Home Norfolk Press Releases 2011 Two More Somalis Sentenced for Acts of Piracy

Two More Somalis Sentenced for Acts of Piracy
Pirate Attack Resulted in Murder of Four U.S. Citizens

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 04, 2011
  • Eastern District of Virginia (757) 441-6331

NORFOLK, VA—Mohamud Salad Ali, a/k/a Juguuf, 35 and Ahmed Sala Ali Burale, a/k/a “Ahmed Salah Ali,” a/k/a “Ahmed Hindi,” a/k/a “Ahmed Salah Ali Burle,” 22, both of Somalia were sentenced today in Norfolk federal court to life in prison for acts of piracy against the S/V Quest, which resulted in the murder of United States citizens Scott Underwood Adam, Jean Savage Adam, Phyllis Patricia Macay, and Robert Campbell Riggle. Ali previously pled guilty on May 20, 2011. He pled guilty to the piracy charge and to a criminal information charging hostage taking resulting in death. He received concurrent life sentences on both charges. Burale pled guilty on May 25, 2011 to piracy under the law of nations and received a life sentence.

Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office; Alex J. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and Mark Russ, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Norfolk, made the announcement after Omar and Mohamed were sentenced by United States District Judge Mark S. Davis.

“The boarding of the Quest by 19 armed and desperate men, unwilling to negotiate and intent on a ransom for the Quest and its crew set the stage for the violence and tragic murders that followed,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Mohamud Salad Ali led the pirate attack, and his refusal to release the four Americans—even with the opportunity to proceed to Somalia with the Quest—reveals the callous regard that Somali pirates have for their hostages and the threat they pose to any U.S. vessel on the high seas.”

“After nine days at sea searching for a ship to pirate, 19 heavily armed bandits stormed the American flagged Quest in a vain attempt to extort ransom,” said Assistant Director in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk. “The highjackers’ blatant disregard for life resulted in the brutal and senseless murder of all four Americans on board, who were attempting to sail the world. The only share Mohamud Ali will receive for orchestrating this shakedown is life behind bars.”

According to court documents, Mohamud Salad Ali acknowledged that he served as a leader of the piracy operation and warranted in his plea agreement that he played no role in the murder of the four United States citizens.

Burale admitted that he joined the group of pirates for the sole purpose of making money and that he had carried an AK-47 without a stock. He also admitted that when the shooting started, he rushed to try to stop it by grabbing a shooter’s rifle and pushing the barrel upward to immobilize the shooter. Burale warranted in his plea agreement that he did not personally shoot any of the four Americans, nor did he instruct any other person to shoot the hostages.

The investigation of the case is being conducted by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The case is being prosecuted by Eastern District of Virginia Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin L. Hatch, Joseph DePadilla and Brian J. Samuels, and Trial Attorney Paul Casey from the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

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