Al Qaeda's Yemen branch has published a video purporting to show an American hostage, who identifies himself as Luke Somers, and saying he will ''meet his inevitable fate,'' if unspecified demands are not met. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Al Qaeda's Yemen branch has published a video purporting to show an American hostage, who identifies himself as Luke Somers, and saying he will "meet his inevitable fate," if unspecified demands are not met. In the video, the man identified himself as Luke Somers and said he had been kidnapped well over a year ago. Reuters is unable to independently verify the content of the video, which was posted on YouTube and social media late on Wednesday (December 3) and carried by SITE, an organisation that monitors militant statements. Somers, a 33-year-old journalist, was kidnapped in Yemen's capital Sanaa in September 2013, joining several other foreigners including Westerners held by militant Sunni Muslim armed groups in the volatile Arabian peninsula country. In the video, a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the militant network's Yemen arm, criticised 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 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," an AQAP official identified as Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi said, without specifying the demands which he said the United States "knows well". "We warn Obama and the American government of the consequences of proceeding ahead in any other foolish action," he added. The man identifying himself as Somers said he was born in the United Kingdom and holds American citizenship. "It's now been well over a year since I was kidnapped in Sanaa. Basically, I'm looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I'm certain that my life is in danger. So, as I sit here now I ask, if anything can be done please let it be done. Thank you very much," he said. U.S. officials say al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has funded its operations with millions of dollars in ransoms received for European hostages.