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L.A. Writer Abducted by Pirates While Researching Book About Pirates

Photo of Michael Scott Moore via Twitter
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Michael Scott Moore, a writer from Manhattan Beach, was researching a book about pirates in Somalia when he was abducted by a group of 15 men by whom he's now being held hostage, reports the Huffington Post. The incident happened on Saturday, and according to the L.A. Times, the U.S. State Department says that they're worried about Moore's well-being. In a statement, the department said:

We are aware of news reports that a U.S. citizen has been kidnapped in northern Somalia and we are concerned about the individual's safety...We have been in contact with the individual's family and we are working with contacts in Kenya and Somalia to ascertain further information.

Moore was traveling in an SUV to the airport when his attackers descended on him. HuffPo reports that they beat his Somali associate, and the Times adds that the pirates think Moore is a spy.

Moore is in fact a local writer who's the author of two books about surfing -- "Sweetness And Blood" and "Too Much of Nothing" -- and has written for The Atlantic Monthly, Slate and the Los Angeles Times.

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His captors have refused to talk about releasing him until a ransom is paid.