NPR logo Pentagon Says It Failed In Rescue Of American Hostage Last Month

America

Pentagon Says It Failed In Rescue Of American Hostage Last Month

Luke Somers, 33, an American photojournalist who was kidnapped over a year ago by al-Qaida, poses for a picture during a parade marking the second anniversary of the revolution in Sanaa, Yemen. Hani Mohammed/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Hani Mohammed/AP

Luke Somers, 33, an American photojournalist who was kidnapped over a year ago by al-Qaida, poses for a picture during a parade marking the second anniversary of the revolution in Sanaa, Yemen.

Hani Mohammed/AP

The Pentagon says it launched a mission in Yemen last month to snatch hostages from al-Qaida-affiliated captors, but that they failed to rescue British-born American Luke Somers among others because they "were not present at the targeted location."

In a written statement released today, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the operation involved ground and air components and was conducted in cooperation with the Yemeni military. It said details of the operation remain classified.

"We are only acknowledging the fact of the operation now to provide accurate information given that it is being widely reported in the public domain," Kirby said in the statement.

Earlier today, we reported on the emergence of a video purportedly showing Somers, a 33-year-old journalist who was allegedly kidnapped last year in Sanaa. In it, a member of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, warns the U.S. to end drone strikes in Yemen and airstrikes elsewhere in the Muslim world within three days or "the American hostage will meet his inevitable fate."

Article continues after sponsorship

According to The Associated Press, "a Yemeni official said an American journalist and a Briton were moved before the raid."