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Jan 18 12 12:27 AM
THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The Dutch government says a team of marines stationed on a merchant ship has fought off a pirate attack in the Arabian Sea.
The Defense Ministry says the marines opened fire early Tuesday on pirates armed with weapons, including a rocket propelled grenade, as the crew of the ship Flintstone took shelter in a safe room. The vessel is used to lay rocks around undersea pipelines.
Marines fired tracer bullets at the six pirates as they sped toward the Flintstone, but they responded by aiming the rocket-propelled grenade at the ship.
To prevent the grenade being fired, the marines opened fire on the pirates. The Defense Ministry said it "could not rule out casualties among the pirates."
The Flintstone was heading from Malta to Singapore. http://finance.yahoo.com/...e-pirates-175229622.html
Jan 25 12 2:39 PM
By LUIS MARTINEZ and MARTHA RADDATZ1-25-2012
American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, of Denmark, were abducted three months ago by a group of Somali bandits while working for the aid organization, Danish Refugee Council's Danish Demining Group.
The two were rescued in a dangerous mission ordered Monday by President Obama after the government received information that Buchanan's medical condition was possibly "life-threatening" and a "window of opportunity for mission success" presented itself, according to Pentagon spokesperson George Little. Little did not describe Buchanan's medical condition. Nine "heavily-armed" Somalis were killed in the operation that involved special operations forces from various military services, Little said. According to another U.S. official, members of the famed U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six participated in the ground operations of the Operation "Octave Fushion" rescue.
Shortly after the end of his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama called Buchanan's father to tell him about the rescue mission "and told him that all Americans have Jessica in our thoughts and prayers, and give thanks that she will soon be reunited with her family," according to a statement from the White House.
"The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice. This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people," he added.
READ: Who Are the Members of SEAL Team Six?
Obama made no mention of the successful raid during his State of the Union speech, although keen observers noted an interesting exchange with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as he entered the House Chamber. Obama pointed to Panetta and said, "Leon. Good job tonight. Good job tonight."
According to Little, by the time the President gave Panetta that greeting the two hostages had been secured by the SEALs, but the mission was still ongoing as the freed hostages were still being flown to safety at Camp Lemonier, the U.S. military base in neighboring Djibouti. Prior to heading to Capitol Hill to attend the President's speech, Panetta and other national security officials had been at the White House monitoring the rescue mission as it unfolded.
A U.S. official said the mission began around 2 a.m. local time as a team of Navy commandos from the famed SEAL Team Six parachuted into the area near the desert encampment where the two aid workers were being held. U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that the raid took place in the vicinity of Gadaado in north central Somalia.
As the special operations team approached the camp, the official said "shots were fired" that did not result in any U.S. casualties. Little said that all nine heavily armed Somalia captors were killed in the firefight and said they "had explosives at the site."
He added that there were "very concrete plans for removing the kidnappers and putting them in detention," but fellow Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby said "that opportunity didn't present itself."
After freeing Buchanan and Thisted, the military team and the aid workers left the area by helicopter and were taken to Camp Lemonier.
The overall mission involved participants from various services that Little and Kirby declined to identify, but a U. S. official said that Navy SEALS conducted the rescue mission on the ground and that they were from SEAL Team Six -- the same team that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011, though not necessarily the same individuals that participated in that raid.
READ: Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda Mastermind, Killed in Pakistan
Few aid groups continue to operate inside Somalia because of the risks involved in conducting relief operations in one of the world most dangerous countries. The country has been ravaged by conflict for the past decade and an Islamic militant extremist group known as al-Shabaab has been a focus of U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the country.
U.S. officials said that the Somalis who kidnapped Buchanan and Thisted were organized criminals and not members of al-Shabaab. The officials say the bandits were also not believed to have ties to the pirates who operate in the waters off of East Africa prowling for commercial ships to hold for ransom, making the waters off Somalia some of the most dangerous in the world.
