Al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate has threatened to execute a British-born American journalist within three days if their demands are not met by the U.S. government, according to a video obtained by SITE Intelligence Group on Wednesday night. U.S. authorities had conducted a rescue operation to free hostages from an al Qaeda stronghold in Yemen last week.
The three-minute video reportedly shows Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, an official of the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), speaking about criminal activities by Americans and the recent hostage rescue operation. Al-Ansi reportedly warns U.S. authorities that Somers will be killed if the group's demands are not met, but does not specify the demands and only claims that U.S. authorities are aware of their demands. Washington considers AQAP as the most dangerous affiliate of al Qaeda, according to Agence France-Presse.
“We warn Obama and the American government of the consequences of proceeding ahead in any other foolish action,” Ansi reportedly says, in the video. Somers was reportedly abducted in September 2013 from the streets of Sana'a, the capital of Yemen.
“I'm looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I'm certain that my life is in danger. So as I sit here now, I ask if anything can be done, please let it be done,” the 33-year-old Somers says in the video, according to SITE.
Last week, U.S. Special Operations forces and Yemeni troops made an unsuccessful attempt to free Somers. However, the forces managed to free eight other hostages who were found chained up inside a cave in a desert area near the Saudi border. The rescuers said that five others from the U.S., the UK, South Africa, Yemen, and possibly Turkey, had been moved to another location. The video reportedly says that al Qaeda fighters were killed during the rescue operation in Yemen's southeastern Hadramawt region.