— -- The family of American hostage Luke Somers today pleaded directly with his al Qaeda captors, asking that the group show “mercy” and vowing they didn’t know anything about a recent, unsuccessful secret American special operations rescue attempt.
“Please show mercy and give us an opportunity to see our Luke again,” mother Paula Somers says in a video posted online. “He is all that we have. Luke, if you are able to hear or see us, please know that we are doing everything possible to help you.”
Luke’s brother, Jordan, tells Luke’s captors that his family had “no prior knowledge of the rescue attempt for Luke, and we mean no harm to anyone.”
Today the White House and the Pentagon acknowledged that the U.S. military, along with Yemeni forces, conducted an operation recently aimed at rescuing Somers along with other hostages held by al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate, AQAP.
The mission itself was a success in that it rescued several hostages, but the allied forces were unable to rescue Somers, who apparently had been moved to another location.
Somers appeared in a video released by AQAP late Wednesday night, his first sighting since he was kidnapped more than a year ago. The terror group threatened to kill Somers if the U.S. didn’t meet some unspecific demands.