U.S. Hostage Died in Attack on Al Qaeda



An American and Italian being held hostage by Al Qaeda in Pakistan were both killed in a drone strike last January, senior Obama administration officials said Thursday. The hostages were development worker Warren Weinstein, held since 2011, and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, held since 2012. An American citizen described as a deputy emir of Al Qaeda, Ahmed Farouq, was also killed. A later drone strike in Pakistan is believed to have killed American-born Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn.

President Obama addressed the tragedy from the White House Briefing Room.

“After Warren was abducted by Al Qaeda in 2011, I directed my national security team to do everything possible to find him and bring him home safely to his family,” he said, adding that “as president and as commander in chief, I take full responsbility for all our counterterrorism operations, inlcuding the one that took the lives of Warren and Giovani.”

Obama said as much of the incident will be declassified because “the U.S. is a democracy committed to oppeness, in good times and bad.” Despite the outcome, Obama insisted that the “operation was fully consistent” with guidelines for such actions.
In a statement, the White House said they had no reason to believe the hostages were present at the compound. Nor did the administration say Farouq or Gadahn were “specifically targeted and we did not have information indicating their presence at the sites of these operations.” Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

{Andy Heller-Matzav.com Newscenter}