In an early morning statement on Saturday, President Obama acknowledged a failed attempt by U.S. forces to rescue Luke Somers, an American in Al Qaeda custody.
Obama defended his decision to authorize the attack, pointing out that Somers’ life was in danger after a Al Qaeda video was released announcing he’d be killed within 72 hours.
“Based on this assessment, and as soon as there was reliable intelligence and an operational plan, I authorized a rescue attempt yesterday,” Obama said.
Somers was shot and killed by terrorists during the rescue attempt.
“It is my highest responsibility to do everything possible to protect American citizens,” Obama explained. “As this and previous hostage rescue operations demonstrate, the United States will spare no effort to use all of its military, intelligence, and diplomatic capabilities to bring Americans home safely, wherever they are located.”
Obama described the extremist ideology of Al Qaeda as “evil,” leading to the death of Somers.
“The callous disregard for Luke’s life is more proof of the depths of AQAP’s depravity, and further reason why the world must never cease in seeking to defeat their evil ideology,” he explained.