Mohammad Saaili Shibin used the Internet to find out everything he needed to know about what it would take to hijack the yacht Quest and what kind of money it could command in ransom. Shibin even had an auto-alert system set up on his phone to send him interesting pirate-themed news in real time to share with his fellow Somali scallywags.
Those details and more are contained in new court filings in the case against Shibin, who is said to have served as a translator during the February hijacking that ended with the deaths of four hostages, two of whom were from Seattle.
The court documents say that Shibin spilled the beans on his pre-pirate life and the hijacking in question, despite having no lawyer present.
Shibin, who speaks Somali, English, Arabic, and Italian, had worked as a translator for African Oil Corp. until he was laid off a year and a half prior to the Quest hijacking.
After losing his job, he told investigators that a friend pitched him the idea of translating for a pirate crew.
Shibin stated that his friends explained that you could make money by negotiating and not be considered a criminal.
Once employed by the pirates, Shibin apparently found quick success with the hijacking of a different ship--securing "several million dollars" in exchange for the German vessel Marida Marguerite in December 2010.
Soon after that he had put his tech skills to work for the pirates.
Shibin also noted that the had an "auto-alert" feature that sent messages about highjackings [sic] in and around Somalia directly to his phone.
Some of the search terms, Shibin supposedly favored were: "Jean and Scott Adams telephone number," "address of hijacked S/V Quest owner," "jean and scott adams profile," and "Hijacked S/V Quest value."
Shibin, who had supposedly flapped his jaw with abandon, despite signing documents that said he was entitled to an attorney present and didn't have to say anything, is now fighting to get much of his confession thrown out.
But judging by his John Hancock on Miranda-rights documents, U.S. prosecutors should be able to laugh at that request.