The United States has proven yet again that every American is important.
On 26th October 2020, a 27-year-old American was abducted from his home in Niger Republic on Tuesday. Philip Walton was taken hostage in a village close to the border with Nigeria by a Jihadist, criminal and terrorist organisation known to be operating in some parts of Western Africa.
However, in a very dramatic raid, Mr Walton was rescued on 31st October, 2020. He was abducted from where he had lived with his wife and child for two years as a Christian missionary. This was revealed by his father to AFP news agency.
No one could tell why Mr Walton was a target for the terrorists and it is still not obvious which terrorist group the armed men are linked to but locals said six men heavily armed with AK47s came into the village with motorbikes.
Mr Walton was rescued by the US special forces who moved into Northern Nigeria. No American was hurt in the operation. Several of the captors were killed in the mission carried out by SEAL Team 6. This is the same special unit that killed Osama bin Laden and rescued Captain Richard Phillips.
A reliable source in Niger said that Mr Walton is now at US ambassador’s residence in Niamey. The Pentagon confirmed the operation although the identity of the hostage was not revealed.
Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to the Secretary of State for Public Affairs said in a statement to ABC News
“US 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.
“This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No US military personnel were injured during the operation,” he added. “We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation.”
The President of the United States of America, Donald has tweeted a shout-out to the US Special forces saying “Big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces today. Details to follow!”
He tweeted further saying “Last night, our Country’s brave warriors rescued an American hostage in Nigeria. Our Nation salutes the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime rescue operation and celebrates the safe return of yet another American citizen!”
Recall that West Africa especially Northern Nigeria has remained under threat from Islamist terrorist organisations and criminal groups like Boko Haram, ISWAP and Fulani Herdsmen.
This is also coming when France is seeing fresh attacks from Islamist extremists and some citizens have died as a result. President Macron has maintained that France would not surrender its core values.