WASHINGTON – Luke Somers, an American photojournalist, was murdered by Al-Qaeda in a rescue attempt by U.S. military forces this week.
Earlier this week, terrorists of Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video announcing that Somers would be murdered within 72 hours. Along with other information, there was a compelling indication that Somers’ life was in immediate danger.
The State Department recommended that President Obama authorize an attempt to rescue Somers.
“Tragically, Luke and a foreign national hostage were killed by their captors during the course of that operation,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Even in our grief, we couldn’t be more proud of the brave men and women of the U.S. military who twice risked their lives in operations to try and bring Luke home safely,” Kerry said. “We also appreciate the efforts of the dedicated intelligence, law enforcement, and diplomatic professionals who supported these operations, and we are particularly grateful to the Yemeni government, under the leadership of President Hadi, for their critical and supportive role in trying to liberate this young American from unfathomable captivity, and for their enduring partnership in combating the scourge of AQAP.”