Wed, Nov 18, 2010 | The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Members of British Convoy Claim They Were Taken Hostage
Between seven and ten activists of the British aid convoy calling itself Road to Hope, which defines itself as an independent, non-affiliated convoy, claimed they were taken hostage by the captain of the rented ship Strofades IV.
According to the reports of the activists, among them Kenneth O’Keefe, a former US Marine who was aboard the Mavi Marmara, the ship was hijacked because of a dispute over money. The ship’s captain demanded the money owed him, immediately and in cash, and when he could not reach an arrangement with the activists, he sailed with the ship before it finished loading its cargo. On board at the time were members of the convoy and a number of Libyan policemen and customs agents. All efforts of the Libyan navy to halt the ship failed. In the end the activists were released in Greece by the Greek coast guard (Agence France-Presse, November 13, 2010; Reuters, November 11, 2010).
After the affair, the activists who were left in Libya reported that they had acquired another ship and that they intended to set sail for the port of El Arish or Alexandria as soon as possible. So far it is unclear whether the ship has set sail or is still in Libya (Al-Bayan Center website, November 13, 2010).