Saturday February 4, 2023
His normal life of being a journalist was taken away from him for almost 977 days.
Featured Image Credit: ABC7 Chicago
The man who was kidnapped by Somali pirates for over two years says his £1.3 million ransom was a 'filthy compromise'.
Michael Scott Moore has opened up on the horrifying experience of being held captive by Somali pirates.
After arriving in Somalia in 2012 to write a book about Somali pirates, the writer was dropping off a colleague at a small airport where he encountered trouble.
On his way travelling back into town, his vehicle was suddenly surrounded by a truck of armed men.
Michael Scott Moore was held captive for 977 days. Credit: Jordan Harbinger
"The 12-or-so gunmen on the back came off the flatbed and around to my side of the car and pulled me out," he told NPR.
"They bloodied me, they broke my glasses, they broke my wrist, and they piled me into another waiting SUV and drove me off to the Somali bush."
'You have made a mistake', Moore recalls one of the pirates saying.
"He said, 'Mistakes are human'. And it was an insulting thing to say, because there he was in a position to make something off my ransom, and he's telling me that I made some sort of a mistake as if I had made a wrong move within Somalia, as if I'd done something to cross the gang.
"He was trying to make me feel guilty.
"But of course that echoed in my mind for the rest of my time, 'cause I made a very big mistake, you know?
"I not only went to Somalia — I got captured. And that weighed on me for the entire 2 1/2 years, obviously."
Moore was moved around different locations in Somalia and was held for some time on a ship with other hostages.
He witnessed horrific sights, such as the one of another hostage who was hanged upside down from a tree branch while a man beat him on the chest and feet with a bamboo cane.
After over two years, the journalist was able to get his mother involved in the negotiations as the kidnappers wanted a whopping $20 million (£16.6 million) for his freedom.
Somehow, his mother managed to talk them down to $1.6 million (£1.3 million), the former prisoner said.
He was freed in 2014 and a man name Mohamed Tahlil Mohamed, 38, was charged with kidnapping, hostage taking, conspiracy and other counts.
Moore admits that he still thinks about his time in captivity and said: "I mean, I don't dwell on it, but it's important not to just stuff it away.
"I think it's important to make sure that you realize it's still part of your life. While I was in Somalia, I thought of my life in Berlin and California, which is where I live now, as a totally different planet, you know.
"And now it's easy to think of Somalia as a different planet. But it's not, you know? So you have to live with both."