Rescue of Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted

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Rescue of Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted
Part of Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa
Date January 25, 2012
Location 12 miles north of Adow
Result US Navy SEALs victory
  • Hostages freed
Belligerents
 United States Somali pirates
Strength
24 Navy SEALs 9
Casualties and losses
none 9 killed[1]

On January 25, 2012, a team of United States Navy SEALs raided a compound 12 miles north of the Somali town of Adow, killing nine Somali pirates and freeing their hostages, U.S. citizen Jessica Buchanan and Danish citizen Poul Hagen Thisted.

Background[edit]

In October 2011, Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted, who had been working on a demining project with the Danish Refugee Council, were captured by Somali pirates in Galkayo.[1] Attempts by the Council to enlist local Somali elders and traditional leaders to assist in freeing the hostages were unsuccessful, and the pirates refused an offer of US$1.5 million ransom.[2][3] With Buchanan's health declining, U.S. officials decided to launch a raid against the pirates using several different United States special operations forces, including elements of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group.[4]

Raid[edit]

Early on January 25, 2012, two dozen Navy SEALs parachuted from a C-130 Hercules 12 miles north of the Somali town of Adow, where pirates had held the pair of hostages in hopes of ransoming them.[3] The SEALs then traveled by foot from their drop zone, attacked the compound, and engaged the pirates, killing all nine of them.[4]

Aftermath[edit]

President Barack Obama with Michelle Obama informing Jessica Buchanan's father that his daughter has been rescued, immediately after the State of the Union Address[2]

After raiding the pirates' compound and freeing the hostages, the U.S. forces returned to their base at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. The President of Galmudug (a state within Somalia) thanked the United States for conducting the raid. U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Defense Secretary Leon Panetta before his 2012 State of the Union address.[1]

Jessica Buchanan gave her first interview about being kidnapped with 60 Minutes in May 2013; among her first thoughts when kidnapped were that it was too soon to die without having children and saying goodbye to her loved ones. Buchanan and her husband returned to the USA from East Africa and now have a new baby boy.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sheikh, Abdi (January 25, 2012). "U.S. commandos free two hostages in daring Somalia raid". Reuters. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden in rescue of 2 hostages in Somalia: report". NY Daily News/The Associated Press (MOGADISHU, Somalia). January 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  3. ^ a b Gettleman, Jeffrey; Schmitt, Eric; Shanker, Thom (January 25, 2012). "U.S. Commandos Free 2 Hostages From Somali Pirates". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b "U.S. special forces rescue Somalia aid workers". CNN. January 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  5. ^ Scott Pelley (May 12, 2013). "The Rescue of Jessica Buchanan". 60 Minutes video (15:46). CBS News. Retrieved 13 May 2013.