Checking On Terrorism And Cruising

Time for a sobering reality check.

A couple of weeks ago, a PhD named Thomas Williams authored an article for the Reuters News Agency about terrorism and cruise ships. Drawing on reports from the Italian Ministry of Defence, he pointed out that the newest terrorist threat is to Mediterranean cruise ships, now that ISIS has become a stronghold in Libya, on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and only about 200 miles from Italy.

According to the Italian report:

“Having gained control of some ports and of vessels of various descriptions and with the possibility of taking advantage of the experience accumulated by the people traffickers working the migratory routes for years, ISIS could repeat the scenario that has dominated the maritime region between Somalia and Aden for the last ten years. Speed boats Securitycould attack fishing boats, cruise ships, small merchant ships, as well as coast guard…in this case more to capture prisoners to exhibit in orange jumpsuits and a knife to the neck [and to ask for lucrative ransoms for them].”

The cruise ships the author mentioned as targets are specifically ones that sail north up the Italian coast to the south of France…

We are just back from a Mediterranean cruise. The ship, the Costa Diadema, went north up the Italian coast to the south of France.

Did we dodge a bullet? Maybe.

On the other hand, the chances of “pirates” in speed boats overtaking a cruise ship are slim to none. That’s not to say they couldn’t do significant damage to cruise ships with suicide bombers.

It seemed reasonable to inquire of Costa officials about how they — as a popular Mediterranean cruise line — assure passengers of safety on the ship. The response was that there is more security on and around cruise ships than people are aware of, which is consistent with what all cruise line people say.

The reality is there are no guarantees that terrorism won’t strike a cruise ship, just as there are no guarantees it won’t strike a shopping mall, or a sports event, or a concert, or a zoo.

That’s not just in the Mediterranean, it’s anywhere.

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Norwegian Epic
11 nights
April 19, 2015
Miami, Funchal, Barcelona
Balcony: $599
Cost per day: $54
www.ncl.com

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