21st Century Wire
Two security contractors who were former Navy SEALS were found dead aboard the Maersk Alabama, this is the same ship that was manned by Captain Richard Phillips during a subsequent Somali pirate hijacking and standoff in 2009, a story which had all the hallmarks of a Hollywood rewrite, similar to the celebrated Bin Laden tall tale, Zero Dark Thirty in its apparent accuracy…
In recent years, Phillips has been heavily criticized for his role during the 2009 hijacking, causing many of his former crew members to speak out publicly about his alleged heroics aboard the Maersk cargo ship, heroics, that have been largely fabricated according those who were at the scene. In addition to the apparent hijacking, there was a deeper probe into the incident that hardly made the news, as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service was called into do an internal investigation, it was revealed that $30 grand was said to have gone missing and was never recovered.
Polygraph’s were performed on high-ranking navy personnel who had been at the crime scene following the incident but nothing of substance has turned up since the 2009 hijacking.
IMAGE: Actor Tom Hanks alongside the real ‘Captain Phillips’.
The Phillips story provides a bizarre back drop for the mysterious deaths of two former Navy Seals aboard Maersk Alabama just this week.
In this latest case, authorities have identified the two men as Mark Kennedy and Jeffrey Reynolds, both ex-Navy SEALS who were found dead within a cabin aboard the Maersk Alabama on February 18th, as it was docked in Port Victoria, in Seychelles. According the Associated Press, unspecified drugs were allegedly found near the bodies. At the moment there is no stated cause of death for either of the security professionals but both men are believed to have been working on the ship since January 29th.
Seychelles is a small island just northeast of Madagascar, known to the public for its white sandy beaches and luxury resorts.
Following the discovery, Kevin Speers, a senior director for Maersk Line, explained the roles of both Kennedy and Reynolds:
“Contracted security is part of anti-piracy protection plans to safeguard crews and vessels,” Speers said. “In Maersk Alabama’s case, she is persistently in high-risk areas since she provides feeder service to the east coast of Africa.”
According to Maersk Line, the ship is no longer docked at Port Victoria. There has been no statement made in regards to where the ship’s current location is. Crimes committed at sea are said to be governed by maritime law and are to act in accordance with the territorial waters of the country or port nearest to the ship.
Question: If a ship is moved during an ongoing investigation, wouldn’t that be tampering with a potential crime scene?
IMAGE: Unsettled Waters: The Maersk Line cargo ship company has been mired in lawsuits, payouts and ‘pirate’ attacks. Under the Jones Act, a seaman can sue a subsequent employer for negligence. Nine crew members along with Richard Hicks, sued the well-known shipping line over safety concerns following the attempted Somali seizure of Maersk Alabama. According to the crew, the cargo ship should have never been in the Gulf of Aden.
The Maersk Alabama has subsequently been attacked three times since 2009, as security contractors have apparently fought off pirates on two separate occasions, including most recently in 2011. The US state Department is said to have listed the cargo ship as flagged.
In April of 2012, the former President of India, Pratibha Patil, met with Seychelles President James Alix Michel specifically to discuss security measures regarding piracy, terrorism and trade across the Indian Ocean, during an India-Seychelles Business forum. The Trident Group is said to have overseen a large amount of the security contracts in the region.
The Trident Group is a maritime security services corporation, said to have employed both Kennedy and Reynolds. According to The Trident Group’s company brochure, they only employ former Navy Seals:
“The Trident Group’s armed security are comprised of former U.S. Navy Seals. It is imperative that seasoned skilled security personnel are deployed with a clearly defined force matrix.”
Trident Group’s President Thomas Rothrauff had this to say following the deaths of Kennedy and Reynolds aboard the Maersk Alabama:
“There is no immediate indication as to the cause of death, but the deaths were not caused by operational activity.”
How could this be determined with any sort of accuracy when autopsy results are ‘still pending’?
The Norfolk, Virginia based Trident Group has provided armed escort services through the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Persian Gulf as well as the Indian Ocean since the early 2000’s.
A.P. Moller founded Maersk Line just after the second world war in 1947 and according to news reports, the company has been embroiled in a series of suspect activities in recent years, most notably, the payout of $31.9 million for apparently overcharging the United States government. Maersk was tagged for overestimating the cost of contracts that transported cargo to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Additionally, Maersk Line appears to be linked to the 300 plus year old British based insurer, Lloyds of London and were named on Lloyd’s List as ‘company of the year in 2013.’
IMAGE: Ocean piracy is big business for insurers like Lloyd’s.
Lloyds of London has seen their profits soar from the so-called Somali ‘pirate zone’ and 21WIRE’s Patrick Henningsen recently unearthed some of Lloyd’s most unsavory maritime enterprises, linking up a new study conducted by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW):
“Many of the relevant players (Somali pirates, local communities, nascent government in pirate regions, international navies, private security and the insurance industry) have no incentive to stop piracy. In fact, there is a relatively stable relationship between these groups, many of whom share a clear business interest in maintaining piracy at its current level.”
DIW concluded that it is the maritime insurer’s who are the major beneficiary’s through their coverage of the shipping industry:
“Of an estimated 30,000 ships transiting the Gulf of Aden in 2009, 116 were attacked, less than one in 250. Moreover, the 25 final ransoms are still only a small fraction of the overall value of the ship, crew and cargo”.
Henningsen also reported that:
“Lloyds insurance moguls saw other opportunities to increase their profits by extending the ‘pirate zone’, even in the face of international opposition.
Bloomberg reported in 2011, that “India is lobbying Lloyd’s of London to reverse its expansion of the area judged prone to pirate attacks to cover almost all of the nation’s west coast after insurance costs surged as much as 300-fold this year”
Lloyds has rigged the plot, seemingly to profit from all sides of this trend, whether by providing coverage, protection, or through a seizure of a ship, their business model appears to be much closer to mafia-like methods. Let us not forget other key elements on the periphery of the piracy game, as UPI Energy Business News reported in September that:
“London has succeeded in edging out key competitors like Norway, while prospects in Somalia grew as major strikes have been made further south in the past few years — mostly offshore, mainly off Mozambique and Tanzania — in geological strata that appear to extend along the whole Indian Ocean coastline.”
We must remember that British intelligence agencies along with the US, have been busy trying to shore up black blood oil contracts in Somalia, through the use of deception and violence. Operation Restore Hope was under the guise of US humanitarian aid but was said to have killed between 7,000–10,000 Somalis, creating civil unrest, marking a deep political fallout in the area.
Maersk Oil – a conglomerate of the Maersk Group, is one of the major Western oil companies tapping into African oil-laden regions.
The maritime piracy scam works in tandem with its land counterpart – the one that creates oil wars through the use of various strategy of tension terror games.
Is this latest incident another seal conspiracy that the system will try to bury?
With so many unanswered question regarding the deaths of the two former Navy SEALS we can only wait to find out.
Stay tuned for more updates.
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