This is a worrying revival of an old pattern in which kidpnapped hostages are handed over to a MEND camp, whose commanders then undertake negotiations for ransom and release. This particular "Jomo Gbomo," or MEND "spokesman," seems to be suggesting that the group repositioning itself in the region and is seeking to raise its revenue and profile. DL
From: Jomo Gbomo <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2012 08:44:35 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Attack on Mobile Police checkpoint in Bayelsa state
Movement for the Emancipation of the
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta(MEND) confirms that the attack on a Nigerian marine police checkpoint on Thursday March 1, 2012, in Bayelsa state in the Niger Delta region of
was carried out by our fighters. Additionally, we are in contact with the abductors of Captain Pikus Viktor, chief engineer Melnikov Slava and crew member Frederick Villamor taken off a Dutch registered reefer, "MV Breeze Clipper", anchored approximately 3 nautical miles off the coast of Nigeria on Tuesday, February 28, 2012. Port Harcourt
The kidnappers have offered to hand these sailors who are all in good health over to one of our camps in
. We are considering this offer as these men were not captured from a vessel related to the Nigerian oil industry. The master and chief engineer are Russian while the remaining crew member is from the Rivers State . Philippines
M.E.N.D wishes to sound a warning to masters of oil industry vessels considering adopting manoeuvers aimed at preventing our fighters from boarding their vessels.
We will launch rockets at the bridge and other parts of the superstructure of such uncooperative vessels, and ensure such vessels are set alight, when we eventually board.