Operation Dawn 9: Gulf of Aden

Operation Dawn 9: Gulf of Aden
Operation Dawn 9: Gulf of Aden
Part of Piracy in Somalia, Operation Ocean Shield, Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa
Malaysian Commandos Securing The Somali Pirates.jpg
Royal Malaysian Navy commandos keeping watch on the Somali pirates after retaking the MT Bunga Laurel
Date January 20, 2011
Location 300 miles southeast of the port of Muscat, Oman, near the Gulf of Aden
Result Malaysian victory
Hostage rescued
Naval Ensign of Malaysia.svg Royal Malaysian Navy Pirate Flag of Rack Rackham.svg Somali pirates
Commanders and leaders
Comm. Nazri Bin Sharif
Lt. Cmdr Mohd Maznan Bin Mohd Said
Lt. Noor Asri Bin Roslan
Lt. Jason Solomon John
Ahmed Othman Jamal
Abdil Eid Hasan
MT Bunga Mas Lima
1 attack helicopter
21 MISC-RMN Reserves
39 PASKAL commandos
1 skiff boat
7~18 pirates
Casualties and losses
None 3 wounded in action
4 captured
Civilian casualties'
No widely agreed on figure.
Operation Dawn 9: Gulf of Aden is located in Middle East
Approximate location of rescue operation[1]

The Operations Dawn 9: Gulf of Aden (Malay: Operasi Fajar 9)[2] was a naval operation carried out by the Royal Malaysian Navy against Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea on January 20, 2011. In the response, the Malaysian Shipborne Protection Team sent an attack helicopter and 39 naval commandos in the two RHIB boats to retaking the vessel and rescue the crews. After one night trailing the tanker, the Malaysian forces successfully retook the ship by force on January 20, 2011, resulting in the wounding of three pirates, and the capture of four out eighteen pirates.


Timeline of events


On January 20, 2011, the Japanese-owned chemical tanker MT Bunga Laurel, was carrying lubricating oil and ethylene dichloride worth an estimated RM30 million ($9.8 million) sailing through to Singapore when it was attacked by a group of Somali pirates 300 nautical miles (600 km; 300 mi) southeast of the port of Muscat, Oman.[3] The hijacking of MT Bunga Laurel occurred about 300 nautical miles (560 km) (coordinate Latitude 20’ 14.73N Longitude 083’ 39.96E) east of Oman at 11:40 pm (MST), two hours after it was separated in the 'secure' after navy ship escorted through the Gulf of Aden. The tanker was boarded by seven from eighteen Somali pirates armed with AK-47 rifles and pistols who came using skiff type boat and firing at random. During the attack, 23 Filipino crewmembers on board the vessel activated the Ship Security Alert System before taking cover in a specially-designed security compartment near the vessel’s engine room.[4] All lights are turned off and the main engines shut down.[5]

Received a security emergency

The MISC Emergency Reporting Center (ERC) was alerted by a distress signal at about 11:37 pm from the MT Bunga Laurel.[6] The MISC make a phone call to Bunga Laurel, but no response from the tanker. At exactly 11.40pm, Bunga Mas 5 called MISC ERC to report that Bunga Laurel had been attacked and pirates were attempting to board the ship by using skiffs. A suspected mothership was also reported in the vicinity. The 39 commando forces in two boats, led by Lieutenant Commander Maznan Bin Said and Lieutenant Noor Asri Bin Roslan, were sent from the Bunga Mas 5 located as far as 14 nautical miles (26 km) at 1:20 am. At the same time, the Fennec attack helicopter which piloted by Lieutenant Jason Solomon John went airborne to provide reconnaissance and aerial gunfire from its mounted general purpose machine gun.[7] The firefights between the pirates of the Bunga Laurel and snipers from the Bunga Mas 5 and the helicopter. The remaining pirates holding the mothership attempted to move closer to the Bunga Laurel for help but was pinned down by the machinegun and sniper shots from the Fennec helicopter.


