Luke Somers: Al-Qaeda taunts US forces for failed raid to rescue hostage photojournalist

The warning comes as Luke Somers's parents plea for his release in a video message posted on YouTube

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The Independent Online

An al-Qaeda commander has branded US forces as fools for a failed attempt to rescue a hostage British-born photojournalist in Yemen.

Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi condemned the attempt to rescue Luke Somers, calling it a "foolish action" and warned against any more "stupidities".

Mr Somers, who is 33, was kidnapped in September 2013 as he left a supermarket.

His mother and brother today appealed to his captors to spare him, saying he "was only trying to do good".

"Luke is only a photojournalist and is not responsible for any actions the US government has taken," his brother Jordan said in the video posted on YouTube.

His mother Paula said her son "appears healthy", telling his captors: "We thank you for that. Please show mercy and give us an opportunity to see our Luke again."

The US government has acknowledged that US special forces last month launched a raid with the intention of freeing Mr Somers. He was not at the target location when US forces arrived, however.

The joint US-Yemeni operation was focused on a remote al-Qaeda safe haven in a desert region near the Saudi Arabian border.

Mr Somers was threatened with execution within three days on Wednesday of this week.

In a video statement released on the same day, he said: “I’m looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I’m certain that my life is in danger."

He was born in Britain and holds dual US-UK citizenship. Having spent most of his life in the United States he worked for two years in Yemen as a freelance photojournalist, subeditor and interpreter for England-language newspapers.

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