Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Somali Criminals: SEALing their fate

Reported as U.S. Forces Rescue Kidnapped American, Danish Humanitarian Workers in Somalia:
By the order of the President of the United States and under the direction of U.S. Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM), early Wednesday morning, January 25, 2012, U.S. Special Operations Forces rescued an American citizen and a Danish citizen from captivity in Somalia.

Mrs. Jessica Buchanan of the United States and Mr. Poul Thisted of Denmark, who both worked for the Danish Demining Group, a non-profit humanitarian organization, were kidnapped at gunpoint on October 25, 2011, near Galcayo, Somalia, and were being held for ransom.

The Department of Justice requested assistance from the Department of Defense, which, in turn, directed U.S. AFRICOM to plan and conduct the rescue operation.

Receiving actionable intelligence, U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted a coordinated operation in the vicinity of Gadaado, Somalia. During the course of the operation, the rescue force patrolled to the location and confirmed the presence of Mrs. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted guarded by nine captors. All nine captors were killed during the assault. After securing the location, U.S. Special Operations Forces found Mrs. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted unharmed in the outdoor encampment.

"Last night's mission, boldly conducted by some of our nation's most courageous, competent, and committed special operations forces, exemplifies United States Africa Command's mission to protect Americans and American interests in Africa," said General Carter F. Ham, commanding general, U.S. Africa Command. "I am extraordinarily proud of the joint-service team that planned, rehearsed and successfully concluded this operation. Thanks to them, a fellow American and her Danish co-worker are safe and will soon be home with their families. We should remember that Mrs. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted were working to protect the people of Somalia when they were violently kidnapped. It is my hope that all those who work in Somalia for the betterment of the Somali people can be free from the dangers of violent criminals."

At the time of their abduction, Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted had finished conducting a demining training course for local Somali citizens.

If I was a pirate, I wouldn't be so sure that I was safe at home. Emphasis added.


  1. I agree with the title of your post - these are somali criminals, not somali pirates. This distinction does have some important legal implications. http://piracy-law.com/2012/01/26/the-legality-of-the-seal-team-6-rescue-in-somalia/

  2. Anonymous1:51 PM

    Do we value the lives of foreign criminals less than we value the lives of the indigenous? Examples such as Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson come to mind both of which were given trials and sentenced to jail rather than death (Note: although Dahmer’s crime was the killing of children, they were mainly poor and minority). I am not comparing the acts of the Navy Seals to those criminals, I am just pointing out that those Somali criminals may have killed in the past but their current crime was only that of kidnapping (a crime punishable by death? I think not.) Let it not be said that Americans are heartless only to foreign criminals - we do collectively reap what we sow - in business and in war. I can attest to the business side. But as an american business traveler, if I were kidnapped I would hope my capters the same fate as those Somali criminals.