Buchanan joined DDG as a trainee in May 2010 and by January 2011 had become an education adviser for the group.
Andreas Camm, a spokesman for the Danish Refugee Council, told ABC News that Buchanan "has been very strong during this crisis when we have received proof of life."
"Our impression has been she has done very, very well and been a very, very strong person. And we were happy every time we heard of that," she said.
As for what kind of ransom the Somalis wanted from his group, Camm said, "We have told them, of course, that a humanitarian organization cannot pay." http://news.yahoo.com/nav...165500885--abc-news.html
Jan 30 12 10:21 PM
NEW YORK - Jessica Buchanan, rescued by U.S. special forces in Somalia after three months in captivity, is due to arrive home in Pennsylvania on Monday, her father told ABC World News.
John Buchanan said he was looking forward to "a great reunion" with his daughter Jessica, 32, a humanitarian aid worker who was kidnapped on October 25 in the town of Galkayo in the semi-autonomous Galmudug region.
Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted of Denmark, who was rescued with her during the daring Navy SEAL mission, were flown last week to an American naval installation in Italy.
"We're doing well as a family, and Jessica, we have not seen her yet -- so today's the big day," John Buchanan said in an interview with news anchor Diane Sawyer, according to ABC News. "We're all extremely excited about that. Obviously, I mean I can't really express it in words what it's going to be like to see her."
He also told the television network that he had received reports that "she's doing very well."
"She's physically on the mend and psychologically she's just done great and she's in a good frame of mind," he said in the interview.
Navy SEAL's drawn from the same unit that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year parachuted into Somalia under the cover of darkness, killing the kidnappers and freeing the hostages.
The raiding party arrived prepared to detain the kidnappers but was not able to do that and all nine were killed, Pentagon officials have said. None of the U.S. forces was hurt.
President Barack Obama ordered the rescue operation, which also involved other U.S. forces, after intelligence emerged about the deteriorating health of Buchanan and the location of the hostages in Somalia.
John Buchanan thanked Obama and credited the FBI for its work to free his daughter, according to ABC News.
As for the Navy Seals, John Buchanan said: "We just can't thank them enough for risking their lives."http://news.yahoo.com/fre...n-arriving-pennsylvania-
Oct 16 13 1:46 AM
A Somali pirate who was arrested this weekend by Belgian police could be tried in Denmark for his role in the hijacking of a Danish ship.
Mohamed Abdi Hassan – also known as Afweyne or 'Big Mouth’ – was lured to Belgium with the promise of appearing in a documentary about his life as a pirate but was detained by police when he landed in Brussels.
Hassan and fellow pirate Mohammed Tiiceey – who was also apprehended in Brussels – will be charged for their role in the 2009 hijacking of a Belgian ship.
Hijacked a Danish shipHassan is also responsible for the 2007 hijacking of the Danish ship Danica White, which was released after 83 days for a ransom of four million kroner.
“Afweyne is responsible for a lot of kidnappings as founder and leader of the group Somali Marines, a piracy group,” Hans Tino Hansen, the head of the intelligence firm Risk Intelligence, told Ritzau.
“Seen through Danish eyes, what’s most interesting is the connection to Danica White,” he said, adding that Afweyne probably shared a cut of the ransom.
READ MORE: Danish hostages freed after more than two years in captivity
Danish trialBirgit Feldman, an expert in maritime law and a researcher in piracy at the University of Southern Denmark, told Ritzau that the pirates could be tried in a Danish court.
“The Belgians have arrested him because they want to try him. But regardless of Belgian law, Denmark will be able to try the pirate if there is sufficient evidence,” Feldman said. “The pirate doesn’t even need to have been onboard the Danica White. It is sufficient if it can be proven that he arranged and planned the hijacking.”
According to Ritzau, no-one has been tried or held responsible for any of the hijackings that resulted in 15 Danes being held hostage by Somali pirates since 2007.
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