Teenage Piracy Scapegoat Arrives In New York City

04.21.09 Will Sherman

somaliteen460Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse was all smiles as federal agents paraded him into New York City this morning, but that show of happiness didn’t last long. Muse, the only survivor among the group of teenage Somali pirates that held Captain Richard Philips hostage, is facing charges that could put him in prison for life. The teenage pirate’s mother appealed President Obama to release her son saying, “He has got nothing to do with the pirates’ crime…he is a minor. He is under age and he has been used for this crime.” But in court today a judge determined that Muse was an adult, old enough to stand trial without additional clearances, after his father testified his age over the phone.

Before the courtroom was closed, Muse was asked if he understood that two lawyers were being assigned to his case because he reported having no financial resources.

Through an interpreter, Muse replied, “I understand. I don’t have any money.”

He then cried when his lawyers mentioned contacting his family in Somalia.

On May 21st, when Muse returns to court he will be the first person to face piracy charges in more than 100 years. |NYP|

Photograph by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images