Family of Luke Somers criticise botched raid – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted: Monday, December 08, 2014

“There had been threats before that had not been carried out.

She added the release of the video had “led to things escalating horribly”
and the family had been “kept in the dark” about the effort, as
well as a previous attempt last month.

US President Barack Obama sanctioned the mission and secretary of state John
Kerry cited “a compelling indication that Luke’s life was in immediate
danger”.

He said: “We recommended that the president authorise an attempt to
rescue Luke”.

Speaking in Afghanistan, defence secretary Chuck Hagel said the rescue
operation was “extremely well executed” but complicated and risky.

Lucy Somers, 25, Mr Somers’ half sister, said they had learned of her
brother’s death from FBI agents.

She said she hoped the incident would not lead to other deaths in the region.

“The tragedy of his death, and injustice of how he was used, must be
undone by the warmth, strength and humanity of his images,” she said.

“He found a way of life and people that he loved in Yemen, and worked
tirelessly to raise awareness where he saw suffering around him to join
people together and help change situations for the better”.

Mr Somers was born in London and moved to America when he was seven. He
returned to Britain every year and had stayed in Deal between assignments.

Miss Bearman said that her stepson, who worked for the BBC and the Yemen
Times, had loved the kinship of people in Yemen and in Deal. “We have
seen the most amazing comments from people in Yemen despairing at the
extremists and saying Luke’s death has left them feeling shamed,” she
added.

Mr Somers was kidnapped in September 2013 in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa while
working as a photojournalist.

His death follows similar killings by another extremist group Islamic State
(IS), who released online videos of the separate murders of US journalists
James Foley and Steven Sotloff, US aid worker Peter Kassig and two British
aid workers, David Haines and Alan Henning.

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