NOTE The following text SNIPPET is a quote:
SOMALI PLEADS GUILTY TO ACTS OF PIRACY AGAINST USS ASHLAND
NORFOLK, Va. Jama Idle Ibrahim, a/k/a Jaamac Ciidle, of Somalia, pled guilty today to acts of piracy against the USS Ashland, which he believed was a merchant vessel that he intended to seize and hold for ransom.
In addition, Ibrahim was charged today in the District of Columbia through a criminal information with conspiracy to commit piracy under the law of nations and conspiracy to use a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The charges stem from an alleged act of piracy in the Gulf of Aden against a merchant vessel, the M/V CEC Future. This matter is being handled by the United States Attorneys Office for the District of Columbia.
Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBIs Washington Field Office; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBIs New York Field Office; Alex J. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the FBIs Norfolk Field Office; and Mark Russ, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Norfolk, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.
Today marks the first conviction in Norfolk for acts of piracy in more than 150 years, said U.S. Attorney MacBride. Modern-day pirates must be held accountable and will face severe consequences. Ibrahim admitted his role in an armed attack on a U.S. Navy ship in the Gulf of Aden, which he attempted to take by force after mistaking it for a merchant vessel.
Today, Ibrahim pled guilty to charges filed in the Eastern District of Virginia for attacking to plunder a vessel, engaging in an act of violence against persons on a vessel and using of a firearm during a crime of violence in regards to an attack against the USS Ashland on April 10, 2010. The charges range from a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison to a maximum of life in prison, and the plea agreement indicates that both parties agree that a sentence of 30 years in prison is appropriate. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29, 2010.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, in and around April 10, 2010, Ibrahim and five other Somalis sailed on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden searching for a merchant ship to attack and seize, intending to plunder the vessel and hold the crew and contents for ransom. The six men sighted a ship they believed to be a merchant vessel but which was in fact the USS Ashland, a United States Navy vessel chased it, and, once they were alongside the vessel, began firing at the USS Ashland and the people on board. In the statement of facts, Ibrahim admitted that all six men were willing participants in the planned piracy and that the purpose of firing at the vessel was to cause the vessel to surrender to them, at which point they would board the vessel, seize the ship, its crew and its contents.
The investigations of the cases in the Eastern District of Virginia and the District of Columbia are being conducted by the FBI, including members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
The prosecution in the Eastern District of Virginia is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin L. Hatch, Joseph DePadilla and Raymond E. Patricco Jr., from the U.S. Attorneys Office and Trial Attorney Jerome Teresinski from the Department of Justices National Security Division.
Further information regarding pirates and piracy can be found here:
THE LATEST LIVE PIRACY REPORT HERE:
THE LATEST LIVE PIRACY ALERT HERE:
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Somali Pirates Convicted for Attack of the USS Ashland
U.S. Attorneys Office
February 27, 2013
Eastern District of Virginia
NORFOLK, VAMohamed Ali Said, a/k/a Maxamad Cali Saciid; Mohamed Abdi Jama, a/k/a Mohammed Abdi Jamah; Abdicasiis Cabaase, a/k/a Ahmed Mahomood; Abdirazaq Abshir Osman, a/k/a Abdirasaq Abshir; and Mohamed Farah, a/k/a Mohamed Farraah Hassan, were found guilty by a federal jury of engaging in piracy and committing other offenses pertaining to the attack on the Navy ship the USS Ashland.
Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and George Venizelos, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBIs New York Field Office, made the announcement after the verdicts were accepted by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.
The five men are scheduled to be sentenced on July 1 and July 2, 2013. The maximum sentence for the convictions are as follows:
Conspiracy to commit hostage taking carries a maximum sentence of life in prison
Conspiracy to commit kidnapping carries a maximum sentence of life in prison
Conspiracy to perform act of violence against persons on a vessel carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison
Conspiracy involving firearm and a crime of violence carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison
Piracy under the Law of Nations carries a maximum sentence of life in prison
Attack to plunder vessel carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison
Assault with a dangerous weapon on federal officers and employees carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison
Act of violence against persons on a vessel carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison
And use/possession of firearm during crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison if convicted of one count. A second or subsequent conviction adds an additional 25 years, making the prison term a minimum mandatory 35 years.
These men were piratesplain and simple, said U.S. Attorney MacBride. They attacked a ship hoping to hold it ransom for millions of dollars. Few crimes are older than piracy on the high seas, and todays verdict shows that the United States takes it very seriously.
Assistant Director Venizelos said, These defendants are headed where they belong: to federal prison. Let this send a clear message of deterrence to anyone who threatens those who traverse the high seas. I commend U.S. Attorney MacBride and the U.S. Navy for their diligence in the investigation and prosecution of this case.
Said, Jama, Cabaase, Osman, and Farah were charged in a second superseding indictment that was filed on August 8, 2012. According to court records and evidence at trial, they attacked the USS Ashland on April 10, 2010, and three of the defendants, Mohamed Ali Said, Mohamed Abdi Jama, and Abdicasiis Cabaase, had previously gone to sea in February 2010 for purposes of capturing another vessel but were instead intercepted by the HMS Chatham of the Royal Navy.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin L. Hatch and Joseph DePadilla from the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Jerome Teresinski of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae.