The sole surviving Somali pirate from the hostage-taking of an American ship captain arrived to face trial in New York, smiling for reporters.
Abduhl Wali-i-Musi was handcuffed and had a chain wrapped around his waist. His left hand was heavily bandaged from a wound he suffered during the skirmish on the ship two weeks ago.
Wali-i-Musi is the first person to be tried in the United States on piracy charges in more than a century.
A law enforcement official familiar with the case said Wali-i-Musi was being charged under two obscure federal laws that deal with piracy and hostage-taking. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges had not been announced. Wali-i-Musi will face a court hearing today.
Meantime, Wali-i-Musi's mother appealed to President Obama to release him. Adar Abdirahman Hassan said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press that her son is 16 and was coaxed into piracy by "gangsters with money."
U.S. officials say he is at least 18.