"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," Somers says, then dips his head.
"Otherwise, the American hostage held by us will meet his inevitable fate," he adds chillingly in his Arabic statement. "We warn Obama and the American government of the consequences of proceeding ahead in any other foolish action."
Al-Ansi did not say what the terror group's specific demands were and senior U.S. and Yemeni officials on Wednesday night did not seem sure themselves, except to speculate that AQAP may be interested in a prisoner exchange.
Today the White House and the Pentagon acknowledged the unsuccessful rescue operation, but both declined to say much more since the details of the mission "remain classified."
"I can tell you that once there was concrete information and a plan in place, the President promptly authorized this mission because of concern of U.S. men in uniform and the safety of Mr. Somers," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
A spokesperson for the Yemeni embassy in Washington said today his government is "doing its utmost, coordinating efforts with regional and international partners to secure the safe release of hostages in accordance with relevant international standards."
At the time of his capture Somers was working as a translator for the National Dialogue Conference in Sana'a. Little has been said publicly about his plight, in keeping with western governments' practice of keeping hostages out of the media spotlight during negotiations or efforts to free them by force.
Somers arrived in Yemen in 2010 on a teaching visa but turned to journalism while living there and photographed civilian protests, according to Yemeni news reports and photo agency images he shot, which appeared on websites such as the BBC.
The Yemeni capital has become increasingly dangerous this year amid clashes between government forces and Houthi tribes as well as core-al Qaeda's most lethal affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Al Qaeda also has called repeatedly for followers to abduct westerners for ransom or political leverage and AQAP has targeted both the U.S. homeland and the U.S. ambassador in Sana'a.