Somali pirate given 12 life sentences for killing US tourists

Mohammad Saaili Shibin, who served as a hostage negotiator between the U.S. Navy and a band of Somali pirates who hijacked the American-flagged S/V Quest, was convicted of 15 counts of kidnapping, piracy and hostage-taking earlier this year, according to reports by The Associated Press. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Three more Somali nationals accused of killing Scott and Jean Adam, Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle face the death penalty for their role in the hijacking, according to the AP.

Last February, naval warships attached to U.S. Fifth Fleet headquartered in Bahrain responded to reports the S/V Quest had been overrun by pirates in the Arabian Sea near Oman. The Adams had been in the middle of a trip to sail around the world when their yacht was attacked. 

Vice Adm. Mark Fox, then Fifth Fleet commander, sent the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the cruiser USS Leyte Gulf and two destroyers — the USS Sterett and Buckley.

Shibin and another pirate boarded the Sterett and began negotiating for the Americans' release with Navy officials. But during those negotiations, one of the pirates aboard the Quest fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the American destroyer. 

Shibin and his accomplice were taken into U.S. custody and a quick-reaction team made up of Navy SEALs was deployed from the Sterett and boarded the Quest after the rocket attack. 

Once aboard the Quest, team members raided the vessel, killing four pirates and taking the remaining 15 aboard the yacht into custody, Fox told reporters at the time. 

During a search of the vessel, the team discovered the bodies of the four Americans in the lower decks of the Quest. The pirates had shot each individual multiple times, just as the SEAL team was approaching the yacht from the Sterett, according to Fox.