President Obama said this morning that U.S. special operations forces had rescued an American woman held hostage for three months in Somalia.
Jessica Buchanan was rescued Tuesday and is on her way home, Obama said in a statement issued early this morning.
News of the rescue began to spread shortly after Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. As the president arrived in the House chamber, cameras captured him saying to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, “Good job tonight. Good job.”
Obama called Buchanan’s father late Tuesday, officials said.
“Jessica Buchanan was selflessly serving her fellow human beings when she was taken hostage by criminals and pirates who showed no regard for her health and well-being,” Obama said in his statement. “The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice.”
The Associated Press reported that the special forces team that carried out the operation was the same Navy SEAL team that carried out the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.
“This was incredibly daring,” Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview on “CBS This Morning.” “These guys are absolutely, mind-blowingly effective at what they do.”
Michael A. Memoli contributed to this report.