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Thread: Navy SEALs Free 2 Aid Workers From Somali Pirates

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Navy SEALs Free 2 Aid Workers From Somali Pirates

    In Daring Raid, Navy SEALs Free 2 Aid Workers From Somali Pirates

    In Daring Raid, Navy SEALs Free 2 Aid Workers From Somali Pirates : The Two-Way : NPR

    "Yeah. See, we plan ahead, that way we don't do anything right now. Earl explained it to me." - Tremors, 1990

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    U.S. Navy SEALSs rescue aid workers in Somalia in night raid.

    A U.S. special operations team of Navy SEALs rescued two aid workers in Somalia Tuesday night, including a U.S. woman who had been held hostage for three months by Somali kidnappers and suffered from a life-threatening medical condition.

    Jessica Buchanan, 32, of Bedford, Va., and Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, of Denmark, were abducted Oct. 25 by a band of Somalis while on their way to the airport in Galcayo, located in central Somalia. Both were working for the Danish Refugee Council's Danish Demining Group, and had just finished a training course for local Somali citizens when they were abducted.

    In a statement released by the White House, President Obama said he had authorized a rescue mission Monday.

    "Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our Special Operations Forces, yesterday Jessica Buchanan was rescued and she is on her way home. 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 the statement.

    The president said he spoke with Buchanan's father Monday night, "and told him that all Americans have Jessica in our thoughts and prayers, and give thanks that she will soon be reunited with her family.

    "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. This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people," he added.

    Obama made no mention of the successful raid during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, although keen observers noted an interesting exchange with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as he entered the House Chamber.

    Obama pointed to Panetta and said, "Leon. Good job tonight. Good job tonight."

    In a statement released today, Panetta said he was pleased that neither Buchanan nor Thisted was harmed during the operation. "This mission demonstrates our military's commitment to the safety of our fellow citizens wherever they may be around the world," he said.

    Panetta described the rescue as "a team effort and required close coordination, especially between the Department of Defense and our colleagues in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "

    The Danish Refugee Council also confirmed the rescue in a statement, saying, "The two aid workers from the Danish Refugee Council's demining unit, DDG, are both unharmed and at a safe location."

    The rescue mission began around 2 a.m. local time as team of Navy SEALs parachuted into the area near the desert encampment where the two aid workers were being held, a U.S. official said. U.S. Africa Command said in a statement that the raid took place in the vicinity of Gadaado, Somalia.

    As they approached the camp, the official said, there was a firefight and that there were no U.S. casualties. U.S. Africa Command said that the nine Somali captors were all killed in the firefight.

    After freeing Buchanan and Thisted, the military team and the aid workers left the area via helicopter and were taken to Camp Lemonier, the U.S. military base in neighboring Djibouti.

    Another U.S. official says that the rescue mission was prompted by a long-standing medical condition that had worsened during Buchanan's captivity and "it was at a point where it became life-threatening." The official did not identify the illness.

    Few aid groups continue to operate inside Somalia because of the risks involved in conducting relief operations in one of the world most dangerous countries. The country has been ravaged by conflict for the past decade and an Islamic militant extremist group known as al-Shabab has been a focus of U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the country.

    But, the U.S. official says, the Somalis who kidnapped Buchanan and Thisted were organized criminals and not members of al-Shabab. It's possible they might have had ties to the pirates who operate in the waters off of East Africa prowling for commercial ships to hold for ransom, making the waters off Somalia some of the most dangerous in the world.

    Buchanan joined DDG as a trainee in May 2010 and by January 2011 had become an education adviser for the group.

    Andreas Camm, a spokesman for the Danish Refugee Council, told ABC News that Buchanan "has been very strong during this crisis when we have received proof of life. Our impression has been she has done very, very well and been a very, very strong person. And we were happy every time we heard of that."

    As for what kind of ransom the Somalis wanted from his group, Camm said, "We have told them, of course, that a humanitarian organization cannot pay."

    Navy SEALs Rescue Two Aid Workers in Somalia in Daring Raid - Yahoo! News

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    I'm taking a wild guess and saying it was SEAL Team 6.

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erik View Post
    I'm taking a wild guess and saying it was SEAL Team 6.
    DING-DING-DING! Correct!

    And, technically speaking, they're not SEAL Team 6 anymore; OFFICIALLY, SEAL Team 6 was disbanded in 1987, and then re-formed under the title United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU for short.

    "Yeah. See, we plan ahead, that way we don't do anything right now. Earl explained it to me." - Tremors, 1990

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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigross86 View Post
    Was wondering about that; not to toot my own horn, but I think my thread was first.

    "Yeah. See, we plan ahead, that way we don't do anything right now. Earl explained it to me." - Tremors, 1990

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    Quote Originally Posted by erik View Post

    Obama pointed to Panetta and said, "Leon. Good job tonight. Good job tonight."
    Aaaaaaah....Pinheadda gets the credit for the raid. Leon has no business being the Secretary of Defense.

    And the US Navy states it was not the same team as the one that got bin-Laden

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    Good work. Excellent news. I hope that more countries would follow this path.

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    Navy SEALs Raced to Rescue US Hostage in Somalia With 'Life-Threatening' Condition - Yahoo! News

    According to another U.S. official, members of the famed U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six participated in the ground operations of the rescue.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    I personally do not.
    If some bleeding hearts go out of their way to get abducted in a godforsaken country, why risk the lives of our soldiers to carry their sorry ass home?
    J'ai en marre.

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    there's a difference between when they're aid workers doing good work-- vice idiots taking a vacation (see several of the abducted westerners in somalia/off the coast of somalia) or a hike in dangerous areas, such as iran.

    a nation has the responsibility to protect her citizens; in this case the citizen was someone worth protecting.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    No difference i'm afraid ,only a sense of entitlement which should not be there.
    J'ai en marre.

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    I agree - the US should not subsidize 'extreme idiot sports" where some dingdong goes hiking across a hostile border or flys their ultralight into harms way for thrills. If these people want an adrenaline rush from exposing themselves to danger for the "fun" of it - they deserve the consequences. Sending our heroic solders in to rescue them from situations they diliberately set out to get into - is not a reasonable cause to expose our brave men and women who go in harms way to serve their country. Let the thrill seekers serve their sentence in the dank dungeons they spent so much effort to get into.
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    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    The conspiracy theories have started already: there is some suspicion that Obama gave the go-ahead for this raid in order to coincide with his SOTU address last night. It DOES seem a little coincidental . . . .

    "Yeah. See, we plan ahead, that way we don't do anything right now. Earl explained it to me." - Tremors, 1990

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    Those two aid workers were part of one of the very few Western efforts willing to provide aid in the country, namely they were in the business of disarming minefields throughout the region. They were most definitely fully aware of the dangers to themselves, but went in anyway out of a sense of doing some good in the world.

    There are little people outside the military community that are willing to risk their lives like that, they don't deserve the same contempt as some dumbass hikers out in Iran, really they deserve some respect. In either case, it's the armed forces' jobs to protect American citizens, no matter the circumstances behind the situation.
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