US Press Secretary statement on death of two US hostages by Al Qaeda
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The President of the United States Barack Obama appeared in the White House briefing room a few moments after his staff issued a written statement announcing the deaths of an American aid worker and another man held hostage by Al Qaeda.
“As president and as commander in chief, I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations,” Obama said looking upset. “I profoundly regret what happened,” he added. “On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families.”
So what happened, exactly? The statement from the White House announced four deaths: Warren Weinstein, an American kidnapped in 2011, Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian captured in 2012, Ahmed Farouq, an American affiliated with Al Qaeda (all three killed in Pakistan January 15, 2015) and Adam Gadahn, another American affiliated with Al Qaeda (killed in the same remote area in Pakistan January 19).
US Government officials disclosed on Thursday that all four men were killed as a result of the US drone strikes. The US President decided to keep this information classified for over three months.
Furthermore, US officials said that the US had no idea the hostages as well as the American Qaeda members were present in the targeted area, and added that those affiliated Al Qaeda Americans were not specifically targeted.
In another news, Italian police busted a terror ring linked to Al Qaeda, which was reportedly plotting attacks on the Vatican as well as in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The raids were carried out simultaneously in seven different Italian provinces on Friday early morning. As the result of the raids, police issued 20 warrants and made 9 arrests.
According to investigators, the terror ring planned an attack on the Vatican in 2010, back when Pope Benedict XVI was the pontiff.
Furthermore, authorities believe that some of the suspects organized the market bombing in Pakistan. More than 100 people were killed when a large car bomb exploded in the middle of a busy market in Peshawar, Pakistan, in October 2009.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi calmly reacted to the hypothetical attacks, saying it didn’t matter as “it seems to have been a proposal they did not follow up on.”
Image via Financial Times | MYC Bulletin Writer Polina Tikhonova