Photograph by Alan Katz/Bloomberg
Piracy on the High Seas
The Nordic Fighter Tanker was sailing in the Red Sea under oppressive summer heat as Mohammed Ali Quanas headed west to catch kingfish on Aug. 3, 2011. As he was cooking the evening meal for the seven men in the narrow skiff, gunshots erupted from the tanker. A bullet slammed into Quanas's face, just under his right eye. Alan Katz and Michelle Wiese Bockmann's series of piracy articles began with a tip to Wiese Bockmann by a maritime official who'd seen a video in which armed guards mowed down suspected pirates. That started an eight-month examination of maritime security's secret: While armed guards on bulk ships were repelling pirates, they were also killing innocent fishermen. Katz went to India and tracked down guards accused in shootings of fishermen, and ventured to Yemen, where he met the family of Quanas, along with the attack's survivors as they headed back out to sea.