Photograph by Andrew W. Miller/U.S. Navy/Getty Images.
The same Navy SEAL team responsible for killing Osama Bin Laden roughly seven months ago pulled off another successful mission Tuesday, rescuing two aid workers taken hostage in Somalia late last year. The mission reportedly occurred shortly before President Obama took to the podium to deliver his State of the Union address.
According to the BBC, neither the U.S. troops nor the hostages were injured in the rescue, but nine captors were killed. The captors were not identified as al-Shabab militants (al-Shabab is an Islamist group controlling much of southern Somalia), but rather as "criminals" by U.S. officials.
The two aid workers are Jessica Buchanan, an American, and Poul Hagen Thisted, from Denmark. They were taken captive at gunpoint by Somali pirates in October.
The Associated Press, responsible for confirming that the Navy SEAL team was the same elite group deployed in Pakistan last May to kill Bin Laden, notes that while Obama did not mention the mission during the State of the Union, his congratulations to Defense Secretary Panetta just before the speech was picked up on mic: "Good job tonight," Obama said.
The successful mission was announced early Tuesday morning in a statement from the president. "As Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission, and the dedicated professionals who supported their efforts," he said.