MADRID (Reuters) - Somali pirates are planning attacks on shipping using detailed information telephoned through by contacts in London, according to an intelligence report cited by Spanish radio on Monday.
The pirates have built up a network of informants in London with access to sensitive data from shipping companies about vessels, routes and cargoes, according to a European military intelligence report that Cadena Ser radio said it had seen.
The pirates receive their information by satellite phone and use sophisticated equipment to locate their targets, Cadena Ser said.
The intelligence report also said that the pirates seem to avoid attacks on ships of some nationalities, including British ships.
It listed several attacks in which the pirates had surprised crew with detailed information of their prey, including the nationalities of those on board.
Cadena Ser did not provide any more details about where the report originated, identifying it only as "European."
Strangely, the Somali pirates seem to avoid attacking British ships or those with British nationals on board. The pirates are currently holding about 20 vessels with nearly 300 hostages, according to monitoring groups.