Once the Bunga Mas Lima auxiliary ship increase the speed towards the MT Bunga Laurel tanker also provide fire support, pirates finally contacting Bunga Mas Lima ship to surrender. The pirates from the mothership attempt to approach the MT Bunga Laurel tanker to provide assistance, but thwarted by sniper team in the Fennec helicopter.

Navy taking actions

On January 20, the pirates aboard the Bunga Laurel about 300 nautical miles (560 km) away. Seven pirates emerged from a skiff boat to hijack it. With only eleven pirates remaining behind, a group of commando forces were sent from the Bunga Mas Lima in a two rigid-hull speedboats. The Fennec attack helicopter was sent to provide reconnaissance. All seven of the pirates starting the gunfight with the commandos resulting three of the pirates were injured in the ensuing firefight.[8] It was all over within minutes. No one among the rescue team or Bunga Laurel's crew was injured.[9][10] All seven captured pirates were Somalis who admitted that they had used one of the previously captured vessels as their mother ship.[11] However, the status of damage to the mothership and injury of the pirates who were on it is uncertain because the attack was carried out at the night. After the Malaysian tanker was able to proceed safely, the crew of the Bunga Mas Lima recovered the remnants of the hijacker's weapons. Few AK-47 rifles including one modified AKM rifle and an ammunition magazines were retrieved, along with Soviet-made Tokarev TT-33 semi-automatic pistol and other equipments.


Prime Minister's Comments

After news of the incident reached Malaysia, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak congratulated the Royal Malaysian Navy on its success in rescuing a Malaysian chemical tanker, saying Malaysia was studying international laws on how to deal with detained pirates. The Prime Minister said:[12][13]

"We will determine what we should do (with the pirates); whether we are going to bring them here to be tried or take any other appropriate action."

According Maritime Institute of Malaysia senior fellow Nazery Khalid said the action by the PASKAL proved Malaysia's resolve in safeguarding its maritime interests and its commitment to fighting piracy. An official with the London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said, prior to any operation, the rescue team should first ensure the ship’s crew was safe before boarding the vessel.[14] On January 22, the news of this success began to spread in the newspapers and international news agencies, AFP and Reuters, citing the successful start to spread throughout the world.

Legal proceedings

The Royal Malaysia Police took charge of investigations involving seven Somali pirates who allegedly attacked MT Bunga Laurel in the Gulf of Aden on January 20. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Bin Omar said, the police were taking statements from the crew members of the vessel as well as the commandos from the navy elite PASKALs. Later, all pirates, aged 15 to 35, had no identification documents on them. The police chief would also seek the Immigration Department's assistance. The suspects were brought to Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang for a medical examination after they arrived in Port Klang at 4 am. They were detained at Bukit Jalil Detention Centre after the police had successfully obtained a seven-day remand order. Seven Somali hijackers, including three minors, face a possible death sentence under Malaysian law for attempting to hijack a Malaysian vessel in the Gulf of Aden. They are prosecuted in the Magistrate Court on February 11, 2011, on charges of robbery with discharging their firearms at Malaysian forces with intent to cause of death or seriously wounded on board the MT Bunga Laurel at the coast of Oman. The offenses committed on board the MT Bunga Laurel on the co-ordinates Latitude 20 '14.73N Longitude 083' 39.96E, 250 nautical miles from the coast of Oman and charged under Section 3 of the Firearms Act (Increased Penalties) 1971 (Act 37) with Section 34 of the Penal Code, carries the mandatory death penalty if convicted. Earlier, Deputy Prosecutor Mohd Abazzafree Bin Mohd Abbas told the court, all the accused could not known the Malay or English to speak but the prosecution called one Somali student from Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), Yaser Mohamad Ahmad to translate it. Malaysian prosecutors filed charges that carry the death penalty Friday against seven Somali pirate suspects in an attack on a Malaysian-operated ship, in the first such charges in Southeast Asia,and second in Asia (after South Korea) against the African sea bandits.[15] In bringing them here after rescuing the vessel and booking them, Malaysia is following in the steps of the US, Germany,South Korea and the Netherlands which have charged foreign pirates who attacked their vessels in international waters. The pirates were identified as Ahmed Othman Jamal (25) Abdil Eid Hasan (20) Koore Mohamed Abdile (18), and Abdi Hakim Mohd Abdi (18) was agree and understand the charge when a male student from UUM as a special interpreter explain the charge in Somali language in front of the Magistrate Siti Binti Shakirah Mohtarudin. The names of three 15-year-old juveniles were not announced.[16] All seven are accused of using firearms against the Malaysian forces - a charge which carries the death sentence. But prosecutors said three 15-year-old suspects would not face execution because they were too young.[17]

