Being in U.S. Pirate's “Dream Come True,” Says Sailor

A West Hartford man and crew member of a U.S. ship attacked by Somali pirates said the sole surviving pirate from the group counted himself lucky to have raided an American vessel and carried himself as the pirates' leader.

Maersk Alabama crew member ATM "Zahid" Reza stabbed the sole surviving pirate, Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse, and guarded him for hours as the struggle ensued off the east coast of Africa.

"He told me then when I was with him that it was his dream to come to the U.S.A.," Reza said.

Muse appeared in Federal Court in New York City Tuesday.

Reza said he was steering the Maersk Alabama when it was attacked April 8.

"When I first saw him, he carried himself as the leader. He was asking for directions, how to start (the) engine, and asking for all the crew," Reza recalled of Muse.

Reza, who immigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh in 1999, said Muse was friendly and smiling at first. But Muse eventually lost his patience as other pirates failed to arrive.

Reza and his shipmates lured Muse into a darkened engine room, and during a noisy struggle there, Reza stabbed him in the hand with a knife.

After several hours, the pirate surrendered to seek medical aid aboard the USS Bainbridge for his hand.

"His dream's come true," Reza said, "but he comes to the U.S. not as a visitor, but as a prisoner."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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