The USS Nicholas and Somali Pirates

| Thu Apr. 1, 2010 12:12 PM EDT

On Thursday morning, some "suspected" Somali pirates made a very big mistake. They fired on a large-ish ship they hoped to hijack. Unfortunately for the would-be ransom collectors, the ship was the USS Nicholas (no relation), a very well-armed American guided missile frigate. Oops! More:

The USS Nicholas returned fire on the pirate skiff, sinking it and confiscating a nearby mothership. The Navy took five pirates into custody, said Navy Lt. Patrick Foughty, a spokesman....

"If you think of the kind of young men who are doing this, they go out into the middle of the ocean in a tiny boat. They might not always make rational decisions, and they often attack things that are bigger than they should (attack)," said [Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at the British think tank Chatham House.]

I get the point Middleton was trying to make, but have you seen a photo of the USS Nicholas? (You have! It's to the left.) That just doesn't look like the kind of ship you want to mess with.

Anyway, if you're interested in Somali pirate-related content, you've come to the right place. We've written about the pirates as environmental avengers, told you what Somali rapper K'naan thinks about them, explained why you can blame George Bush for them, and told you how they could help Barack Obama. We've also reviewed a book on pirate finance, explained what really motivates the Somali pirates, reported on the Somali pirates' PR people, told you about pirate "consultants", introduced you to America's piracy point man, and much more.

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