Ocean, from India past Arabia, down the east coast of Africa, the Swahili coast in the case of the latter, has always been an important trading route. Swahili is an invented African language combining African and Islamic elements. Persons living in that area define them self in a cultural context, i.e., "I am Yemeni, I am Persian", etc.!
Trading, and piracy directed against the vessels of the Islamic merchants, has always been a problem endemic to the area?
This time the villains got something they did not bargain for? Encountered an unknown cargo of some sort that is beyond their realm of experience. A cargo of value not to them but hazardous in the extreme in a way they cannot even comprehend! These pirates are folks who carry AK and RPG but still live a way of life with a matching mentality that is one thousand or so years behind the times.
As for the symptoms! Mimicking the effects of radiation poisoning. I am sure special operation units of a variety of militaries active in the area are right now preparing contingencies to "check this one out"!