Captured Pirates Present Conundrum for US

Some 20 are currently languishing aboard two ships
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2010 12:00 PM CDT
Police and FBI agents escort the Somali pirate suspect U.S. officials identified as Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse into FBI headquarters in New York on Monday, April 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)
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(Newser) – The US Navy has no idea what to do with 10 alleged Somali pirates that have been languishing in the brig on one of its warships for more than a month. Though any country can jail and prosecute pirates under international law, the US only does so if they're accused of attacking US ships. These guys were attacking an Indian vessel when they were apprehended, so the US is looking for someone to take them off its hands; another 10, suspected in a second incident, are jailed on a second warship.

Kenya used to be the go-to destination for such prosecutions, but last month it announced that it couldn't accept any more. It later publicly reversed that position, but still hasn't given the Navy permission to drop anyone off, the Washington Post reports. “My preference is that we don't hold pirates,” says the chief of US naval operations. “But when you have them, you have them.”

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