This comprehensive survey of historical and contemporary issues related to maritime crime and piracy, with a special focus on Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, explains why piracy is a growing problem and how it affects security policy making in the United States. Here, piracy is defined as taking place on the high seas, while maritime crime takes place within a country’s territorial waters. Seaborne terrorism may occur in either one of these maritime zones. Maritime piracy can be divided into several categories, from pirates robbing a ship or its crew of petty items while at sea to taking a ship’s cargo and taking control of a vessel, reflagging it, and then using this captured ship to smuggle drugs, transport illegal immigrants, or conduct further acts of piracy. This is the most dangerous, not only because pirates can use a captured ship to carry out more raids, but also because they can use the ship’s identity papers to transport goods and weapons—potentially WMDs—into otherwise secure port areas.