3 Somalian Pirates Could Face Death Penalty

By Allan Lengel

Three Somalian men charged with murdering four Americans aboard the Quest ship in February near Somalia, could face the death penalty if convicted in Virginia

Authorities on Friday announced a superseding indictment in Norfolk,  Va. Of the 26 counts, 22 are death penalty eligible.

“Today’s superseding indictment charges three men from Somalia with brutally murdering four American citizens held hostage for ransom,” U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said in a statement on Friday.

“This past March, the grand jury returned an indictment against these defendants, and others, with piracy in the armed hijacking of an U.S.-flagged yacht. The superseding indictment accuses these three men of summarily executing the hostages – without provocation – while the military was attempting to negotiate their release. With the additional charges, the defendants now potentially face a death sentence if convicted of these horrendous crimes, and the superseding indictment constitutes another important step in bringing to justice those accused of being directly responsible for the killing of innocent Americans.”

To date, 11 of the 14 defendants charged in the attack have pleaded guilty to mandatory life in prison.

Those charged in Friday’s superseding indictment include: Ahmed Muse Salad, aka Afmagalo, 25; Abukar Osman Beyle, 20; and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, 29,

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