UNITED STATES—On October 31, U.S. Forces conducted a rescue hostage operation in northern Nigeria. U.S. Navy Seals elite Team 6 conducted the raid, identified and rescued the hostage, Philip Walton, 27.
Walton is the son of missionaries. He was living on a farm in Massalata with his wife and young daughter. Massalata is near the Nigerian border.
According to the assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Jonathan Hoffman, the hostage is now safe in the care of the Department of State. No U.S. forces were injured in their pursuit.
The New York Times reports that Walton was abducted from his backyard by armed men who came in on motorbike demanding money from Walton as his wife and daughter stood by. Walton was taken by the assailants after offering $40.
A ransom fee of $1 million was announced soon after the abduction.
Navy intelligence was able to track and locate the kidnapper’s position before a team of approximately 30 Navy Seals parachuted into the enemy camp. A battle ensued killing 6 of the captors. A seventh man escaped. The hostage was rescued without harm.
President Trump waited until 2:00 a.m. to meet the hostage before getting back on the campaign trail. President Trump made the following statement that may be found on the White House web page.
“Last night, at my direction, the United States military conducted a successful operation to rescue an American hostage in Nigeria, kidnapped just 96 hours earlier. The United States Special Forces executed a daring nighttime operation to rescue their fellow Americans with exceptional skill, precision, and bravery. No United States Service Members were harmed. The former hostage is currently in good health and has been reunited with his family,” the President continued.
“Securing the freedom of Americans held in captivity abroad has been a top national security priority of my Administration. Since the beginning of my Administration, we have rescued over 55 hostages and detainees in more than 24 countries. Today’s operation should serve as a stark warning to terrorists and criminal thugs who mistakenly believe they can kidnap Americans with impunity,” said President Trump.