The Gulf of Aden has been vulnerable to piracy since 2008 when pirates escalated hijack and ransom attempts on merchant ships. Ransom demands skyrocketed to the millions of dollars. 

The latest attack in 2019 was on April 21, when suspected pirates seized a fishing vessel off the coast of Somalia, holding 23 people hostage. In a matter of hours, the European Union’s counterpiracy force EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta had responded to the attack. Two days later, the incident was over; Operation Atalanta had detained five suspects and released the 23 hostages, according to EU NAVFOR.

In the video, which was recorded in 2012, the Somali pirates encounter private security guards on board a cargo ship. When pirates were trying to board the ship, the security guards fired dozens of rounds at the pirate vessel, which eventually retreated.

Back in 2011, piracy was front-page news as pirates held crews hostage only to ransom them back for as much as $13 million.

The result was that Maritime security costs shot up to $7 billion a year for security systems, Navy patrols, rerouting ships on longer routes (which increased fuel costs)