Newspaper article International New York Times

Rescuers Had Sought American in Yemen ; Journalist Held Hostage by Qaeda Affiliate Was Target of Raid, Officials Say

Newspaper article International New York Times

Rescuers Had Sought American in Yemen ; Journalist Held Hostage by Qaeda Affiliate Was Target of Raid, Officials Say

Article excerpt

A journalist held by a Qaeda affiliate was a target in a raid this week by Special Operations commandos and Yemeni troops, according to officials.

An American journalist held hostage in a remote part of eastern Yemen by Al Qaeda's affiliate there was one of the main targets of a predawn raid carried out this week by United States Special Operations commandos and Yemeni troops, according to American and Yemeni officials.

But when the commandos swooped in on the mountain cave where they believed the American was being held, they found eight other hostages, including six Yemenis, but not the American.

At the request of the Obama administration, The New York Times withheld this information in an article published online Tuesday and in print Wednesday out of concern that the publicity could jeopardize the American's safety and future rescue attempts.

But in Yemen on Wednesday, the military gave an account from a freed hostage who told his rescuers that five other hostages -- including the American journalist as well as a Briton and a South African -- had been moved from the cave two days before the raid.

The Yemeni account of the rescue operation appeared in a report published on a Defense Ministry website, known as 26 September, that Yemeni military officials frequently use to disseminate details of their operations. The details in the report were provided by a Yemeni counterterrorism soldier identified as Abu Ma'arouf, who participated in the rescue operation, according to the website.

The New York Times is withholding the name of the American journalist.

The National Security Council and the Defense Department declined to comment. The journalist's family has not responded to emails seeking comment about his captivity.

The commandos' risky dash into a remote, oil-rich province crawling with militants belonging to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was organized on short notice, within two weeks of a request from President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen to help rescue the captives, American officials said.

About two dozen members of the Navy's elite SEAL Team Six, joined by a few American-trained Yemeni counterterrorism troops, flew secretly by helicopter to a location in Hadhramaut Province near the Saudi border, according officials from both countries. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.