Skip to main content

U.S. President Barack Obama is pictured with first lady Michelle Obama while making a phone call from the U.S. Capitol immediately following his State of the Union Address, to inform John Buchanan that his daughter Jessica was rescued by U.S. Special Operations Forces in Somalia, in this photograph taken on January 24, 2012 and released on January 25.

REUTERS/Handout/REUTERS/Handout

In Wednesday's predawn raid, an American woman and a Danish man, both seized last October while teaching demining in war-ravaged Somalia, were rescued and flown to Camp Lemonnier, a U.S base in Djibouti.

A White House staffer called John Buchanan, the father of Jessica Buchanan, the 32-year-old American aid worker held hostage. Wait for the call, the staffer told the father on Tuesday night as half a world away special forces warriors were parachuting into the Somali night and preparing a daring rescue.

"It was 40 minutes of not knowing what that call would be," John Buchanan told CBS. Then "a guy came on the phone and said, Mr. Buchanan, the next voice you'll hear will be the president of the United States.' I said, 'O.K.' He said, 'John, this is Barack Obama.

Story continues below advertisement

I've got some really good news for you. Your daughter, Jessica, has been rescued and evacuated by our SEAL team and she's on her way home.'"

Hours later, after Ms. Buchanan and a Danish aid worker rescued with her had been flown by helicopter to America's special forces base in Djibouti, there was another call; the first time John Buchanan had heard from his daughter in 93 days.

"She said, 'Daddy, I love you, and I'll be fine. I'm OK.'"

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
International Affairs and Security Correspondent

Paul More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.