A German-American journalist who was abducted more than two years ago while in Somalia researching a book about piracy was freed by his captors on Tuesday, German officials said.
A Somali pirate commander told The Associated Press that the journalist had been released after a ransom was paid. Germany’s foreign ministry confirmed that a “German citizen who also had U.S. citizenship, who was kidnapped in Somalia, was set free today,” but would not give further details.
The policy of paying ransoms has been a contentious one, with most European nations at odds with Britain and the United States, which refuse to pay.
The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel identified the journalist as Michael Scott Moore, 45, who had worked for the magazine’s English-language edition, Spiegel International, before his abduction. It said that Mr. Moore had been flown to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, where he was to undergo a medical and psychological examination before being reunited with his family.
Mr. Moore’s latest book, “Sweetness and Blood,” was published in 2010 and documented how surfing spread around the world from the United States’ Pacific coast. He traveled to Somalia in January 2012 for another book project, this one on piracy, which at the time plagued the waters off the coast of East Africa.
Bile Hussein, a pirate commander in the coastal town of Hobyo, Somalia, told The A.P. that Mr. Moore’s captors had kept him on the move to avoid detection, but that they had reached a deal with negotiators for his release after the ransom was paid.