Pirate stories, stories of captured ships and dangerous sea attacks, are always so distant. They usually seem so unlikely to ever have actually been possible. It's hard to believe that they ever existed at all, and the idea that they are real now, in the twenty-first century is just as hard to imagine . . . or believe. But the truth is, they were real then and they still are active now.
Take, for example, the Barbary Pirates, Muslim pirates active off the African coast when the U.S. was young. It is because of these pirates, that the First and Second Barbary Wars took place (the U.S. verses Tripolitania and Algeria) took place. Wars that, though not mentioned much in history courses, were significant enough to be mentioned in the Marines' Hymn ("From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli . . .").
Pirates have continued to exist actively through the years.
Just recently, a ransom demand has been made for a missing Russian cargo ship. The ship went missing just last month and it's common belief that it was taken by pirates. Click here.
A more detailed report can be found here.