Update at 1:00 p.m.: The National Security Council confirmed the rescue attempt in a series of tweets.
A new video by an al-Qaeda group shows Luke Somers, an American photojournalist, pleading for help as he is threatened with execution by the terrorist group's leader.
The 33-year-old was reportedly captured by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a in September 2013. Somers briefly appears at the end of the three minute video relaying this message:
"My name is Luke Somers. I'm 33 years old. I was born in England, but I carry American citizenship and have lived in America for most of my life. It's now been well over a year since I've been kidnapped in Sana'a. Basically, I'm looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I'm certain that my life is in danger. So as I sit here now, I ask if anything can be done, please let it be done. Thank you very much."
The video, which was first reported by the terrorist monitoring service — SITE Intelligence Group — shows AQAP official Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi threatening to execute Somers in three days if the U.S. government did not meet the group's demands. He did not elaborate on what these "well known" demands were.
Ansi said that Somers will meet his "inevitable fate" adding, "We warn Obama and the American government of the consequences of proceeding ahead in any other foolish action."
Ansi also spoke about American crimes in the Muslim world and the U.S. government's recent actions in Yemen.
The video was made available a week after a U.S.-led operation rescued eight of the terrorist group's hostages from a cave in eastern Yemen, The New York Times reported.
Somers was originally intended to be rescued as part of the operation but he, along with many other hostages, had been moved out of the cave two days before the American and Yemeni operation, officials said.
Somers, who was born in the UK but spent most of his life in the U.S., worked as a freelance editor and photographer in Yemen.
At the time of his abduction, he was working as a translator for the National Dialogue Conference in Sana'a, ABC News reported.
He arrived in the country in 2010 on a teaching visa but began photographing civilian protests and uprisings for local and national news organizations.
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at email@example.com.
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