US: Yemen Raid Missed American Hostage
Luke Somers 'not present' during attempted rescue last month
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2014 12:35 PM CST
In this 2013 photo, Luke Somers, 33, an American photojournalist who was kidnapped over a year ago by al-Qaeda.   (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
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(Newser) – The Pentagon and White House acknowledged today that the US tried last month to rescue a 33-year-old American journalist, Luke Somers, who is being held by al-Qaeda in Yemen, but "regrettably, Luke was not present," per a National Security Council spokeswoman. A video of Somers pleading for help surfaced today, prompting the US to disclose the mission, reports the AP. In the video, the al-Qaeda offshoot threatened Somers' life, reports the BBC, and gave Washington three days to meet unspecified demands.

"Basically, I'm looking for any help that can get me out of this situation," says the British-born photojournalist in the three-minute video. "I'm certain that my life is in danger. So as I sit here now, I ask, if anything can be done, please let it be done. Thank you very much." The joint US-Yemen raid successfully rescued eight hostages and was reported earlier; a Yemeni official says that an American journalist—presumably Somers—and a Brit were moved beforehand to a different location. Somers was kidnapped more than a year ago in Yemen.