Looks like attempted piracy to me, and even Aljazeera News treats it as a liklihood.
Suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia started shooting at U.S. navy ships. We shot back and then fished what was left of the suspected pirates out of the water. This hearkens back to the original internationalisation of the U.S. navy -- Islamic pirates capturing ships and enslaving or beheading the occupants of the European ships, with the European response being appeasement.
Lately, the pirates around Somalia have been raiding ships trying to bring charitable aid to the starving Somalis, who were starving well before 1991 when the warlords wiped out the government and then turned on each other. Before, the government was socialist and disposed to make decisions based on tribal or religious grounds.
Hey folks. This sort of thing has been going on for hundreds of years. I bet Columbus wasn't looking for a shorter way to China. He was looking for a safer way.