FBI Negotiating with Pirates Over Captain

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The U.S. Navy was forced to turn to the help of FBI negotiators, Thursday, as officials continued to try and recover the captain of an American ship hijacked by Somali pirates.

With 18 armed guards on board, the Maersk Alabama was able to resume its sail towards the Kenyan port of Mombasa by nightfall, Thursday, but left the ship's leader, Capt. Richard Phillips, behind.

Somali Pirates hijacked the freighter early Wednesday off the coast of Somalia with 20 Americans aboard. The ship was headed to Kenya with relief supplies.

Phillips is being called a hero for offering himself as a hostage in exchange for his crew to go free. He's been in the pirates' custody since the hijacking.

The American crew managed to seize one of four pirates to try and negotiate the captain's release, but the pirates refused.

Click play to watch CBN News Reporter Efrem Graham's coverage from Maersk headquarters in Portsmouth, Va., followed by analysis from CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko says the bureau is "fully engaged" with the military in getting the captain back to safety. The Navy says it's also considering using military force.

The Maersk Alabama is the sixth vessel seized by Somali pirates this week.

Thomas Ridenou, a licensed captain and former head of maritime operations for Blackwater, says ship hijackings have jumped 30 percent this year.

"The cure for piracy doesn't exist on the ocean. The cure for piracy exists on the beach," he said. "We know where the pirates are concentrated, but the last time we put people in Somalia it was not good."

Capt. Joseph Murphy, whose son is second-in-command on the hijacked ship, also warns that piracy is more advanced than people think and must be controlled.

"We can't defend against these types of situations effectively. And all that's happening is now is the level of violence is escalating... with every attack," he said. "This isn't a few guys in a little dugout. This is organized crime and it's gone from stealing some things off of the deck to now holding the ship, the crew and the cargo hostage."

Wednesday's event was the first pirate attack against a U.S. crew in modern history.

Although President Obama has not commented on the attack, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the administration is watching the situation "very closely."

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