US Special Forces rescue American, Dane hostages in Somalia

posted at 9:50 am on January 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Few knew of the abduction of American aid worker Jessica Buchanan or her Danish colleague Poul Hagen Thisted in Somalia until their ordeal was over.  Yesterday, a team of US special forces rescued both in a raid on a pirate camp, killing all of their captors:

U.S. special operations forces have rescued a kidnapped American aid worker and her Danish colleague in Somalia, the White House and officials with the aid organization said Wednesday. During the raid, all nine of their captors were killed.

Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, were abducted by a group of armed men in the Somali town of Galkayo on Oct. 25. Both worked for the de-mining unit of theDanish Refugee Council, which provides shelter, protection, food and other assistance for thousands of displaced Somalis in Mogadishu. They were in Galkayo to monitor humanitarian aid activities, the council said.

Buchanan and Thisted were rescued early Wednesday local time (Tuesday evening in Washington), the Refu­gee Council said. The U.S. Africa Command, based in Stuttgart, Germany, said special operations forces received information about where the captives were located, then confirmed their presence and staged the attack.

American special forces showed once again that terrorists, pirates, and other malefactors stand little chance once our commandos set their sights on them.  However, in this case, the pirates involved didn’t appear to have much discipline anyway:

After killing the men who were supposed to be guarding Buchanan and Thisted, the troops found the pair, unharmed, in an outdoor encampment. The Associated Press, quoting Somali pirates who had spoken with pirates at the scene of the raid, said the guards had been chewing the narcotic leaf qat for much of the evening and may have been sleeping as the U.S. forces approached.

The rescue may have come just in time for Buchanan.  Reports had reached the US that her health was deteriorating, which made her rescue a high priority.  There is no word today on her status other than she was unharmed and alive during the rescue, and hopefully she will recover once back in the US.

Congratulations to our Special Forces for another job well done, and kudos to the Obama administration for a successful rescue.  We have delivered the message once again that taking American hostages means death for pirates and terrorists, which is the only message that has a chance of being understood by these villains.


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Sick tactic: Somali pirates are now cutting off their hostages’ limbs in efforts to extract greater ransoms
Somali pirates have started to cut off their hostages’ limbs in a bid to extract even greater ransoms from the owners of the ships they capture.
The horrific new tactic was used last Friday on the Vietnamese captain of a ship being held in the Somali pirate lair of Haradhere.
Chao-I Wu’s right arm was cut off after negotiations to pay a $3million ransom for his fishing ship, the FV Shiuh Fu-1, broke down.
Afterwards, the pirates allowed Mr Wu’s fellow crew members to call their families and describe what had happened.
Read more:
Akzed on January 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM

This is why I enjoy hearing about muzzo monkeys getting capped, though I would like them to be kneecapped and elbowed and left to rot

they are an insidious breed that deserves culling

Sonosam on January 25, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Congratulations to our Special Forces for another job well done, and kudos to the footdragging pro-Muslim Obama administration for a successful rescue, despite Obama Admin hindrance. We have delivered the message once again that taking American hostages means death for pirates and terrorists, which is the only message that has a chance of being understood by these villainous Muslims.

There ya go; fixed it for ya!

CatchAll on January 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Congratulations to our Special Forces for another job well done, and kudos to the Obama administration for a successful rescue. We have delivered the message once again that taking American hostages means death for pirates and terrorists, which is the only message that has a chance of being understood by these villains.

Well said.

While I think that any Republican candidate except for Ron Paul is preferable to Obama, Obama’s Foreign Policy isn’t that bad. My objection to Ron Paul is mostly on a Foreign Policy that I consider, from studying History, to be suicidal. At least Obama is more or less continuing the Bush Foreign Policy.

Linh_My on January 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM

This a great. Now- when do we go into Iran and rescue the former Marine that was just sentenced to death there.
Marines NEVER leave a man behind.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM

That’s why they award the MOH for driving a truck to bring out bodies of the dead.

borntoraisehogs on January 25, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I have got to give credit to Obama for stuff like this. Carter would have done it once (he did, disaster!) and never again.

Vince on January 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

I agree with you here 100% bud. In situations like this Obama has been anything but Carter. I read this was authorized by him two days ago and yes, I believe he did authorized the mission. Obama has been good at going after and killing terrorists and pirates, and as an American, I am glad about that . I do wish Bush had used these tremendous assets more, as I wish Clinton had. I like thinking the bad guys are wetting themselves wondering might be lurking up in the sky. Thank you SEAL Team 6.

