Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Fake News: Pirate (hearts) NY

April 23, 2009

NEW YORK (April 25) – Captured Somali pirate Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse arrived in New York earlier this week to face federal charges in connection with his role in the hijacking of an American container ship in the Indian Ocean.




Happy to be in New York

Happy to be in New York

Smiling broadly for photographers as he entered the huge federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan, Muse spoke in broken English describing events of recent weeks that have thrust him into the international spotlight. He is the sole survivor in a foursome of pirates who briefly captured the Maersk Alabama, then held its captain hostage for several days before Navy Seals freed him by killing Muse’s three cohorts.

“I so very happy to be here in New York,” Muse said in a brief statement. “This is greatest city in the world. I never dream that poor desert goatherd like me would make it here.”

Muse was charged by Judge Andrew Peck with five counts in Tuesday’s hearing, the most serious of which was “the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations.” Though his father, speaking by telephone from Somalia, said Muse was only 15 years old, the judge declared he was an adult and ordered him held without bail.

But before he headed off to jail, Muse planned to take in the sights of the city and capitalize on his new-found fame.

“I want to see Empire State Building and Times Square,” Muse said. “I want to go to ESPN Zone and Museum of Modern Art and Apple store. I very hungry and want to have apple.”

Authorities made the unusual move to honor Muse’s request for a brief period of freedom before he likely spends the rest of his life behind bars. New York police detective Frederick Gallaway said he agreed to allow Muse one day of what he called “shore leave” before his imprisonment.

“Just look at the smile on that little guy’s face,” Gallaway said. “He’s so absolutely thrilled to be here that we just couldn’t bring ourselves to say no.”

Muse did a round of souvenir shopping in the midtown area, where he at first had a bit of difficulty purchasing the requisite “I (Heart) New York” caps and t-shirts. Merchants were reluctant to accept the $100,000 bill he presented for payment, though most eventually gave the items away when they saw the throng of reporters accompanying Muse.

Before heading downtown, Muse stopped by the studios of “The Regis and Kelly Show” for one of several television interviews he said he had scheduled.

“Regis keep asking how I felt winning Boston Marathon,” Muse said. “I say, ‘no, no, I am Somali, not Kenyan,’ but he just laugh. He funny funny man.”

Muse then took a taxi to the financial district after a brief and accidental detour through the Lower East Side. Cab driver Hakim Akbar, also a Somali native, let Muse take the wheel for the final half of the drive and “he took to the sidewalks and curbs like a natural,” Akbar said. “It is in the blood of our people.”

Muse made a brief visit to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange while on Wall Street. He was surprisingly well-versed in trading operations despite having no formal education and little contact with the outside world while in east Africa.

“Our pirate union had set us up with the 401(k),” Muse said. “I thought I was well-diversified and taking conservative approach to long-term growth, but still lost money. I wanted to shake my fist and put the ancient camel curse on Morgan Stanley.”

Muse next wanted to take the Staten Island Ferry to get some pictures of the Statute of Liberty and Ellis Island, but that plan was scrubbed by security officials for obvious reasons.

“He’s a freakin’ pirate, for cryin’ out loud,” said ferry captain Emmet Anderson. “Jeez.”

Muse ended his one day of freedom with a trip to Queens to see the day-night doubleheader at brand-new Citi Field between the Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Mets took the first game 4-1 with a strong two-hit performance by Johan Santana, but the Pirates rebounded to squeeze out an 8-7 win in the nightcap.

“The Bucs, they look good,” Muse said before returning to federal custody. “But that Santana, whoa. He a horse.”