Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:31:13 -0500

Somalia: U.S. Citizen Kidnapped

Taken Question

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 26, 2011


Question: What is the status of the American kidnapped in Somalia? Have we confirmed citizenship? Are we in touch with the family? What are we doing to assist?

Answer:  The Department of State can confirm that a U.S. citizen has been kidnapped in northern Somalia. We remain concerned about the individual’s safety and well-being. We are working with contacts in Kenya and Somalia to ascertain further information and have been in contact with the individual’s family to provide all appropriate consular assistance.

The United States condemns kidnappings of any kind, and we call for the immediate release of all of the victims involved. Due to the privacy laws, we have no further information at this time.



Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:25:48 -0500

Taking Diplomatic Action Against Piracy

Fact Sheet

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 26, 2011


Piracy off the coast of Somalia is a crime of growing global concern. Piracy has significant and direct implications for every nation, from rising danger to seafarers to impacts on humanitarian aid deliveries and global commerce. To address this shared security challenge, the United States is actively pursuing a broad, coordinated, and comprehensive multilateral approach to combating piracy focused on security, prevention, and deterrence.

The United States is proud to be a founding partner in the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Established in January 2009 pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1851, the Contact Group is a voluntary ad hoc international forum of more than 70 countries, organizations, and industry groups with a common interest in bringing pirates, their financiers and facilitators, to justice.

Among its accomplishments to date, the Contact Group has:

  • Facilitated the operational coordination of an unprecedented international naval effort from more than 30 countries working together to protect transiting vessels.
  • Partnered with the shipping industry to improve and promote the full implementation of Best Management Practices that merchant ships and crews can take to avoid, deter, delay, and counter pirate attacks.
  • Worked to build the capacity of Somalia and other countries in the region to combat piracy, in particular by contributing to the UN Trust Fund Supporting Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia; and
  • Launched a new Working Group aimed at disrupting the pirate enterprise ashore, including its associated financial networks, through approaches similar to those used to address other types of organized transnational crime networks.

Posted by Alexander Martin in Maritime Security, Piracy

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  • Eagle1

    The Contact Group “accomplishments” read like things you shouldn’t put on your resume.

    Any prospective employer would ask,”Did you stop or slow down the piracy?”

    And the answer would be an uncomfortable silence. Followed by, “No, but, look at all the facilitation, coordination, capacity building (?) and launching of working groups we did.”

    State Department baloney in almost pure form.

    An honest list would include: “By dynamic inaction, created a situation in which piracy spread across the Indian Ocean, resulting in hundreds of mariner hostages and, finally, in desperation (and contrary to the BMP) the self-arming of merchant ships in an effort to avoid being hijacked by 6 poor and poorly armed Somalis in open boats on the high seas.”

  • Grandpa Bluewater

    While all too true, Eagle1, they don’t deserve all the credit. Shame enough to go around.

    Bottom line: The best defense remains a well directed fire from your own guns.

    I’m sure the kidnappers are losing sleep over DoS’s “condemnation”.

  • LT B

    When the administration is willing to back the military in actually curtailing piracy or come up with an actual plan, then maybe something might happen. Additionally, the military needs to sell the capabilities, and worthiness of fixing the problem. We act like weaklings. After Mogadishu, they should have gone in and crushed them. Instead, we cowered and turned a huge tactical victory into a strategic defeat. Being weak never helps this nation’s interests.