SEARCH

Entries in Somali Pirates (5)

Thursday
Jan262012

Jessica Buchanan's Husband Calls Kidnapping 'Three Months of Hell'

Poul Hagen Thisted (L) and Jessica Buchanan (R). Danish Refugee Council(NEW YORK) -- The husband of a rescued American aid worker said the time his wife spent in Somali captivity was "three months of hell" and that he even kept the secret from many of his friends in order to protect her.

"This morning, after going through three months of hell with Somali pirates, my amazing wife was saved by the American military and she is now in safety!" Erik Landemalm wrote on his Facebook in Swedish. "Words cannot describe the joy and relief we feel! Thank you to all that have helped and apologies to all our friends I haven't shared this with. This a day of Happiness!"

Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Danish colleague Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, were rescued early Wednesday by SEAL Team 6 -- the same group involved in the mission that killed Osama bin Laden last spring -- in a daring mission at a remote encampment deep in northern Somalia.

Christina Scolforo, a close friend of Buchanan, says that her abduction was intentionally kept from the media.

"We didn't want them to get media hype that would cause them to think that she was worth more, and they would want more of a ransom, and then it would prolong the time that she was captive, so a lot of it was hush," Scolforo said.

Bachanan's immediate family is now meeting with her at a U.S. military base in Sicily, Italy, members of the woman's extended family told ABC News.

Buchanan and Thisted, who worked with the Danish Refugee Council's Danish Demining Group, were abducted Oct. 25, 2011 by a group of Somali bandits and held for ransom.

In a statement released by the White House, President Obama said he had authorized a rescue mission Monday.

In Somalia Buchanan served as a regional education adviser at the Danish Demining Group, a division of the Danish Refugee Council, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Over the three months of her captivity, concern grew about Buchanan's deteriorating health, which was described as possibly "life-threatening" and a, "window of opportunity for mission success" presented itself, according to Pentagon spokesperson George Little.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr142011

US Charges Somali Hostage Negotiator with Piracy

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday that a man identified by Somali pirates as the person responsible for negotiating the ransom of four U.S. citizens held hostage on the high seas and then killed last February, has been indicted on piracy and kidnapping charges.

The justice department says Mohammad Shibin was apprehended in Somalia and transferred to the United States to stand trial.

Federal officials say Shibin was not among the 14 Somalia pirates who boarded the yacht with the four Americans, but instead worked behind the scenes to see how much cash could be extorted for their release.

Neil McBride, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, announced that the arrest marks "the first time the U.S. government has captured and charged an alleged pirate in the leadership role -- a hostage negotiator who operated in Somalia.”

While the U.S military was attempting to negotiate the release of the four hostages -- Scott Underwood Adam, Jean Savage Adam, Phyllis Patricia Macay and Robert Campbell Riggle -- the pirates on board the yacht shot and killed them.  The U.S. took the Somali pirates into custody following the shooting.

Shibin was indicted on March 8 in Virginia and appeared in federal court Wednesday.  The piracy and kidnapping charges each carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb232011

Bodies of Americans Killed By Somali Pirates Headed Home

USS Enterprise. Photo Courtesy - U.S. Navy(WASHINGTON) -- The bodies of the four Americans killed after Somali pirates hijacked their yacht headed home on the USS Enterprise from the dangerous waters off the Somali coast Tuesday night, military officials said.  Also on board the massive aircraft carrier were the 15 captured Somali pirates.

American officials have begun the process of determining how they will prosecute the 15 pirates who hijacked the yacht, called the Quest.

"There is an ongoing investigation into the hijacking," Navy Ensign Brynn Olson, spokeswoman for U.S. Central Command, told the Washington Examiner.

The deaths at the hands of pirates increases concern about the growing strength of piracy around the horn of Africa.

Piracy is a "top priority for NATO and there has been an increased presence," Olson said.

Jean and Scott Adam, a retired couple from California, along with their friends, Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle, from Washington state, were sailing the world on a Christian mission to distribute bibles when they were ambushed Feb. 18 by pirates some 300 miles off the Somali coast.

For three harrowing days, the hijacked yacht was sailing toward the Somali coast with four American hostages and 17 pirates packed on board.  President Obama had authorized Navy warships to follow the yacht and use deadly force if needed, hoping to keep the Americans safe.

Officials were negotiating with two pirates on board the destroyer USS Sterett.  In the midst of those negotiations, without warning, pirates on board the hijacked yacht fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the Sterett.  Then gunfire was heard onboard the yacht.

The Navy launched 15 Seals in two high-speed assault craft.  Some pirates appeared to surrender.

Despite the efforts of the Navy Seals, it was too late for the hostages. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb212011

Warship and Helicopters Tracking Yacht Hijacked by Somali Pirates

Image Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- A US Navy warship on Monday continued to track a yacht holding four Americans that was seized by pirates between the coasts of Yemen and Somalia, authorities reported.

The Americans, sailing the world on a Christian mission to distribute bibles, were ambushed by pirates in dangerous waters nearly 300 miles off the Somali coast. On board the yacht were Jean and Scot Adam from California and Phyllis MacKay and Bob Riggle from Washington State.

The last time pirates targeted an American vessel -- the Maersk Alabama in 2009 -- the heist ended with all but one of the pirates killed by US Navy sharpshooters.

The challenge for international warships now is keeping the pirates from making it to the Somali shore where they and their hostages can easily disappear.

Back in California, church-goers are praying for a quick return home for the hostages.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman on Saturday said officials were assessing options and "possible responses" to the situation.

It is believed that Somali pirates currently have 29 ships in their possession and are holding 660 crewmembers hostage.

The 58-foot S/V Quest is owned by the Adams, who have been sailing the boat around the world for the past seven years. As they approached the notoriously hostile waters off the Horn of Africa, they cut back using their radios and satellite systems so their location couldn't be tracked by pirates, but they were still found.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb202011

Navy Monitoring Yacht Seized by Pirates with Four Americans Onboard

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SALALAH, Oman) -- The U.S. Navy is carefully tracking a yacht seized by Somali pirates Friday with four Americans onboard. A source confirms to ABC News that the Navy has at least one warship and helicopters monitoring the vessel as it makes its way to Somalia from Yemen.

The advocacy group Ecoterra International indicated that the S/V Quest was seized 240 nautical miles off the coast of Oman in the Indian Ocean.

The 58-foot S/V Quest is owned by Jean and Scott Adam, who have been sailing the boat around the world for the past seven years. As they approached the notoriously hostile waters off the Horn of Africa, the Adams cut back using their radios and satellite systems so their location couldn't be tracked by pirates, but they were still found.

The Adams are members of the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey, California.

Pirate seizures have continued in the waters off East Africa despite the constant patrols of by the world's navies, including ships from the United States. It is believed that Somali pirates currently have 29 ships in their possession and are holding 660 crewmembers hostage. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio