The kidnappers holding an American author hostage in Somalia made it clear on Thursday they'd kill him if the United States attempted a rescue, and the threat seems to have worked. On Friday, U.S. officials said they had no plans to intervene. The unnamed officials told MSNBC there wouldn't be a repeat performance of the daring Navy SEAL raid that freed aid workers Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted earlier this week. For one thing, they said the U.S. military is generally "not in the business of hostage rescues," and author Scott Moore, the hostage in question, is not in the kind of poor health Buchanan suffered.
Buchanan's captors' lack of organizational cohesion may have also made the rescue possible:
The group holding Buchanan was a fairly disorganized band of "criminals and thugs" making it a somewhat easy targets for the Navy Seals that saved her, the officials said. Given the public relations blitz already launched by Moore's kidnappers and their open threats to kill him, recovering him would be a much riskier mission, they added.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.