5 Somali Pirates Face New Charges for 2010 USS Ashland Attack
Five alleged Somali pirates are facing charges after a federal appeals court ruled that an armed attack on a U.S. vessel can be considered piracy even if no one boards or robs the ship.
The charges had initially been dismissed because the men pleaded innocent saying they were transporting refugees when they came upon the USS Ashland [pictured in thumb image] in the Gulf of Aden in 2010.
Yesterday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment with the new charges – adding allegations that three of the defendants also went to sea to capture another vessel but were intercepted by the Royal Navy.
If convicted, they face a mandatory life sentence.