Somali pirates attacking ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean are reportedly selecting their targets with the help of a team of "consultants" based in London.

According to a European military intelligence document cited by a Spanish radio station, "well-placed informers" are in constant contact with control centers in Somalia. The control centers give the pirates information about ships in the area including their routes and cargoes, the Guardian reported.

Cadena SER radio said that in some cases, hijackers even had details on the layout of ships, their ports of call and the nationalities of those on board, the Guardian reported.

The document said pirates seem to be avoiding British ships and those from a few other nations, the paper reported.

The network of informants allegedly extends to Yemen, Dubai and the Suez Canal.

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