Michael Scott Moore Released by Somali Pirates

Kidnapping in Somalia: German-American Journalist Released after Years in Captivity

German-American journalist Michael Scott Moore was kidnapped in Somalia two-and-a-half years ago while researching a book on piracy. On Tuesday, he was finally released.

German-American journalist Michael Scott Moore has been freed two-and-a-half years after he was kidnapped in Somalia. German officials received Moore, who worked for SPIEGEL International years before his abduction, on Tuesday afternoon local time.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry confirmed “that a German citizen, who also possesses American citizenship and who was kidnapped in Somalia, was freed today.” Moore, 45, is said to be in good condition considering the circumstances, security officials said. They said that he was overjoyed to be free.

On Tuesday, Moore arrived in the Somali capital in a small airplane and was taken to a safe place for a medical and psychological examination.

Moore was abducted in January 2012 in the Somali city of Galkayo, where he was doing research for a book on piracy. In the ensuing years of his captivity, his kidnappers released periodic photos of Moore.

The Foreign Ministry’s crisis team together with American officials worked intensively to secure Moore’s release during the length of his captivity. Several different negotiators were involved over the two-and-a-half year period.

Following Moore’s release, SPIEGEL Editor-in-Chief Wolfgang Büchner thanked all those involved in working on behalf of the journalist during his captivity. “We never gave up hope and are now rejoicing with Michael and his family that this nightmare has finally come to an end,” Büchner said in Hamburg.

“We’re grateful to all the people who have worked so long to bring about Michael’s release — and thrilled that he and his family can be reunited at last,” said Jon Sawyer, executive director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Moore was reporting on a Pulitzer Center grant at the time of his abduction.

Source: http://www.spiegel.de

Maritime Security News Note:
This is wonderful news. We have been aware for some time that negotiations to secure Mr Moore’s release were ongoing and that he had been moved several times. However, for a variety of obvious reasons, we were unable to report on the matter. Instead, liaising with the US State Department to keep them abreast of developments with his case and movements in the country.

Obviously, at this point we do not know the terms of his release and whether a ransom was finally paid, but whatever they may be, it’s good to know he’s finally free. As one of the more popular subjects on this blog, we hope that his many friends who stop by here will get the news as soon as possibe.

After having been in captivity since January 2012, we are hugely pleased that Michael is now free. The last remaining Westerner held by Somali pirates is on his way home. Just 37 or so more hostages to go…

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