American Journalist Kidnapped in Somalia Is Freed

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Kidnappers in central Somalia have freed an American-German journalist after holding him for over two years, weekly Der Spiegel and German officials said on Tuesday. "We can confirm that a German national, who also holds American citizenship and who was kidnapped in Somalia, has been freed today," a spokesperson for the Germany's foreign ministry told NBC News. In a statement, Spiegel added: "Michael Scott Moore is free after two-and-a-half years in the hands of Somali kidnappers. The journalist, who had also worked for Spiegel Online, is doing well considering the circumstances." Moore, 45, was kidnapped in early 2012 after traveling to Somalia to write about pirates, the magazine said.

Pirates and al-Shabab militants have helped make lawless Somalia a dangerous place for foreigners and locals alike. Al Shabaab, a group that wants to impose its own strict version of Islam in the country and is responsible for last year's attack on a mall in neighboring Kenya, has threatened to step up attacks since the killing of their leader, Ahmed Godane, in a U.S. strike earlier this month.


— Carlo Angerer and F. Brinley Bruton