Sunday, August 18, 2013



Screen Capture from The IntelCenter active map at this link:

We here at AAB offer daily piracy reports and the pirate business today features hostage taking. Not all of the hostage situations found on this interactive map are maritime in character but all involve Non Governmental organizations that have taken hostages for political reason and profit. The more typical and short lived bank robber barricaded hostage situations are not on this map. We also wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to a commercial intelligence service. We are so often critical of American news coverage as being "infotainment" and advertiser driven. Not only are there other news sources and organizations out there; there are commercial intelligence sources that aren't influenced by advertising decisions at all. Have a look at this product from the INTELCENTER. 

More than 20 years experience in counterterrorism intelligence work.

IntelCenter is a privately owned company established in 1989. It has been providing counter terrorism intelligence services for more than 20 years to the intelligence, military and law enforcement communities in the US and around the world. The focus of the IntelCenter is on terrorism, defined as violent acts and actors of non state organizations performed for ideological and political motives. 


IntelCenter is far from the only private intelligence service though it is one of the least likely for the ordinary citizen to become aware of since its usual clientele are governments, military organizations, and  police forces. Others like Lloyd's Intelligence Services, a subsidiary of Lloyd's of London serve broader markets like the shipping industry, or in a different vein Jane's Information Services serves shipping, naval services, governments and provides various reports for use by the general public. Public access to professionally developed and politically neutral information isn't just limited to private intelligence services, even the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) develops services and products like area briefings, travel warnings, and regional backgrounders for distribution to the general public. Then there are various trade journals that cover nearly everything of note related to the field they cover and their audience. Some such trades take a managerial/owners viewpoint and others are operated for organized labor. Our point is that the public doesn't have to rely on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, or PBS for news and thus subject themselves to editorial decisions about what is news worthy and slants that conform with the politics of the net work. 

 We have constantly denied being a new service, we simply provide a news room where many of the world's maritime trade journals and news sources can be read, and we do some scanning and post a clipping service of headlines and links to stories we think are important. Occasionally we have been the first English language publisher to post a story, or to explain why a particular story buried on the back pages of some foreign language news paper is actually earth shaking in importance. This is not a sign that we have a staff of full time professional journalists. Quite the opposite, we don't even have one full time staffer devoted to news. We simply don't rely on the mainstream American media for our news because we regard the so called "mainstream media" as being in the infotainment industry. In saying that we are not being critical, we are in the infotainment industry as well. We try to bring you the world's English language maritime information sources in an organized and entertaining way. We bring you this link to an interactive map in that same spirit, look its fun, its informative, see what's available out there once you leave the "mainstream". But one should not mistake "infotainment" for "intelligence" or "real news". Often for the real story you must fish it out your self. As your entertaining maritime librarians we suggest looking in the trades, intelligence services, and local news services closest to the scene of interest. You don't want to make important decisions as a voter, juror, parent, traveler, etc., based on "infotainment". Get yourself some unvarnished facts. Start by learning your way around commercial intelligence services, trade journals, and non networked news services.

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