posted at 01:50
Author: The Associated Press
Yemens al-Qaeda threatens to kill US hostage
Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen is threatening to kill an American hostage kidnapped over a year ago and has given Washington three days to meet several unspecified demands, a U.S. terrorism monitoring group said Thursday. The SITE Intelligence Group said it obtained a video by Yemen's al-Qaeda offshoot featuring the hostage, identified as 33-year-old Luke Somers, an American photojournalist born in Britain. At the time, a Yemeni official said the mission failed to liberate five others, including an American journalist and a Briton who were moved elsewhere by their al-Qaeda captors days before the raid. The American was not identified by name and Yemen did not officially confirm the participation of U.S. commandos in the rescue mission - a rare instance of U.S. forces intervening on the ground in Yemen. The three-minute video released by SITE on Thursday first shows a local al-Qaeda figure, Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, reading in Arabic and speaking about alleged American crimes against the Muslim world. Al-Ansi gives the U.S. three days to meet al-Qaeda's demands or "Otherwise the American hostage held by us will meet his inevitable fate." He does not specify the demands but says Washington is "Aware" of them. Impoverished Yemen, troubled both by al-Qaeda and the advance of Shiite rebels, has seen foreigners increasingly targeted in kidnap attempts. The U.S. drone strikes, targeting suspected militant gatherings, have become increasingly unpopular in Yemen due to civilian casualties.

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