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Somalia: Refugee Arrested Over Pirate Attack On Italian Oil Tanker

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Italian police have arrested a 24-year-old Somali asylum seeker on charges of being one of a gang of jihadist pirates who seized an Italian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf in 2011.

The tanker and its crew were held hostage for 10 months until a reported $11 million ransom was paid.

Mohammed Farah was caught by Carabinieri special force police officers after he applied for asylum as a refugee in the Sicilian town of Caltanissetta, police said.

Officers used fingerprint records to identify him as one of 50 alleged pirates who stormed the Savina Caylyn tanker on February 8, 2011, using rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

The ransom was reportedly paid to al-Shabaab, a Somali terrorist gang, after the crew of five Italians and 17 Indians were tortured and mistreated during their 10-month ordeal.

Police found fingerprints on the tanker after its release and determined they did not belong to any of the crew.