This chapter introduces the reader to the evolution of the phenomena of maritime piracy off the Horn of Africa and establishes why piracy did not emerge as a ‘macro’ security threat before 1991. New insights and themes emerge such as the role of external navies in the repression of piracy before 2005 and that piracy incidents were occurring along the coast of Somalia throughout the twentieth century. It explores the diverse but measured response to the emerging threat, which illuminates the failure of regional and international states to confront maritime insecurity along the coast of Somalia before 2005, ultimately facilitating an upsurge in attacks.