Pirates Free American Journalist

American journalist, Michael Moore, held captive for more than two years by Somali pirates, has been freed. Marlis Saunders, Moore’s mother, said “We are just elated. It took a lot of work for us to get to this point. And to hear he is free, just joyful, I can’t describe it.”

Ahmed Muse, the governor of Somalia’s Mudug region, said that local elders negotiated Moore’s release, adding that the journalist is “physically and mentally worn out.” Moore boarded a plane at an airport in Galkayo, in the north-central part of Somalia, Muse said.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Michel Todd, who was Moore’s web editor at Pacific Standard magazine. “It’s like seeing somebody come back from the dead. It’s a marvelous resurrection.” Todd said Moore was a weekly freelance columnist who wrote often about Somalia. He had

been researching Somali pirates.

“As a news organization, we wanted to write about his capture,” Todd said. “But we had been encouraged by the FBI and State Department not to write about it because this would hurt his cause. They said, if you really care about the guy, that is not a good idea, raising his profile

would make his release more difficult.”

Todd said Moore’s stories suggested that illegal European fishing was driving Somalis into piracy. Maria Streshinsky, editor of Pacific Standard, said, “We are thrilled, but it has been really far too long. It’s been such a worrisome situation. We are just elated. We may have a toast

and a beer in his honor. I hope he is healthy.”

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