Navy SEAL Team Rescues American From Somali Pirates

Last night as he walked into the House Chamber to deliver the State of the Union, President Obama singled out Secretary of Defense Panetta, now we know why:

KHARTOUM, Sudan — American commandos raced into Somalia on Wednesday morning and rescued two aid workers, including an American woman, after a shootout with Somali pirates who had been holding them captive for months.

The American soldiers swooped in by helicopter, killed nine pirates and captured several others, before spiriting away the hostages, who were not harmed, Western officials said.

It appeared that President Obama was fully aware of the raid as he was about to give his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, which would have been early Wednesday in Somalia.

According to NBC News, as the president stepped into the House chambers, he pointed to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta standing in the crowd and said, “Leon. Good job tonight. Good job tonight.” The president made no mention of the rescue in Somalia, but he did refer to the killing of Osama bin Laden last May in a similar operation conducted by Navy Seals.

In a statement Wednesday from the White House, the president said he authorized the operation 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 statement continued: “Last night I spoke with Jessica Buchanan’s father 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.”

Somalia is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world, infested by pirate gangs and countless militant groups, a lawless space that has languished for 21 years without a functioning government. Several Westerners have recently been kidnapped, typically for ransom, and it seems that as Somalia’s pirates have a harder time hijacking ships on the high seas, because of the beefed up naval efforts, they are increasingly turning to snatching foreigners on land.

On Oct. 25, Jessica Buchanan, an American, and Poul Hagen Thisted, a Dane, were kidnapped by two truckloads of gunmen as they headed to the airport in Galkaiyo, a central Somalia town on the edge of pirate territory. The two were working for the Danish Demining Group, one of the few Western organizations that was still operating in that area.

Nicely done, gentlemen.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, National Security, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:


    (just to be the first to say it)

  2. Rick Almeida says:

    This is exactly according to Alinsky’s plan.

  3. Gundog says:

    Panetta must have told Obumma if he didn’t OK the OP he would out BHo like he did for the OBL takedown. President Azzclown would never have the balzs to OK it otherwise.

    Go Seal Team 6!!!!! The real Americans. Next time attack the WH and free America’s captives.

  4. Franklin says:

    Yes, congrats to all involved, 100x so for those directly in harm’s way.

  5. sam says:

    Gundog shoots himself in the foot and blows the back of his head off.

  6. Neil Hudelson says:

    What’s up with Seal Teams 1-5? Let’s step it up fellas. Team 6 is taking all the glory.

  7. doubter4444 says:

    All – I think Gundog is being sarcastic.
    At least, I hope so.

  8. @Neil Hudelson:

    What’s up with Seal Teams 1-5? Let’s step it up fellas. Team 6 is taking all the glory.

    Each branch of the service has one Special Mission Unit trained for unconventional warfare situations. Seal Team 6 is the Navy’s SMU:

    The other 9 Seal Teams are just “normal” special operations units.

  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Hmm, I was about to reply about it being a joke and all…but I see this is actually pretty interesting.

    Thanks for the link and the info!


  10. Hey Norm says:

    America…Fu** Yeah!!!!

  11. TruthSpeaker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Pres Obama never stops he is the most effective President we have had since President Clinton. his long lists of accomplishments is hard for you guys on the right to take. Better get used to it he is going to win in 2012.
    The right has lots of trouble giving creds to Obama, well guess what, that attitude will cost you BIG in 2012

  12. Gundog says:

    @ TruthSpeaker (LOL) Here are just a small list of BHo’s “accomplishments”
    When Obama took office in January 2009, the nation’s unemployment rate stood at 7.8%, since June 2009, six months into Obama’s term, the nation’s unemployment rate has been at or above 9% during 25 of 27 consecutive months. Highest number of people on food stamps. National debt above $14.7 TRILLION! Stimulus programs (buying union votes) utter failures! Borrowing trillions from China making the US a debtor nation and lowering our credit rating for the first time in history. The US becoming a laughing stock through the world as Obummer bows to every Arab leader. I could fill a page with with this narcissistic frauds “accomplishments” but most sane people already are wise to him and his band of Marxists.