US military raid in Somalia frees American, Dane

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Trader666, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. US military raid in Somalia frees American, Dane
    By ABDI GULED, Associated Press – 8 minutes ago

    MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The same U.S. Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden parachuted into Somalia under cover of darkness early Wednesday and crept up to an outdoor camp where an American woman and Danish man were being held hostage. Soon, nine kidnappers were dead and both hostages were freed.

    President Barack Obama authorized the mission by SEAL Team Six two days earlier, and minutes after he gave his State of the Union address to Congress he was on the phone with the American's father to tell him his daughter was safe.

    The Danish Refugee Council confirmed the two aid workers, American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Hagen Thisted, were "on their way to be reunited with their families."

    Buchanan, 32, and Thisted, 60, were working with a de-mining unit of the Danish Refugee Council when gunmen kidnapped the two in October.

    The raiders came in quickly, catching the guards as they were sleeping after having chewed the narcotic leaf qat for much of the evening, a pirate who gave his name as Bile Hussein told The Associated Press by phone. Hussein said he was not present at the site but had spoken with other pirates who were, and that they told him nine pirates had been killed in the raid and three were "taken away."

    A U.S. official confirmed media reports that the SEALs parachuted into the area before moving on foot to the target. The official said SEAL Team Six carried out the mission, the same team that killed al-Qaida leader bin Laden in Pakistan last May. The raid happened near the Somali town of Adado.

    New intelligence emerged last week that Buchanan's health was "deteriorating rapidly," so Obama directed his security team to develop a rescue plan, according to a senior administration official who was not authorized to speak publicly.

    "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," Obama said in a statement released by the White House. "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."

    A Western official said the rescuers and the freed hostages flew by helicopter to a U.S. military base called Camp Lemonnier in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not been released publicly. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Camp Lemonnier just over a month ago. A key U.S. ally in this region, Djibouti has the only U.S. base in sub-Saharan Africa. It hosts the military's Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

    Buchanan lived in neighboring Kenya before Somalia, and worked at a school in Nairobi called the Rosslyn Academy from 2007-09, said Rob Beyer, the dean of students. He described the American as easy to laugh and adventurous.

    "There have been tears on and around the campus today," Beyer said. "She was well-loved by all her students."

    The timing of the raid may have been made more urgent by Buchanan's medical condition. The Danish Refugee Council had been trying to work with Somali elders to win the hostages' freedom but had found little success.

    "One of the hostages has a disease that was very serious and that had to be solved," Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal told Denmark's TV2 channel. Soevndal did not provide any more details. oevndal congratulated the Americans for the raid.

    The Danish Refugee Council said both freed hostages are unharmed "and at a safe location." The group said in a separate statement that the two "are on their way to be reunited with their families."

    Ann Mary Olsen, head of the Danish Refugee Council's international department, informed Hagen Thisted' family of of the successful military operation and said "they were very happy and incredibly relieved that it is over."

    The two aid workers appear to have been kidnapped by criminals — sometimes referred to as pirates — and not by Somalia's al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab. As large ships at sea have increased their defenses against pirate attacks, gangs have looked for other money making opportunities like land-based kidnappings.

    The Danish Refugee Council had earlier enlisted traditional Somali elders and members of civil society to seek the release of the two hostages.

    "We are really happy with the successful release of the innocents kidnapped by evildoers," said Mohamud Sahal, an elder in Galkayo town, by phone. "They were guests who were treated brutally. That was against Islam and our culture ... These men (pirates) have spoiled our good customs and culture, so Somalis should fight back."

    Buchanan and Hagen Thisted were seized in October from the portion of Galkayo town under the control of a government-allied clan militia. The aid agency has said that Somalis held demonstrations demanding the pair's quick release.

    Their Somali colleague was detained by police on suspicion of being involved in their kidnapping.

    The two hostages were working in northern Somalia for the Danish Demining Group, whose experts have been clearing mines and unexploded ordnance in conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East.

    Several hostages are still being held in Somalia, including a British tourist, two Spanish doctors seized from neighboring Kenya, and an American journalist kidnapped on Saturday.
  2. Ricter


    Obama evokes the military as a fix for ‘broken’ Washington
    paul koring
    Washington— Globe and Mail Update
    Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 7:17AM EST

    “Leon. Good job tonight. Good job tonight.”

    It was the first hint that – far from Washington and the political spectacle of the president delivering his annual State of the Union speech – a daring military drama had unfolded.

    As President Barack Obama glad-handed his way through Congress, he stopped and spoke briefly to his Defence Secretary Leon Panetta. The ‘good job’ comment set of a flurry of speculation but Mr. Obama made no mention of it in his speech.

    Unknown to most in the Capital and a nation watching on television, a team of U.S. Navy Seals – the same Special Forces group that had killed Osama bin Laden last spring – had attacked a Somali pirate hideout, freeing two aid workers held hostage three months ago.

    The helicopter raid rescued Jessica Buchanan, 32, and American and Poul Hagen, 60, a Dane. Somali reports said nine Somali captors were killed in a fierce firefight. There were no American causalities.

    “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,” Mr. Obama said later in a statement released by the White House. U.S. Special Forces have a base in the tiny east African nation of Djibouti.

    Mr. Obama began and ended his speech extolling the U.S. military but otherwise gave little attention to foreign affairs.

    He barely mentioned the ongoing war in Afghanistan nor badly frayed relations with nuclear-armed Pakistan.

    On Iran, he drew a rousing cheer for his reiteration that he was willing to go to war – if necessary – to keep Tehran’s Islamic theocracy from getting nuclear weapons. “Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal,’ he said.

    But the commander in chief sounded almost wistful as he compared the armed forces of the world’s sole remaining superpower with the gridlock and partisan in-fighting in Washington.

    “At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations,” he said of the military.

    “They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together,” the president said. He might have added, they follow orders.

    In an election-year speech laying out positions that will likely form the basis for Mr. Obama’s campaign to win a second term, the president challenged Congress to get over the bickering that has paralyzed it. But he held out little hope.

    “I bet most Americans are thinking the same thing right now: Nothing will get done this year, or next year, or maybe even the year after that, because Washington is broken,” he said.

    “Can you blame them for feeling a little cynical?”

    At the end of his hour-long speech, Mr. Obama returned to evoking the military, pointedly suggesting Congress should follow the example of those in uniform.

    “Which brings me back to where I began. Those of us who’ve been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops.”

    The president, who never served in the military, said one of his “proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden.”

    He said the highly-trained Special Forces put aside differences of colour and race and religion and partisan politics to get the job done. “All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves.”
  3. Job well done.

  4. Nicely done SEALS's! I remember driving to work at NMITC and seeing those guys out at 5 in the morning. They were usually running on the beach in the soft sand, carrying one of their team members in a stretcher. They appeared to be running at about a 6 minute mile pace and if you've ever tried to run in soft sand, wearing boots, and carrying a friggin stretcher, that is no easy feat.

  5. I heard this morning it was Seal Team 6
  6. It's part of the OP. Try to keep up, RCG.
  7. And they made the world a better place, all before breakfast!
  8. How come Delta never seems to get any play?
  9. Shugart and Gordon got plenty in Somalia.

    Maybe because SOCOM's currently commanded by ADM McRaven?
  10. Bravo Seals !!!

    Bravo President Obama!!!
    #10     Jan 25, 2012