The same Navy SEALS who killed Osama bin Laden have pulled off another successful and daring operation, this time rescuing a kidnapped American woman and Danish man in Somalia.
Jessica Buchanan, 32 and Poul Hagen Thisted were working for the Danish Refugee Council when they were abducted in October. When word came that Thisted had a medical condition that was "deteriorating rapidly," according to White House sources, President Obama ordered the rescue mission.
Members of SEAL Team 6 went in early Wednesday morning as guards slept, killing nine of the kidnappers and capturing three others, reports The Associated Press.
Obama was on the phone with Buchanan's father shortly after the State of the Union address to give him the good news.
"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 a statement released by the White House. "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."
It is not clear exactly what illness the 60-year-old Thisted has, but the Refugee Council had been working with Somalian elders to get him released. Those talks went nowhere.
"One of the hostages has a disease that was very serious and that had to be solved," Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal told Denmark's TV2 channel.
While Danish Refugee Council chief Andreas Kamm said he would have preferred to see the hostages freed through peacefully negotiations, "we're happy with the outcome. This is a day of joy indeed."