Friday, January 27, 2012

American writer still held in Somalia; rescue for him?

By NBC News and staff

Lost in the coverage of the Navy SEAL rescue mission in Somalia is the fact that another American was kidnapped there?four days ago?and?is being held for ransom.

It?s also not clear?if President Obama?s vow on Tuesday?to protect U.S. citizens would extend to a rescue operation on his behalf.

Michael Scott Moore, an American writer?who started?his career tracking the surfing world and who was in Somalia to report about piracy, was kidnapped on Saturday.

In a statement released by the White House after the overnight rescue of American Jessica Buchanan and?Poul Hagen Thisted of Denmark, Obama on Wednesday vowed:?"The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice."

Asked Wednesday about Moore at a press briefing, a State Department spokeswoman said she had??no information but would get back to reporters.

"This is not a new problem, unfortunately, which is why we have to be vigilant and have to be prepared to do the kinds of operations like we saw last night,"?added Victoria Nuland.

????A man described as one of?Moore's captors told on Sunday that his group was working on how much to demand for his release.

"If they try or there is an attack by any Western people," he said, " the second plan will be to move on board the MV Albedo," a hijacked ship being used to hold other foreign hostages.

Moore had been reporting for the German magazine Der Spiegel when he was abducted on a road as he was heading to an airport. He was kidnapped in the same area as Buchanan but is being held by different captors, reported.

Moore holds dual U.S. and German citizenship. He?now lives in Berlin but grew up in?Southern California and started his writing career?covering the surfing world.

NBC News associate producer Catherine Chomiak contributed to this report.

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