• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Somali Pirates Kill Four Americans

CNN BREAKING:  Four U.S. citizens on a yacht hijacked by Somali pirates last week are dead, a U.S. defense official says.

MSNBC (“Four American hostages killed by pirates“):

Four Americans captured by Somali pirates while sailing in the Indian Ocean have been shot and killed, NBC News reported Tuesday.

The two couples, Phyllis Macay, 59, and Robert Riggle, 67, of Seattle, and the yacht’s owners Jean and Scott Adam of California were on an around-the-world sailing trip when they were captured by pirates Friday.

Military officials told NBC News that about 1 a.m. ET shots were heard aboard the yacht. Negotigations had been under way with the pirates at the time.

The officials said U.S. military personnel boarded the yacht and discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors.

The officials added that two pirates were killed and 13 others captured after a brief gun battle.

BBC (“Hijacked Americans ‘killed by captors’ off Somalia“):

Four American sailors hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Oman have been killed, US defence officials say.

The US military said its forces trailing the vessel had responded to gunfire heard aboard but found all the captives shot when they arrived.

The yacht S/V Quest, hijacked on Friday, was owned and sailed by Scott and Jean Adam of California.

Also killed were two US passengers, Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle.

In a statement, US Central Command said that negotiations were underway between the US Navy and the pirates, when the US forces heard gunfire coming from the Quest about 0600GMT.

They boarded the ship, killing two pirates in the process, and discovered the four Americans shot. The US Navy sailors attempted to provide first aid but the hostages died, the military said.

“As they responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors,” Gen James Mattis of US Central Command Commander said in a statement.

“We express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives callously lost aboard the Quest,” the statement added.

The US Navy captured 13 pirates, and found the remains of two other pirates already dead about the vessel, the US military said.

This will step up pressure on the U.S. government to do more to combat this scourge. It’s not at all clear, however, that much more can be done.

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Telling people sailing alone to stay the heck away from Somalia would be a start

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Loviatar says:

    But Doug, Somalia is the Libertarian Holy Land, where would all the wingnuts go for vacation and to see their ideology in action. It would be like telling Jews and Christians to stay away from the middle east because of an ongoing war, wait…… ahh forget about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “It’s not at all clear, however, that much more can be done.”

    Funny, Thomas Jefferson seemed to have an answer to the question of what could be done about pirates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. michael reynolds says:

    I wouldn’t cite Jefferson. The reality is rather more complicated than the myth.

    I’m with Doug. Too bad this happened, condolences obviously, but it would be really great if people would stop doing stupid things and needing the Coast Guard, various emergency services, ski patrols or in this case the Navy to bail them out.

    These rocket scientists are reported to have been handing out Bibles in various heathen lands as they traveled the globe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    PTM,

    You’re right. We should do just what Jefferson did and send warships to the area to patrol the waters, and we should send military force to combat the government that is approving all these pirate raids.

    Of course we’ve already sent warships to the area (unless you missed that whole Marines and Navy negotiating with the pirates, then storming the ship thing).

    But that still leaves pressuring the central government of the sponsoring nation.

    So we’ll just contact Somalia’s central government. Right?

    It’s not like its a country without a government or anything, and hence no means to control what happens in its water lanes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. michael reynolds says:

    BTW I think this is their website: http://www.svquest.com/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. michael reynolds says:

    You’ll note from their website that these people really were idiots. They didn’t accidentally drift into this, their sailing plan was Oman, Djibouti, then up the Red Sea and through the canal.

    Unbelievable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    OK, you don’t like the Thomas Jefferson example, then how about Gerald Ford? When the Mayaguez was seized on the open seas in 1975, Ford declared it an act of piracy and demanded it’s immediate release. He told the Khmer Rouge that they had 48 hrs. to release it or we would come and get it. They ignored him and so we went and got it and the crew, killing several Khmer Rouge in the process.

    There was a time in this country when the world was afraid to piss us off. Now they either ignore us or laugh at us. I think it’s time we get back to kicking butt again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. michael reynolds says:

    Patrick:

    Jesus H.

