‘Brave Warriors’: Trump Hails SEAL Team 6 For Successful Hostage Rescue

President Donald Trump hailed SEAL Team 6 for its successful rescue of an American citizen taken hostage in Nigeria on Saturday, saying the kidnappers “wished they’d never done it.”

The U.S. military announced the successful operation Saturday, saying the American citizen, Philip Walton, had been taken hostage for less than a week before the U.S. special forces unit rescued them, killing six of seven kidnappers.

Trump made the comments during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, hours after first praising the special forces unit on Twitter.

“Last night, our Country’s brave warriors rescued an American hostage in Nigeria,” he tweeted. “Our Nation salutes the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime rescue operation and celebrates the safe return of yet another American citizen!”

Neither the U.S. service members nor Walton were injured in the operation, according to the Pentagon.

Officials said local gang members kidnapped the Walton, who the military described as a farmer, from his backyard in Niger and planned to hold him for ransom. U.S. officials also said they feared the gang would sell Walton to terrorist groups operating in the region, according to CBS News.

“U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men,” Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Saturday. “This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State.”


White House correspondent.



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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Held Hostage: An Analysis of Kidnapping Across Time and Among Jihadist Organizations

In March 2013, David Haines and Frederico Motka were kidnapped while traveling together near the Turkish border in Syria. The men were both foreigners and aid workers. They were held in the same prison by the same militant group. Yet they suffered sharply different fates. In May 2014, Motka was released, while four months later, Haines became the fourth Westerner to be beheaded by the Islamic State. Press accounts noted that the major difference between the men was their nationality: Motka was Italian; Haines was British.

In the summer of 2014, the Islamic State began its campaign of public executions of kidnapped Westerners. Though these barbaric acts captured the world’s attention, hostage taking is not new. Nevertheless, research designed to increase our understanding of this threat is limited. As in the example provided above, most discussions regarding kidnappings rely on anecdotal evidence. A more detailed analysis of key questions regarding the role of group type, nationality of the victim, and outcome as they relate to kidnapping incidents has been lacking for want of publicly available data.

In an effort to address this, the CTC presents “Held Hostage: Analyses of Kidnapping Across Time and Among Jihadist Organizations,” a report that examines trends related to the kidnapping of Westerners by jihadist groups. The report relies on a newly gathered open-source dataset of the kidnapping of Westerners from 2001–2015, which the CTC publicly releases together with this report. We believe that the report and accompanying data will be an important resource for policymakers, practitioners, and academics interested in this area.

To access the project page, with links to the Report, the Dataset, and other resources, click here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column is by Seth Loertscher and Daniel Milton.