See also


  1. ^ K. Ashraf Kammed, Sharidan M. Ali, Shaun Ho and Zuhrin Azam Ahmad (2011-01-22). "M'sian tanker and crew saved from pirate attack in Gulf". The Star. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/1/22/nation/7852496&sec=nation. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  2. ^ "Ops Fajar Ke-9 Bunga Mas 5 Bermula". BERNAMA. 2011-02-28. http://maritime.bernama.com/news.php?id=567271&lang=my. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  3. ^ Richardson, Alex (2011-01-22). "Malaysian navy foils hijack attempt off Oman". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/22/malaysia-pirates-idUSL3E7CM03C20110122. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  4. ^ "Malaysia holds 7 Somali pirates after saving ship". The Jakarta Post. 2011-01-22. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/01/22/malaysia-holds-7-somali-pirates-after-saving-ship.html. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  5. ^ "Malaysia navy frees hijacked tanker "MT Bunga Laurel"". SeaNews Turkey. 2011-01-22. http://www.seanews.com.tr/article/TURSHIP/NAVY/49787/MT-Bunga-Laurel/. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  6. ^ "Malaysia navy foils ship hijack attempt, seizes pirates". BBC News. 2011-01-22. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12258442. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  7. ^ "Paskal commandos foil hijack attempt in Gulf of Aden". The Star. 2011-01-22. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/1/22/nation/7852232&sec=nation. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  8. ^ "Malaysian navy thwarts Somali pirate attack on MISC tanker MT Bunga Laurel". Neptune Maritime Security. 2011-01-21. http://neptunemaritimesecurity.posterous.com/malaysian-navy-thwarts-somali-pirate-attack-o. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  9. ^ Yoong, Sean (2011-01-22). "Malaysia nabs Somalis in day's 2nd raid on pirates". The Hutchinson News. http://hutchnews.com/World/Malaysia-nabs-Somalis-in-day-s-2nd-raid-on-pirates. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  10. ^ "Malaysia navy frees hijacked tanker". Al Jazeera. 2011-01-22. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2011/01/20111225132323865.html. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  11. ^ "Malaysian commandos free tanker". Bangkok Post. 2011-01-22. http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/217613/malaysian-commandos-free-tanker-off-somalia. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  12. ^ "Najib commends Navy team for heroic rescue". The Star. 2011-01-22. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/1/22/nation/7852548&sec=nation. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  13. ^ "Malaysian navy captures Somali pirates". Channel NewsAsia. 2011-01-22. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1106259/1/.html. Retrieved 2011-10-08. 
  14. ^ "Strong message to pirates". The Star. 2011-01-22. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/1/22/nation/7852549&sec=nation. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  15. ^ "Malaysia is Asia's 1st to charge Somali pirates". USA Today. 2011-02-11. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-02-11-malaysia-pirates_N.htm. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  16. ^ "Somali pirates face gallows in Malaysia". Hindustan Times. 2011-02-13. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Somali-pirates-face-gallows-in-Malaysia/Article1-661845.aspx. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  17. ^ "Somalia 'pirates' charged in Malaysia". BBC News. 2011-02-11. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12430671. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 

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