The Pentagon acknowledged yesterday that it failed to rescue American journalist and hostage Luke Somers in Yemen because he was not present at the targeted location.
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a written statement that the U.S. government acknowledged the attempted rescue. Somers is the only American of the dozen hostages held by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Kirby said he wanted to “provide accurate information given that it is being widely reported in the public domain.”
A Yemini official confirmed that an American journalist along with a Briton were moved before the U.S. raid. Other hostages were rescued during the raid.
Late Wednesday night, AQAP released a video Somers who tells the camera that he had been kidnapped over a year ago in Sanaa, Yemen. He goes on to say “I’m looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I am certain that my life is in danger. So, as I sit here now, I ask, if anything can be done, please let it be done. Thank you very much,” Somers says in the video.
The Washington Post reports that the AQAP has threatened to kill Somers on account of the botched raid. “We warn Obama and the American government of the consequences of proceeding ahead in any other foolish action,” the al-Qaeda official said in the video.
The internet has made journalists of little use to terrorists. Previously, journalists were necessary to help convey information to the public about terrorist causes, but now it’s easy to release videos on You Tube or post manifestos on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, well-meaning journalists who travel to dangerous locations to report stories are also possible trophies for terrorists who love to capture Americans to show the world.