February 16th, 2011
11:56 AM ET

Somali pirate sentenced to almost 34 years in prison

A federal court on Wednesday sentenced a Somali man to nearly 34 years
in prison for acts related to high-seas piracy.

Prosecutors say Abduwali Muse acted as the ringleader when he and three other men seized the U.S-flagged Maersk Alabama by force about 350 miles off the coast of Somalia on April 8, 2009.

Once on board, the armed men demanded the ship be stopped, then took a lifeboat and held the captain of the ship, Richard Phillips, hostage on it.

Muse, who entered a guilty plea last May, apologized in the New York courtroom on Wednesday.

"I'm sorry very much for what happened to victims on ship. I am very sorry about what I caused," he said. "I was recruited by people more powerful than me. I got my hands into something more powerful than me and I am sorry.

"I ask forgiveness for all the people I harmed and the U.S. government."

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Filed under: Crime • Pirates • Somalia
soundoff (175 Responses)


    February 19, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |


    February 19, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. Richard

    What an outrage. This loser is not a US citizen or resident..why is he even here? Now we have to pay for this POS to live in our prison system for the next 33 years. Living quarters, food, healthcare, heat and water; plus the cost of the trial. Why couldn't someone just have dumped him overboard or saved us all the trouble (a bullet to the back of the head would do)??

    February 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mac - HK

    I believe that no body really gets it...
    Somalia is actually very rich in natural resources; Uranium, Iron Ore, Tin, Gypsum, Copper, etc., & has significant Oil Reserves. What Somalia does not have is a Government that cares for its people, or a Government that actively participates in trying to stop the Pirates from using its coast & waters.
    So if we really wanted to stop Piracy in that part of the world, the action to take is clear... we will have to deal with the regime that is behind it. A simple warning to the leaders of Somalia is all it should take... Either you stop the pirates & clean up your act, or we will stop you.

    February 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. US_Patriot

    Well... The US has been bombing Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Costa Rica, Libya..... and many countries. Raymond Davis can kill innocents in Pakistan but not be declared a killer according to US govt. Lets make a deal with every country: You dont kill our citizens and we dont kill yours. You tackle your problems, we tackle ours. Good luck to you all.

    February 21, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ski62

    This comment is to my elected officials from Dallas County TX up thru the White House. As a tax paying citizen of the United States of America I am making a public statement that I do not want my tax dollars used to provide food, shelter, or any form of life sustaining support for any convicted pirates (or pirates caught in the act of piracy) now or in the future. I do feel that my tax dollars used for extermination all pirates (at will) is a legitimate use.

    February 23, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. just a thought

    Perhaps we ought to elect him president, he may have a good plan to get the country out of debt. (toungue in cheek)

    July 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
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