Der Spiegel is breaking an interesting story about a failed rescue mission of German hostages held by Somali pirates.
Last Wednesday, at approximately 7 p.m., the government’s key state secretaries were sitting around the birch conference tables in the situation room, where they had met almost daily for the past three weeks to address a crisis brewing off the coast of Somalia. The officials were there to manage one of the biggest secret operations in postwar German history. Elite members of the GSG-9 police force were on the verge of boarding a German freighter, the Hansa Stavanger, which had been kidnapped by Somali pirates. The Americans had lent the Germans one of their ships, the USSBoxer, to use as their flagship in the planned attack — and a fleet of German Navy vessels flanked the enormous helicopter carrier. The ships had been patrolling near the Hansa Stavanger for days, waiting just beyond the horizon to evade detection on the pirates’ radar screens.But eventually it turned out that the Americans called off the mission. The attempted rescue would likely be a bloodbath and a disaster–possibly even a suicide mission for the rescuers. It’s also going to start a debate in Germany as to the abilities, or lack thereof, of the German military and law enforcement. Pretty good read. Worth checking out.]]>