© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Al-Qaida Branch In Yemen Threatens To Kill Hostage

The Yemen branch of al-Qaida is threatening to kill a hostage who says he is a British-born American citizen.

Reuters reports the video of the man was first noticed by SITE, an organization that tracks terrorist groups. The video shows a man who says his name is Luke Somers, a 33-year-old journalist allegedly captured in Sanaa back in September.

Reuters adds:

"In the video, a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the militant network's Yemen arm, criticized the foreign policy of U.S. President Barack Obama which it said had led to deaths and 'massacres,' mentioning drone strikes in Yemen and air attacks against suspected militants across the Muslim world.

" 'We warn Obama and the American government of the consequences of proceeding ahead in any other foolish action,' an AQAP official identified as Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi said.

" 'We give the American government a timeframe of three days from the issuance of this statement to meet our demands about which they are aware; otherwise, the American hostage held by us will meet his inevitable fate,' he added, without specifying the demands which he said the United States 'knows well.' "

The U.S. government has not authenticated the video and NPR has not independently confirmed its authenticity.

The Associated Press reports that the militant in the video is Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, an al-Qaida figure in the region.

Update at 10:10 a.m. ET. 'Doing Its Utmost':

The Yemeni embassy in Washington, D.C., says the government is "doing its utmost, and is coordinating efforts with regional and international partners to secure the safe release of hostages in accordance with relevant international standards."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.