Somali pirates

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Pirates Free American Held for 2 Years

Journalist Michael Scott Moore was kidnapped while researching piracy

(Newser) - A 45-year-old journalist who was kidnapped by Somali pirates more than two years ago has been freed, according to his family and a Somali official cited by CNN . Michael Scott Moore, who holds both US and German citizenship and was in Somalia researching a book on piracy, is said by... More »

Court's Question: Is a Negotiator a Pirate?

Judge says US prosecutors 'overreaching' in seeking life sentence

(Newser) - Ali Mohamed Ali wasn't involved in the hijacking of a Danish ship, but the pirates in question called on him to help negotiate a $1.7 million ransom; they asked because he speaks English, his lawyers say. Now, he's facing a mandatory life sentence after US prosecutors charged... More »

Secret Weapon Vs. Somali Pirates: Britney Spears

Apparently this is an actual thing

(Newser) - Anyone who's had "...Baby One More Time" stuck in their head for any amount of time will surely understand this tactic: The merchant navy is blasting Britney Spears music to fend off Somali pirates. An officer tells the Mirror that Spears' hits, especially the aforementioned song and "... More »

Surprising Sting Leads to Somali Pirate Chief Arrest

Believed he was flying to Belgium to make a movie about his life

(Newser) - The kingpin of one of Somalia's most successful pirate gangs has been arrested, after undercover Belgian agents pulled the old "you should fly to Europe so we can make a movie about your life" trick. Mohamed Abdi Hassan—also known as "Afweyne" and "Big Mouth"—... More »

Another Oscar for Hanks? Captain Phillips a Winner

Most critics love the true-life story of a Somali pirate attack

(Newser) - Tom Hanks is getting raves for his title role in Captain Phillips, which tells the true 2009 story of a US ship taken captive by Somali pirates. Critics think director Paul Greengrass has a winner on his hands.
  • The movie "shakes you up first with its style and then
... More »

Aargh. The End of Somalia's Pirate Days?

Pirates "live like refugees" due to global military efforts

(Newser) - It's been anything but smooth sailing for Somali pirates lately, as the heady days of hijacking and plunder dry up at the hands of international military efforts and simple on-board security enhancements, reports the AP . The flow of whiskey has ebbed and the hookers have gone home in villages... More »

Pirates Demand Ransom ... on Personalized Letterhead

And they're fairly polite about it

(Newser) - Passengers on boats hijacked off the African coast could find themselves presented with a formal welcome letter from the pirates boarding their ship, Reuters reports, in an offbeat look at their latest tactics. African pirates take their business quite seriously, to the point where they have their own letterhead. Reuters... More »

US Issues Global Security Alert

New report advises caution just about everywhere

(Newser) - The US has issued a fresh version of its worldwide safety caution to citizens abroad, making it clear that it's a pretty dangerous world out there. Terrorists are planning attacks "in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East," the statement warns, listing possible targets... More »

Aargh! Sea Piracy Plunges 54%

Patrols off Somalia credited with dramatic drop

(Newser) - Sea piracy worldwide fell by 54% in the first half of 2012, led by a dramatic drop in Somali piracy, according to an international maritime watchdog. The International Maritime Bureau attributed the sharp drop to "pre-emptive and disruptive counter piracy tactics" by international navies patrolling in seas off Somalia... More »

EU Strikes Somali Pirates

First mainland raid a success

(Newser) - The European Union launched its first raid on mainland Somali pirate bases overnight, destroying five of their boats using warships and helicopters. The naval attack was the first under an expanded Operation Atalanta, which gave the EU power to attack both land and sea targets. Last night’s attack focused... More »

American Travel Writer Kidnapped in Somalia

Michael Scott Moore was considering writing a book about Somali pirates

(Newser) - Somali gunmen have kidnapped noted travel and surfing writer Michael Scott Moore, and are demanding an unknown ransom for his release. Moore, a Manhattan Beach native currently living in Berlin, holds both US and German citizenship. He was in Somalia because he was considering writing a book about Somali pirates,... More »

Rescued Aid Worker Loved Africa

Details emerging on Jessica Buchanan, saved in Navy SEAL raid

(Newser) - Jessica Buchanan, the American aid worker rescued in a Navy SEAL overnight raid , first came to Africa as a student teacher in Nairobi. "That experience just planted in her a love and passion for Africa," says the president of the Pennsylvania Christian college from which Buchanan graduated in... More »

Obama Learned of SEALs' Success Before SOTU

President had ordered Jessica Buchanan's rescue Monday night

(Newser) - If President Obama was smiling last night, it's partly because just hours before the State of the Union he'd taken a phone call telling him that the Navy SEALs rescue of Jessica Buchanan and a companion had been a success, Politico reports. Some 15 minutes after the speech—... More »

SEALs Raid Frees Yank, Dane in Somalia

Nine pirates reportedly killed as aid workers rescued by same team who killed bin Laden

(Newser) - Navy SEALs, reportedly the same team that took out Osama bin Laden, launched a daring helicopter raid early today in Somalia, freeing an American and a Danish aid worker held by kidnappers since October , reports MSNBC . Helicopters landed just outside the pirates' camp in the pre-dawn hours, entering the camp... More »

US, Danish Aid Workers Kidnapped in Somalia

Demining workers seized by pirates

(Newser) - Three aid workers who were helping to remove land mines in northern Somalia have been kidnapped by gunmen who attacked their convoy. The three—a 32-year-old American woman, a 60-year-old Danish man, and a Somali colleague—were seized on their way to an airport and security officials believe they are... More »

Somali Gunmen Kidnap Wheelchair-Bound Tourist

Attackers may be in standoff at sea

(Newser) - Echoing other recent assaults by Somali gunmen, a gang of Somalis kidnapped a wheelchair-bound French tourist today from her bungalow in Kenya. The attackers slipped into one of East Africa's fanciest tourist areas by boat at around 3am, burst into her bungalow on Manda Island and dragged her away... More »

Somali Pirates Free Danish Family

Three children were among those held hostage

(Newser) - The Danish family held hostage by Somali pirates since February has been released and is safe. Jan Quist Johansen, his wife, their three children between the ages of 12 and 16, and two adult crew members are in “relatively good condition,” according to Denmark’s foreign ministry and... More »

Pirate Hostages Plead for Help in YouTube Video

Danes, Filipinos urge ship's owner to secure their freedom

(Newser) - A shipping industry group has released a harrowing video of Danish and Filipino seamen being held hostage by Somali pirates. The men, who were seized when pirates hijacked a Danish cargo ship in January, plead for their freedom in the video, which Save Our Seafarers says it uploaded to YouTube... More »

Lousy Weather Forecasts May Be Pirates' Fault

Scientists can't collect ocean data, ask US, Australia for help

(Newser) - Scientists have asked the American and Australian navies to help them deploy robots in a vast area of the Indian Ocean that pirates have made too dangerous for ordinary vessels. Deep-ocean robotic buoys play a vital role in climate change studies and weather forecasts, but researchers say pirate activity has... More »

4th Somali Pirate Pleads Guilty in Yacht Hijacking

A Somali man may have helped take four Americans hostage, and killed them

(Newser) - A fourth Somali man has pleaded guilty to piracy for his role in the hijacking of a yacht that left four Americans dead last February. Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf, who pleaded guilty in federal court in Norfolk today, is among 14 people from Somalia and one from Yemen facing charges related... More »

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