A Somali teenager captured by the US during the rescue of an American sea captain from pirates is due to appear in a federal court in New York.

Abde Wale Abdul Kadhir Muse will be the first person to face piracy charges in the US in over a century, US media reports say.

He was held over the seizure of Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips off Somalia and flown to the US on Monday.

Earlier, his mother appealed to US President Barack Obama to free him.

Adar Abdurahman Hassan told the BBC her son was innocent and just 16 years old.

In other developments:

• Somali pirates have freed a chemical tanker and its crew of 23 Filipinos after holding them for five months

• The Philippine government has banned its sailors from working on ships that might travel through the Gulf of Aden, where the Somali pirates operate

The teenager is accused of being a member of the pirate gang which boarded the Maersk Alabama container ship on 8 April and took Capt Phillips hostage in a lifeboat.

The stand-off ended on the fifth day when US Navy marksmen killed three of the pirates while Abde Wale Abdul Kadhir Muse was aboard a US warship allegedly demanding a ransom.

The teenage suspect arrived in the US late on Monday, under heavy guard.

On Monday his mother said she wanted to be present in court if the case went ahead.

She said her son had been missing for two weeks prior to the hijacking and she only realised he had been implicated when she heard his name in a radio report.


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