Luke Somers, a 33-year-old photojournalist was killed during a rescue attempt in Yemen. Somers had been held hostage for 15 months by al-Qaeda terrorists.
The rescue mission was ordered by President Obama after the terrorist group released a video early last week stating that Somers would be killed within 72 hours. Believing that Somers’ life was in “imminent danger,” Obama gave the order launch what was the second rescue attempt of the American hostage. Unfortunately Somers’ body was found wounded by his would-be rescuers, who took him to a Navy ship, where he succumbed to his wounds.
Obama condemned al-Qaeda terrorists as committing a “barbaric murder,” after news of the failure of the mission reached him.
Obama said that it was his “highest responsibility to do everything possible to protect American citizens” and that “since [Somers’] capture, the United States has been using every tool at our disposal to secure his release.”
Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that, “Earlier this week, AQAP released a video announcing that Luke would be murdered within 72 hours. Along with other information, there was a compelling indication that Luke’s life was in immediate danger, and so we recommended that the President authorize an attempt to rescue Luke. Tragically, Luke and a foreign national hostage were killed by their captors during the course of that operation.”