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Somali piracy has been linked repeatedly to the spectre of Barbary. Piracy off the Horn of Africa has certainly raged with the intensity of a perfect storm with the spread of conflict and disorder. The purpose of this book is to examine whether or not state failure is a useful and accurate explanation for Somali piracy and if violent Islamism could exploit what the pirates have achieved for their own ends. It reviews the history, motivation, organization, criminal methods and operational tactics of the Somali pirates from their first manifestations in the mid-1990s to the present. It attempts to show that their activities and their fortunes are linked to the rise and fall of political groups within Somalia. It asks why and how violent Islamist groups operate within Somalia and the degree to which they might exploit the maritime dimension in the future. Finally it reviews whether or not the political and military solutions being practised or proposed currently will resolve either problem.