A German-American journalist released after more than 2 ½ years by pirates in Somalia says he is safe though "not healthy" and needs time to recover before speaking about his ordeal.

German magazine Der Spiegel, for which Michael Scott Moore had freelanced in the past, responded to requests for comment with a short statement Thursday from Moore in which he said that "the support from everyone has been terrific."

The statement said: "I'm not healthy but I am safe. It's an astonishing story but right now I have to recover my wits and spend time with family and friends. I hope journalists will respect that."

The 45-year-old Moore, a Redondo Beach, California native who holds both German and U.S. citizenship, was flown to Nairobi after being freed in Somalia Tuesday.