Entries in Somalia (2)


Biden: Obama Ordered Rescue of American Because of Her Failing Health

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Vice President Joe Biden said American aid worker Jessica Buchanan’s failing health was the reason President Obama authorized Tuesday night’s rescue operation in Somalia.

“They said it was the time, the opportunity.  Jessica’s health was, was in a word, ‘failing,’ and they concluded they should go at this time and the president gave a go,” Biden told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Wednesday.

The vice president wouldn’t go into details, but said “it’s safe to say” that the mission went without a hitch.

“One of the things we know from before with the [Osama] bin Laden raid is the operational details are better not to be laid out and I’ll let the Pentagon decide to do that,” Biden said.

“I’ve been in country, in Afghanistan, in Iraq with these guys, these Special Operations Forces, they are absolutely the most incredible…it just takes your breath away, their capacity, and their bravery, and their incredible timing.  These guys are amazing, and women, are amazing,” he added.

As ABC News reported, the Navy SEALs parachuted into a Somalian compound to rescue both Buchanan and her Danish co-worker Poul Hagen Thisted.

Biden said he monitored the rescue operation from the situation room Tuesday night, calling it a “good moment.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Calls American Hostage's Dad After Rescue in Somalia

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Following the rescue of an American woman who was held captive in Somalia since October, President Obama called the 32-year-old's father to tell him of the news.

Jessica Buchanan, from Bedford, Va., was rescued Tuesday night, along with 60-year-old  Poul Hagen Thisted of Denmark, by a team of Navy SEALs.  The two hostages were working for the Danish Refugee Group’s Danish Demining Group (DDG) and were abducted on Oct. 25 by Somali criminals while on their way to the airport in Galcayo.

Obama made the phone call to John Buchanan shortly after he wrapped up his State of the Union address Tuesday night.  The president made no mention of the successful raid during his speech, but 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 by the White House early Wednesday morning, Obama said he had authorized the rescue mission on 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,” the president said.

Obama added, “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.”

Panetta also released a statement on Wednesday, saying he was pleased that neither Buchanan or Thisted were 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. ”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio