In 2011, humanitarian aid worker Jessica Buchanan and Danish co-worker Poul Thisted traveled to Somalia to help the children of a war-torn region. On October 25th, both were abducted by armed Somali fighters. They were taken by vehicles deep into the desert, where they were told to get down on their knees. Jessica spoke of the fear of being executed at that very moment and the relief it would bring from not being raped. Instead, their captors told them to lie down and sleep. This was the beginning of a very long nightmare.
The next morning her captors were demanding $45 million for their release. During the final negotiations, Buchanan was told to do an interview in which she expressed her failing health due to a urinary tract infection. This statement by Buchanan, initiated an immediate response, as a SEAL team rescue was sent to rescue her on a “night of the new moon”.
On the night of her rescue, she woke to see the face of one of her captors looking absolutely terrified. Within seconds, gunfire erupted around her and she covered herself fearing this was going to be end. The night became quiet and Jessica felt many hands upon her. She then heard a voice she did not believe was real. The mystery man standing over her was American, a member of a SEAL rescue team, and stated “Jessica, we’re with the American military. We’re here to take you home, and you’re safe.” At first, she felt confused but later started to feel a deep sense of relief and pride.
“I have never in my life been so proud and so very happy to be an American,” she said.
Buchanan shares all the details of her capture and rescue in her book “Impossible Odds”.