Pirates abducted an American journalist and acclaimed surfing writer in central Somalia on Saturday and are holding him for ransom. The writer was kidnapped by armed men in Land Cruisers near the city of Galmadug, where he was researching a book on piracy. Initial reports that local elders had negotiated his release have been retracted. The Sa'ad clan has claimed responsibility and accused the man of spying and studying their activities in the Mudug region. Kidnappings are frequent in Somalia, considered one of the most dangerous countries for journalists to work in.