When SEAL Team Six rescued two aid workers from Somali pirates

Currently known as the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), SEAL Team Six falls under the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). It is one of many publicly disclosed units. It is a highly classified elite group that coordinates counter-terrorism and other security-related missions around the world. (Other groups include the Army’s legendary Delta Force and the Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron.) This is the Navy dedicated to counterterrorism, hostage rescue, and direct action. special missions unit. Created in 1980 by Dick Marcinko, a visionary and rule-breaker Navy SEAL officer.

What made the SEAL Six team famous?

This special missions unit rose to fame as the team that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. As Story writing,

The mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden evaded capture for nearly a decade until DevGru carried out his most high-profile mission yet. . Although details of the operation have not yet been confirmed by officials, it is believed that two dozen SEALs from the unit stormed the terrorist leader’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in the early hours. of May 2, 2011. According to reports, a shooting broke out. out, lasting 40 minutes and resulting in the death or capture of 22 people. Bin Laden was shot and buried at sea after a meticulous identification process. All of the SEALs survived the assault despite a helicopter malfunction that nearly compromised their mission.

A few months later, in January 2012, SEAL Team Six made headlines again by rescuing two aid workers held captive by Somali pirates.

Portrait of Osama Bin Laden. (English: Hamid Mir, CC BY-SA 3.0via Wikimedia Commons)


In 2011, Jessica Buchanan was in northern Somalia as an aid worker, helping to raise awareness on how to avoid landmines. The northern part of Somalia was the relatively safe part of the country. However, she traveled to the most dangerous southern region to train in October.

US Navy SEALs, in Afghanistan. Behind, a UH-60 Black Hawk dropping off personnel. (Petty Officer 1st Class Martine Cuaronpublic domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Buchanan and a colleague (Poul Thisted, 60) found their convoy surrounded by armed Somalis on their journey home from training. They had been sold to land pirates by the man in charge of protecting them. The land pirates demanded a ransom of up to $45 million. To complicate matters further, Buchanan suffered from a thyroid condition which required medication, and during her captivity she began to develop a kidney infection. The kidnappers, however, did not provide him with any medicine. The pirates forced Buchanan and his companion to sleep on mats in the middle of the desert for 93 days.

Scott Pelley of CBS News interviewed Buchanan, who told the story of how they were captured.

We stopped, very abruptly, so abruptly that I felt like everyone was falling forward and then I started to hear all this pounding on the windows and the windshield and shouting in Somali and there has a man standing there screaming with an AK-47 and he screams and points it at us and then he gets in the car next to me and points an AK at my face and they’re excited like they’re speeding and suddenly we take off. The driver takes off and we begin to descend these camel tracks.

Imagine the fear, helplessness and despair she and Thisted must have felt at that moment. Luckily, the real-world Avengers came to the rescue.

The rescue

Then-President Barack Obama ordered a mission to rescue these two aid workers.

A New York Post article from January 25, 2012mentions how SEAL Team Six was able to carry out the rescue operation,

The looters entered quickly, grabbing the guards as they slept after chewing the narcotic leaf qat for much of the evening, a hacker named Bile Hussein told The Associated Press by phone. Hussein said he was not present at the site but spoke with other pirates who were and they told him nine pirates were killed in the raid and three were “carried away”.

Seal Team Six was officially disbanded and renamed 1987although despite the official name changes, the name “SEAL Team Six” remains the unit’s widely recognized nickname.

DEVGRU is classified. Details of his activities are generally not commented on by either the White House or the Department of Defense.

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