Tags: Al-Qaida | War on Terrorism | al-Qaida | hostages | journalist | Yemen | SEALs

US Journalist Held by al-Qaida Was Target of SEAL Raid

By    |   Thursday, 27 November 2014 07:23 AM

A Navy SEAL raid into Yemen this week to rescue an American journalist held hostage by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula succeeded in liberating eight hostages, but not the U.S. captive who was one of the main targets of the mission. He had been moved to another location two days earlier, The New York Times reported.

The name of the journalist is being kept secret.

The raid was carried out based on intelligence from the Yemeni government, led by Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. News of the raid was disclosed on a Yemeni defense ministry website, which referred to counterterrorism forces but made no mention of any American involvement.

The raid was executed on Yemeni information that the terrorists had moved 11 captives to a cave not far from the border with Saudi Arabia. Of the eight rescued hostages six were Yemenis, the Times reported.

Hadi had asked for the help of the U.S. special forces. Freeing the hostages was partly intended to advance the status of the Yemeni leader, who has been working with the U.S. to counter homegrown Islamist extremism.

The elite SEAL Team 6 flew by helicopter to an area near the isolated, oil-rich region, which is swarming with gunmen belonging to the local al-Qaida affiliate. The commandos had to hike a short distance in the dark to the mountainside cave, where they took the militants holding the captives by surprise, killing seven of them.

In the Yemeni account, it was their forces who attacked the cave, according to the Times.

Yemen has 26 million people, half of them under 18 years old. The central government is struggling to control the country, which was the birthplace of Osama bin Laden's father.

Yemen's main oil pipeline to the Red Sea coast was blown up earlier this week, most likely by desert tribesmen who want Hadi's government to pay them protection money.

The government is struggling to promote a more lenient form of Islam. The country's culture minister, Arwa Othman,  has urged tolerance of the remnant Jewish community, many of whom have taken refuge in a compound which protects the U.S. Embassy in the capital city, Sanaa.

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A Navy SEAL raid into Yemen this week to rescue an American journalist held hostage by al-Qaida succeeded in liberating eight hostages, but not the journalist, who had been moved two days earlier, The New York Times reports.
al-Qaida, hostages, journalist, Yemen, SEALs
358
2014-23-27
Thursday, 27 November 2014 07:23 AM
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