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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


The Office of Threat Finance Countermeasures works with domestic and international partners to disrupt and dismantle the Somali pirate enterprise, including its related financial networks, by facilitating efforts to identify, apprehend, and prosecute high-value piracy suspects. These suspects include land-based pirate leaders, financiers, and negotiators. TFS leads U.S. participation in Working Group 5 of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, formed in July 2011 and chaired by the Government of Italy. This Working Group coordinates international efforts to disrupt the pirate enterprise ashore, including its financial flows.


  • Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia: Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851, the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) was established on January 14, 2009 to facilitate the discussion and coordination of actions among states and organizations to suppress piracy off the coast of Somalia. This international forum has brought together more than 60 countries and international organizations all working towards the prevention of piracy off the Somali coast.
  • Organized Maritime Piracy and Related Kidnapping for Ransom, Financial Action Task Force: In June 2010, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Working Group on Typologies (WGTYP) agreed to examine and produce a survey on money flows connected with organized piracy for ransom (PFR) and kidnapping for ransom (KFR). This study was intended to provide an overview of the current problem, and as far as possible, an analysis of money flows, as well as provide issues for consideration on the possible role of the FATF in combating PFR and KFR.
  • Monitoring Groups on Somalia and Eritrea Reports, United Nations: United Nations panel of experts monitoring compliance with the embargoes on the delivery of weapons and military equipment to Somalia and Eritrea. It also investigates all activities that generate revenue that is then used to break the arms embargoes.
  • A Shared Approach for Shared Challenges: Integrating and Enhancing International Responses and Public-Private Partnerships: Remarks by Thomas P. Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, at the UAE-Sponsored Conference, Dubai, United Arab Emirate, (June 28, 2012).
  • Piracy: Where We Are Today: Speech by Thomas P. Kelly, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, to the American Petroleum Institute, Biennial Tanker Conference in Orlando, Florida (May 21, 2012).
  • Counter Piracy and Maritime Security, Department of State: This office was formally established in 2009 and is the Department’s lead in the USG’s Counter-Piracy Steering Group, an executive-level body created to implement the National Action and Partnership Plan to Combat Piracy off the Horn of Africa.



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