Somali pirates sentenced to life in prison for murder

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Ali Abdi Mohamed, a/k/a Basher, 30, and Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf, a/k/a Burhan or Famah, 31, both of Somalia, were sentenced Monday in a Norfolk, Va., federal court to life in prison for their roles in the pirate attack against the S/V Quest, which resulted in the murder of four United States citizens.

“Piracy is a scourge that threatens nations, commerce, and individual lives,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. “This is the first case where American lives have been lost due to Somali piracy, and as Somali pirates expand their territory, the risk of violence and harm to others continues to grow. Today’s sentences send a message to all those who participate in piracy that armed attacks on the high seas carry lifelong consequences.”

A copy of the official Department of Justice press release can be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.