DoubleClutchin on January 25, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Why would this op have to go to the White House for approval. Other than the strategic and political ramifactions of a failure.

There are two ways to look at the timing. First, how many times was the op forwarded for approval. Second, Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted should be thankfull the SOTU was not postponed.

davod on January 25, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Yesterday, a team of US special forces rescued both in a raid on a pirate camp, killing all of their captors:

Well done!

RJL on January 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM

PS.

I understand the need to capitalize on the PR value of SEAL Team 6 rescuing the hostages. However, isn’t there some value in the mystery of not knowing who rescued them.

Additionally, the increasing number of home grown Islamist terrorist attacks would surely raise the issue of the safety of SEAL Team 6 relatives.

davod on January 25, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Politicians enter political races to WIN. It’s important that we remember this when politicians approve attacks/war against our enemies – either fight to win, period or don’t bother in the first place. While it would be very nice if everyone were willing to sit down and have tea, and then proceed to be honest in their comments (really?), life doesn’t work that way.

When our enemies see us as weak, they will attack and try to make us feel guilty. Sorry – no go. When you are top dog, head honcho, the 600 # gorilla, etc. everyone comes after you – it’s called LIFE. It’s called REALITY. You need to get used to it and if you can’t take it. don’t go in for leading in the first place. There may be times when you have to regroup, but you don’t disappear. You don’t take your toys and go home. You bide your time, come back and FIGHT.

Remember of all those people who may claim they are our friends, very few are. And if we go weak-kneed, they’ll be gone in a heartbeat. Most of the world has never lived in a society w/ the opportunities here – they intuitively grasp power, control, tribe. We are the exception and all our politicians need to remember this.

Our military is the best the world has ever seen: smart, well-trained, polite, charitable, generous, etc. Yep, we have a few lemons – ok but the majority are the best. It’s time everyone in the USA absorb that – without them, forget about most everything.

MN J on January 25, 2012 at 4:49 PM

There ya go; fixed it for ya!
CatchAll on January 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

So you destroyed it in order to fix it? That makes sense to you?

Constantine on January 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Not one plug for Act of Valor? Y’all been chewin’ qat or something.

WTG, guys.

Christien on January 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

I do wish Bush had used these tremendous assets more, as I wish Clinton had.

How do you know they didn’t? Thousands of these types of operations happen every year and are classified, to keep our troops safe and to not reveal our tactics.

Obama’s timing can be questioned considering that they’ve been captive for almost 4 months and he just happened to send the SEALs in for the State of the Union address.

I also question the excuse that Buchanan’s health was in jeaopardy since she wasn’t even hospitalized after being rescued.

In the past the military did what needed doing without it being trumpeted for a political campaign. Just read some of the military blogs to see how our troops feel about Obama.

Common Sense on January 25, 2012 at 5:55 PM

I

do wish Bush had used these tremendous assets more, as I wish Clinton had.

How do you know they didn’t?
Common Sense on January 25, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Well I am just supposing here, but if Clinton had used them to get OBL, ( oh, wait, could have but didn’t) possibly 9/11 wouldn’t have happened.

DoubleClutchin on January 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Coming soon to a Dearborn near you!!

Akzed on January 25, 2012 at 6:32 PM

There ya go; fixed it for ya!
CatchAll on January 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

So you destroyed it in order to fix it? That makes sense to you?

Constantine on January 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Surely you are not that obtuse. “Fixed it for ya” is common everyday internets slang for “I changed your wording to properly reflect reality”.

CatchAll on January 25, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Go Navy!

V7_Sport on January 26, 2012 at 12:56 AM

Linh_My on January 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I would disagree that Obama is continuing the Bush foreign policy. He is continuing many of Bush’s operational policies to be sure, but the overall foreign policy is clearly quite different. Where Bush made it clear who America’s friends were, Obama has done his best to insult our friends and fawn over our enemies while begging their forgiveness. There was much to dislike in Bush’s policy as well – particularly the PC refusal to call out Islam for its inherent bloodiness, its cruel treatment of non-Muslims and its over fifteen hundred year long jihad or holy war (AD634-present) that is the real root of the current conflict. But at least Bush knew who his friends were and treated them accordingly. Obama has no such understanding and as a result, we are less feared and more despised now than we were under Bush.

StoneHeads on January 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM

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