An alleged pirate used his mobile phone in Somalia to surf online for information about an American family that had been hijacked on their yacht and calculate what ransom to demand, according to US court papers.
Mohammad Saaili Shibin has been charged with piracy and kidnapping for his alleged part in the hijacking of four US citizens who were killed aboard their vessel, the Quest, in February this year.
Mr Shibin, considered the highest-ranking pirate suspect to be put on trial in the US, never boarded the Quest but is accused of setting a ransom for the release of the Quest's owners, Jean and Scott Adam, and friends Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay. All four of the hostages were killed when the US Navy attempted to negotiate their rescue. The FBI showed the suspect screen shots taken from internet searches on his phone for the value of the Quest and family contacts of those kidnapped. The suspect denied any role in the hijacking.