What Goes Wrong With Failed Hostage Rescues
The failed rescue attempt of an American photojournalist held captive by Al-Qaeda highlights how dangerous and complicated such missions can be.By Elizabeth Hagedorn | December 8, 2014
The infamous 1980 plan to rescue a group of Americans held hostage in Iran ended in disaster. Thirty years later, rescue methods have improved, but the missions remain risky. (Video via National Archives)
Friday 33-year-old American photojournalist Luke Somers died during a botched special operation to free him from his Al-Qaeda captors. Here's what reportedly went wrong. (Video via AQAP)
A 40-person team of Navy SEALS landed about 5 miles away from the compound in Yemen where Somers was being held. They approached the target on foot. When they got about 100 yards away, they lost the element of surprise — possibly due to a barking dog. A 10-minute firefight ensued, and Somers was shot in the crossfire.