They were on year seven of a ten-year around-the-world voyage, passing out bibles from New Zealand to Alaska to Fiji and all points in-between. Their voyage came to a tragic end today as Somaili pirates shot and killed captives Jean and Scott Adam of Southern California and Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle of Seattle.
US forces had been trailing the captured m/v Quest when shots were heard on board this morning. A special forces team engaged in a brief firefight with the armed pirates then confirmed: all four hostages had been shot.
The incident is raising questions and demanding answers from governments around the world.The killing of the four Americans only puts a brighter spotlight on a growing problem as pirates become more violent and abusive to hostages. Previously, the bulk of damage done by Somali pirates has been financial. Holding ships for ransom as they attempted to pass through hostile waters, they currently hold 30 ships and more than 600 hostages. Historically fetching millions in ransom, the turn to killing raises questions.
Did the hostages try to fight back to the point that they posed a greater danger than they were worth in potential ransom? Were the killings retribution by pirates for the capturing of some of their own recently?
AOL Travel tells us “The U.S. Navy had been following the hijacked yacht with an FBI negotiating team on board. When shots were fired aboard the Quest, a Navy special ops team boarded the vessel and discovered the travelers had been murdered.”
We may never know the reason for the senseless deaths of the Americans simply traveling to share their beliefs with others. We do know that pirate activity has made waters around eastern Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian sea a deadly place to be. Diplomatic steps have failed. Peaceful nations continue to be outraged over events.
Over the weekend, President Obama was advised of the situation and authorized use of force against the pirates “in case of imminent threat” said White House Press Secretary Jim Carney.
The big question being asked worldwide over the ordeal: What happens next and what ends this?
Recent events suggest an increased effort to capture pirates may be key.
You’re watching Somali Pirates Captured by India to Face Trial. See the Web’s top videos on AOL Video