The US and Russia fear that on-board weapons could reach Al Qaeda
Several US warships kept their vigil and blockade of the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina. A Russian missile frigate steamed toward Somalia to add its muscle to the standoff. And on Wednesday, the Somali government authorized foreign use of force against the pirates.
That was a formality, since Somalia's weak central government holds little sway over much of its territory, or its pirate-infested waters.
Hijackings by pirates are a near daily occurrence off Somalia, and the international community has to date done little to stop them.