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Press Release

Statement of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams On The Convictions Of Mohamed Tahlil Mohamed And Abdi Yusuf Hassan

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

"For 977 days, Michael Scott Moore, an American journalist, was held hostage in Somalia by pirates.  Today, a unanimous jury found two key players in Moore's years-long captivity guilty on all counts: Mohamed Tahlil Mohamed and Abdi Yusuf Hassan.  Tahlil, a Somali Army officer, left his post to take command of the pirates holding Moore captive and obtained the machineguns and grenade launchers used to threaten and hold Moore.  Hassan, the Minister of Interior and Security for the province in Somalia where Moore was held hostage, abused his government position and led the pirates' efforts to extort a massive ransom from Moore's mother.  Today's guilty verdicts show that neither time nor distance can weaken our resolve to hold those who dare to take Americans hostage overseas fully accountable for their crimes, and to see justice done for the victims of such brutal and brazen attacks against Americans."


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated February 24, 2023

National Security
Press Release Number: 23-076