WASHINGTON - Three Somali men pleaded guilty on Friday in a US court for their roles in pirating a yacht off the Somalia coast earlier this year that led to the death of two American couples they took hostage.
The men were the first of 13 Somalis and one Yemeni brought to the United States to face prosecution for the incident, though none were charged with murder. The four Americans were killed as the US military tried to negotiate their release.
Mohamud Salad Ali, Mohamud Hirs Issa Ali and Ali Abdi Mohamed all pleaded guilty in a federal court in Norfolk, Virginia, to acts of piracy and hostage taking involving the S/V Quest in February.
They said in their plea agreements that they played no direct role in the death of the Americans, Jean and Scott Adam of California and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle from Seattle.