Jessica Buchanan, the American woman who was rescued from her kidnappers in Somalia through a daring overnight raid by U.S,. special forces, may ve suffering health problems.
During an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America news program, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said that President Barack Obama ordered the operation due to Buchanan’s “failing” health.
They said it was the time, the opportunity,” said Biden.
“Jessica’s health was, was in a word, ‘failing,’ and they concluded they should go at this time and the president gave a go.”
Biden also indicated that Obama called Buchanan’s father to inform him of the rescue. The vice president reserved special praise for the Navy SEALs, who also killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year (although it is not clear if it was the same group involved in both missions).
“I’ve been in Afghanistan, in Iraq with these guys, these Special Operations Forces, they are absolutely the most incredible… It just takes your breath away, their capacity, and their bravery, and their incredible timing. These guys are amazing, and women, are amazing,” Biden said.
Buchanan and other hostage Poul Hagen Thisted of Denmark were working as aid workers when they were abducted last October in the town of Galkayo, hundreds of miles north of the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
BBC reported that during the U.S. raid, the hostages were held captive in a locale about 60 miles south of Galkayo -- a semi-autonomous region controlled by forces opposed to the Islamic militant group al-Shabab which dominates much of the country.
Meanwhile, Buchanan’s family in the United States has not commented on her rescue yet, but the president of the college she attended praised the government’s actions.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude, said Don Meyer, president of Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, Pa., just outside Philadelphia, where Buchanan graduated in 2007.
[Buchanan] did a semester of student teaching in Africa and that experience just planted in her a love and passion for Africa, Meyer told CNN.
She could hardly talk about Africa without tears in her eyes.”
Meyer also contradicted the reports that Buchanan’s health is in danger.
She is strong, she is healthy, she is in very good condition, he said.
One of Buchanan’s former classmates at the school Clarimil Christian-Delker told reporters: It was a shock, tears of sadness that that happened to her and tears of happiness that she was rescued by the Navy SEALs. Every time we spoke about doing God's work overseas, her eyes would light up.”
Buchanan was working for the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in Somalia.
“I am happy and relieved to know that the nightmare of Poul and Jessica is now over. They are both unharmed, on their way to a secure location, where they will receive proper care and be reunited with their families,” says Ann Mary Olsen, head of the International Department of DRC.
“I have been in contact with the families, who are off course very relieved and happy. They have asked us to thank the media for being discrete and for their respect for the need of privacy of the families. They are hopeful that this consideration will last as they further encourage journalists to respect to their situation and their need for privacy. The families direct the media to us.”