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.