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U.S. Navy SEALs team rescues workers from pirates in Somalia

U.S. special operations forces conducted a nighttime raid into
Somalia early Wednesday, rescuing two kidnapped humanitarian workers
and killing all nine of their captors, according to U.S. military
officials.


Dane Poul Hagen Thisted, left,
and American Jessica Buchanan,
who were rescued from Somali pirates by U.S. forces.
[size=1" color="#666666]Picture provided by Danish Refugee Council[/size]

“Last night’s mission, boldly conducted by some of our
nation’s most courageous, competent and committed special operations
forces, exemplifies United States Africa Command’s mission to protect
Americans and American interests in Africa,” Gen. Carter F. Ham,
commander of AFRICOM, said in a statement.Jessica Buchanan, an
American citizen and Poul Thisted, a Danish citizen, both working for a
demining unit of the Danish Refugee Council, were transported to a
safe location while plans were made to return them home, U.S. officials
said. The pair had been held for ransom since October.While Ham did not specify which service branch carried out the
mission, such operations in the past have been carried out by SEALs.
The Associated Press, citing unnamed U.S. officials, said the rescue
was carried out by the same SEAL unit that conducted the Pakistan raid
that killed Osama bin Laden.The rescue mission was ordered by
President Barack Obama, who, before Tuesday night’s State of the Union
address, gave a thumbs up to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in an
apparent reference to the mission.The operation, conducted under
the direction of AFRICOM, isn’t the first time special operations
troops have ventured into Somalia. In 2009, they boarded helicopters
and swept into southern Somalia to take out a wanted al-Qaida
operative. The military also is believed to carry out occasional drone
strikes in the country against high-value terrorist suspects. Even FBI
agents entered the country last April to take custody of a pirate
suspected of negotiating a ransom for American hostages.“I think
this is another indicator that we are taking that area, the
instability around the Horn of Africa, continually more seriously,” said
Jim Gavrilis, a former Green Beret and security consultant.Such
operations could become more commonplace, particularly with the
successful track record of such missions in recent years, he said. But
while policymakers might feel more and more comfortable deploying these
forces, there are still risks.“Any one of these operations has the potential to go bad,” Gavrilis said.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Obama voiced pride in the troops and said
the mission should send a message about the willingness of the U.S. to
go after groups that target civilians.
“Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our Special
Operations Forces, yesterday Jessica Buchanan was rescued and she is on
her way home. As Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of the
troops who carried out this mission, and the dedicated professionals
who supported their efforts.“The United States will not tolerate
the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the
safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice,” Obama
said. “This is yet another message to the world that the United States
of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people.”U.S.
special operations forces received intelligence that placed the
humanitarian workers in the vicinity of Adado, Somalia, according to
AFRICOM.“During the course of the operation, the rescue force
patrolled to the location and confirmed the presence of Mrs. Buchanan
and Mr. Thisted guarded by nine captors,” an AFRICOM news release
stated. “All nine captors were killed during the assault.”After securing the location, the U.S. forces found Buchanan and Thisted unharmed in an outdoor encampment, AFRICOM said.

“This successful hostage rescue, undertaken in a hostile environment, is a
testament to the superb skills of courageous service members who risked
their lives to save others,” Panetta said in a statement. “This mission
demonstrates our military’s commitment to the safety of our fellow
citizens wherever they may be around the world. I am grateful to report
that there was no loss of life or injuries to our personnel.”Buchanan
and Thisted, who were in Somalia to conduct a demining training course
for local Somali citizens, also did not suffer injuries during the
operation, Panetta said.The Danish Refugee Council reported on
its website that the two aid workers were on their way to being
reunited with their families.The Associated Press, which made
contact with two pirates it said were familiar with details of the
operation, reported that the kidnappers holding the aid workers were
caught sleeping, having become drowsy while chewing the narcotic leaf
qat for much of the night. “I am extraordinarily proud of the
joint-service team that planned, rehearsed and successfully concluded
this operation,” Ham said. “Thanks to them, a fellow American and her
Danish co-worker are safe and will soon be home with their families.”

Navy SEALs hostage rescue story on other media
After SEALs rescue mission: President Obama Praises Special Ops

About Navy SEALs Team 6 / DEVGRU

The DEVGRU or formerly known as U.S. Navy SEALs Team 6 was that which were authorized by President Obama to kill Bin Laden.


Added: Jan-25-2012 Occurred On: Jan-25-2012
By: SpreadForge
In:
World News
Tags: U.S. Navy SEALs, Special forces, DEVGRU, Somalia
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States (load item map)
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