    The Mayaguez? That’s your example? Spare me doing the recap and just go read about it yourself: it was a fiasco.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. hmm says:

    sounds like a fairly typical outcome one may encounter whilst dealings with these feral beasts

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. michael reynolds says:

    By the way, that’s not even getting into the idiocy of talking about “a time in this country when the world was afraid to piss us off.”

    The Mayaguez happened right after we got our asses kicked in Vietnam and were still busily getting out of the neighborhood. The hijacking was done by the Khmer Rouge, the communist thugs who took over Cambodia after we dragged Cambodia into our losing war.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. PJ says:

    @Patrick T. McGuire:
    “When the Mayaguez was seized on the open seas in 1975, Ford declared it an act of piracy and demanded it’s immediate release. He told the Khmer Rouge that they had 48 hrs. to release it or we would come and get it. They ignored him and so we went and got it and the crew, killing several Khmer Rouge in the process.”

    So:

    “When the s/v Quest was seized on the open seas in 2011, Obama declared it an act of piracy and demanded it’s immediate release. He told the ???????? that they had 48 hrs. to release it or we would come and get it. They ignored him and so we went and got it and the crew, killing several ?????? in the process.”

    (Disregarding the fact that the crew is dead.)
    What exactly would you replace the ???????? with? Who should Obama threaten and who should be killed if the threats are ignored?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. MM says:

    So McGuire thinks that by having ships in the area and demanding a release of the hostages, then shooting the pirates, Obama is slacking because what he should have done is had ships in the area, demanded the hostages be released and then shot the pirates.

    Clearly different.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “So McGuire thinks that by having ships in the area and demanding a release of the hostages, then shooting the pirates, Obama is slacking because what he should have done is had ships in the area, demanded the hostages be released and then shot the pirates.”

    I think no such thing. Never said it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Gustopher says:

    This is one time I am willing to blame the victims. People yachting into pirate infested waters should not set our national security priorities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. sam says:

    Perhaps is time to issue letters of marque and send WWII-style merchant raiders into those waters (The Atlantis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. sam says:
  18. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    @Sam,

    There is nothing in your post which contradicts my statement. If anything, it supports it.
    Thank you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Neil Hudelson says:

    Translated Patrick:

    Gerald Ford got our troops killed for no reason, and Obama needs to do the same.

    Isn’t it the right that’s supposed to support the troops? I don’t understand why Patrick is calling for our troops to be killed for no reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. jwest says:

    As a strong believer in diplomacy and proportional response, I would suggest only targeting the top three Somali coastal population centers for destruction.

    By showing restraint, I believe the surviving Somalis could be bargained with to help prevent fewer instances of piracy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Neil Hudelson says:

    Shorter jwest:

    Genocide is always the answer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. sam says:

    @Mcquire

    “There is nothing in your post which contradicts my statement.”

    Only the part about freeing the (already-freed) crew.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. sam says:

    BTW, guys, I’m deadly serious about the letters of marque and the merchant raiders. If the pirates cannot be sure that the ship they’re targeting won’t open up on them with some real high-caliber nastiness, this might act as a deterrent. Five or six of those raiders sailing around the Indian Ocean might do the trick. I’d pay a bounty on each pirate killed and ship sunk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. overit4 says:

    Here's the deal, If people want to hand out bibles, sail the seas, watch the sun set, hold hands, Whatever, they should never be in fear of pirates. They should have had a cache of weapons and been trained in their use, Kill the intruders, sailing resumed… NEXT !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Inubitably says:

    these vile and primitive, savage and malignant cockroaches ought to be eradicated swiftly and mercilessly … lest this shall come to be remembered as the time that civilization had lost all that remained of its once proud, stout, up-right backbone … an evoultoinary dead-end is what we are dealing with here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Inubitably says:

    evolutionarily speaking, that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. [...] you imagine this man as C-in-C? What would he have to say to those Somali pirates who executed four Americans [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0