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Captured Somali Pirate to Be Tried in New York

The surviving member of a band of Somali pirates who hijacked the Maersk Alabama and then held its captain hostage is being brought to New York for prosecution, FOX News has learned.

A Department of Justice official said that timing is unknown on when the suspect will be brought to the U.S. District Court in New York, and no announcements are expected tomorrow.

The pirate is "still in the middle of the Indian Ocean somewhere," one official told FOX News.

An official told FOX News that documents have already been filed and are awaiting his arrival in New York.

The suspect, identified as Abduhl Wal-i-Musi, was taken aboard a U.S. Navy ship shortly before Navy SEAL snipers killed the three remaining pirates holding Capt. Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat launched from the Maersk Alabama.

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Officials at the FBI office in New York did not immediately comment.

The government had been weighing whether to bring the suspect to trial in the United States or hand him over to authorities in Kenya, which has an international agreement to prosecute pirates.

Since the hostage standoff on the high seas ended Sunday, U.S. authorities have been examining details of the case, particularly Wal-i-Musi's age.

Initially, he was thought to be between 16 years and 20 years of age, but Defense Secretary Robert Gates later said all four of the pirates involved were between ages 17 and 19.

If he is under 18, federal prosecutors must take a number of additional steps to justify charging him in federal court.

Though no charges have been publicly filed yet, the suspect could face charges that carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

FOX News' Mike Levine and The Associated Press contributed to this report.