Piracy is committed by pirates. Piracy is both a modern and a historical event. Piracy is a crime committed at sea between the party of one vessel and the party of another vessel. Actions included within piracy are violence, such as murder or assault, theft of the ship or its contents, or general destruction of the ship, its contents, or crew. Pirates are to be distinguished from profiteers or corsairs, who were state sanctioned pirates attacking another nation’s vessels under crown authority. Sir Francis Drake was one of the most ­well-known corsairs, though other states called him a pirate. In the 21st century, piracy has trended toward the realm of criminals and terrorists. The most notable pirates today are Somalian Muslim extremists, committing piracy in ...

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