April 21, 2009
U.S.-flag operators told to strengthen antipiracy plans
As the sole survivor of the Maersk Alabama pirate gang arrived in New York, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that U.S.-flag vessel operators will soon be be required to review and, if necessary, update their vessel security plans to ensure compliance with maritime security directives.
The Coast Guard reviews and approves the security plans, which are required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002. It said the plans must ensure that security measures will counter, to the maximum extent possible, piracy incidents. The Coast Guard said the review is urgently needed because of recent events in the Horn of Africa region, such as the Maersk Alabama incident.
The captured pirate has been identified as Abduhl Wali-i-Musi and will be the first purported pirate to be tried in the United States in more than a century.
U.S. officials have reportedly determined that he is at least 18-years old, meaning prosecutors will not have to take extra steps to put him on trial.
Ecoterra International, an environmental protection group that has a presence in Somalia, refers to the prisoner as Abdiweli Abdulkadir Muse and reports that his mother dar Hassan says he is 16 year old and that pirates influenced him.
"I have been looking for him for 15 days and I have travelled to many towns in northern Somalia to look for him, but I heard his news from the media," Adar said. "My son was not a pirate I sent him to school in Galk'ayo in central Somalia when I last heard from him,
"I request the U.S.-American president Obama to free my son or to fly me to New York to hear his case," she said