Entries in Maersk Alabama (2)


Maersk Alabama Targeted Again by Pirates

U.S. Navy(WASHINGTON) -- The Maersk Alabama was targeted again by Somali pirates Tuesday, a U.S. official tells ABC News. This is at least the third time the Alabama has been targeted by pirates, including the famous incident involving Captain Phillips in the spring of 2009.
The official says that four suspected pirates approached the ship in a skiff and a hook ladder was visible in the boat. When the skiff came within half a nautical mile the ship’s captain authorized warning shots to be fired. The pirates continued to approach and the captain ordered aimed shots, which convinced the skiff to turn around and sail away.
Had the ordered shots been fired, they would have been fired by contracted security on board, something that was added to the Alabama after the Captain Phillips incident.
According to NATO’s counterpiracy operation, an attempted pirate attack that matches the event described to ABC News occurred Tuesday in waters between Kenya and Madagascar. It warns that “a Pirate Attack Group consisting of one white skiff with four POB (persons on board) with hooks and ladder was reported” and that the pirates are still in the area.
In April 2009 the ship was hijacked by pirates who were overpowered by the crew, but not before they captured the ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, who was held for days in one of its lifeboats until Navy snipers killed his captors.
The second time was in September 2010, when, according to the London-based International Maritime Organization, five pirates armed with AK-47s in a skiff targeted the ship as it was sailing off the Somali coast.

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Somali Pirate Sentenced to 34 Years in Prison

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the first men charged with piracy in the United States since the Civil War was sentenced to almost 34 years in federal prison in a New York courtroom Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors had asked Judge Loretta Preska to give Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse more than 30 years for his role in the failed hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, an American-flagged ship, off Somalia two years ago.

Defense attorneys had argued that Muse was driven to piracy by poverty and should get the minimum sentence, 27 years. In giving Muse 33 years and nine months, Preska cited the need for deterrence.

"For five days that must have seemed like an eternity to this victims, Abduwali Abukhadir Muse terrorized the crew of the Maersk Alabama," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement. "Now he will pay for those five days and the events leading up to them."

Muse pled guilty last year to being part of an armed crew that stormed the Maersk Alabama in the Indian Ocean on April 8, 2009 and took its captain, Richard Phillips, hostage.

Muse was stabbed in the hand by a member of the 20-man crew during a struggle aboard the boat, and then tied up by the crew.

Unable to take control of the Maersk Alabama, the remaining three pirates grabbed Phillips and put to sea in a lifeboat. The Maersk Alabama's crew tried to trade Muse for Phillips but were rebuffed by the pirates.

Prosecutors said that Muse was the first pirate to board the Maersk Alabama, fired an AK-47 at Phillips, and speaking English, threatened Phillips with death.

On April 12, 2009, Navy Seal snipers shot and killed the three pirates in the lifeboat with Phillips and rescued Phillips. Muse was brought to United States to stand trial on charges of piracy.

Muse, whose exact age is unknown but was determined by a U.S. judge to be over 18, was indicted on 10 counts, including piracy under the law of nations, conspiracy, hostage taking, kidnapping and possession of a machine gun while seizing a ship by force. In addition to the Maersk Alabama attack, he was charged in connection with two other attacks on ships off Somalia in March and April 2009.

Muse pled guilty to six felony counts of kidnapping, hostage-taking and hijacking maritime vessels in May 2010, more than a year after his capture. ´╗┐

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