Mohamed Farah, a 33-year-old Somali pirate, has been sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in an attack on a U.S. Navy ship. In 2010, Farah attempted to hijack the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden. Farah, along with seven other pirates, attempted to commandeer the U.S. Navy ship after mistaking it for a cargo vessel. After the attackers opened fire, crew members aboard the ship quickly destroyed the pirates’ boat, killing one attacker.
The survivors were captured and sent to Norfolk, Virginia, where they were tried for piracy and sentenced accordingly. The sentence for piracy has remained life imprisonment for over one hundred years.
The U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release on the incident.
“Four of Farah’s co-conspirators were previously sentenced for their roles in the attack: Jama Idle Ibrahim (15 years in prison), Mohamed Ali Said (33 years), Mohamed Abdi Jama (life plus 30 years) and Abdicasiis Cabaase (life plus 30 years),” the DOJ said. “These defendants had also previously gone to sea in February 2010 with the purpose of capturing another vessel for ransom, but were instead, intercepted by the HMS Chatham of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. The remaining pirate from the attack on the USS Ashland, Abdi Abshir Osman, was sentenced to life plus 10 years.”
Jason Dunn, Farah’s attorney, told The Associated Press that the sentence was “excessive but unavoidable.”