WONDERFUL NEWS! WHAT A GIFT ON THIS HOLIDAY! I guess it wasn't really an FBI crime scene, eh?
American captain rescued, pirates killed, U.S. official says CNN hat tip Rut
-- The captain of the Maersk Alabama was freed Sunday after being held captive since Wednesday by pirates off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation told CNN.
The official said Capt. Richard Phillips is uninjured and in good condition, and that three of the four pirates were killed. The fourth pirate is in custody. Phillips was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, a nearby naval warship.
Earlier Sunday afternoon Maersk Line Limited, owner of the Maersk Alabama, said the U.S. Navy informed the company that it had sighted Phillips in a lifeboat where pirates are holding him.
Phillips was spotted another time earlier in the day, the Navy said.
A man who answered the door at Phillips' home in Underhill, Vermont, told CNN's Stephanie Elam that the family has known the news for hours. He said details would have to come from Virginia, apparently referring to the home base of Maersk Line Limited, based in Norfolk, which owns the ship.
On Saturday, the FBI launched a criminal investigation into the hijacking of the U.S.-flagged cargo ship by Somali pirates, two law enforcement officials told CNN. The probe will be led by the FBI's New York field office, which is responsible for looking into cases involving U.S. citizens in the African region, the officials said.
The Maersk Alabama reached port in Mombasa, Kenya, on Saturday. Crew members aboard the freed cargo ship described how some of their colleagues attempted to "jump" their pirate captors.
A scuffle ensued and one of the sailors stabbed a pirate in the hand in the battle to retake the container ship, one of the sailors told CNN.
More here: FBI "talks breakdown":
A government official and others in Somali with knowledge of the situation had reported hours earlier that negotiations for Phillips' release had broken down.
Talks began Thursday with the captain of the USS Bainbridge talking to the pirates under instruction from FBI hostage negotiators on board the U.S. destroyer.
U.S. warships and helicopters stalked the lifeboat holding Phillips and his four Somali captors Sunday, while his crew briefed FBI agents about how they fought off the pirates who boarded their ship, the Maersk Alabama.
Dialogue broke down? That's Obama's entire foreign policy strategy!
UPDATE: The Navy seals took out the three pirates simultaneously when it became clear that the Captain's life was in imminent danger. The Navy had the authority to take action should the Captain's life be in imminent danger.
The Department of Defense asked Obama twice if he would give the OK if the Captain's life was in danger.