"As soon as the U.S. government had reliable intelligence and an operational plan, the president authorized the Department of Defense to conduct an operation to recover Mr. (Luke) Somers," said Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman. "Regrettably, Luke was not present, though hostages of other nationalities were present and were rescued."
The Nov. 25 rescue operation launched by U.S. and Yemeni forces, managed to free six Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian who were being held by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, in a mountain cave in the remote Hajr al-Sayar district of Hadramawt province.
In a video obtained Wednesday by the SITE Intelligence Group, a man believed to be Somers pleads for his life at the hands of the terror group, informs Report citing AP.
Somers, a 32-year-old photojournalist, has been held hostage since September and on the video recording is threatened to be killed.
"The overriding concern for Mr. Somers’ safety and the safety of the U.S. forces who undertake these missions made it imperative that we not disclose information related to Mr. Somers’ captivity and the attempted rescue," Meehan said.
The effort serves as a signal to those who would do harm to Americans, Meehan said, adding that the U.S. will not tolerate the abduction of its citizens.
AQAP is considered one of the most dangerous offshots of al-Qaida.