January 25th, 2012
12:04 PM ET

Somalia rescue – on the timing and FBI

From Larry Shaughnessy at the Pentagon, with reporting from Justice Producer Terry Frieden

Timing of the raid

The president authorized the operation on Monday, according to Pentagon spokesman George Little and “the military commanders decided to move ahead with this yesterday.”

"We're confident that there was enough of a sense of urgency and there was enough actionable intelligence to take the action that we did for the President to make the decision that he did,” said Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby.

"Well there are a variety of factors that you consider when you are planning an operation that you hope will contribute to success. And I'm not going to get into specifics, but those factors can range from weather to other considerations,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

When Obama said “good job” as he strode to the podium for his State of the Union address, the military “had indications at that point that the two hostages were secured,” Little said.

"I think it's safe to say at that point we knew that we had recovered the hostages and that they were in good condition. But there was still work to do to complete everything. Meaning making sure everybody is out and safe,” added Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby.

“That does not mean though that the operation was over,” Little explained. I want to make one thing very clear, the assault team landed early evening our time on the objective. The operation was not over until a number of hours later when the hostages were secured and our servicemembers were safely out of harm's way."

"Bottomline, this was a hostage rescue mission that was ordered after an added sense of urgency after time it was determined to be right, and it was accomplished after careful planning by the US Military."

Asked if the Somali government was notified, Kirby said: "It's certainly fair to say that we made the proper notifications that needed to be made in the region,” Little said.

The FBI’s role
The FBI has been investigating the case ever since the day Buchanan was captured, FBI officials tell CNN’s Terry Frieden. FBI officials were reluctant to discuss the agency’s role in too much detail because they use the same or similar tactics to locate and monitor kidnappers and pirates in other cases. Some of the agency manpower came from the New York field office, one official said. One official did say that some resources (manpower) from the New York field

"Anytime you have Americans overseas taken hostage the FBI is involved. There was close coordination with the FBI throughout this. I will leave it to the FBI to characterize for themselves, but this was very much an interagency effort,” Capt. Kirby said at the Pentagon.

No FBI agents accompanied the assault team, according to Little.

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  15. AntonS

    Good job US Navy Seals. I agree with this operation, which was well executed and was a stern warning that piracy will not be tolerated.

    The Bin Laden operation was farcical though as was the apparent quick sea burial. He should have been captured alive for intelligence revelations. That was some kind of cover up there, that FBI did not want BL revealing.

    Also this in your face "proud to be an American" is not the response of a righteous nation. Rather be humble and thank God for the success. Nevertheless there is no problem praising the team who actually did it.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:13 am | Reply
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    Good job!!

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  18. DMM

    This is the way to do it – no large scale invasion, just some kick tail Special Ops, best trained and equipped in the world. Obama is correct on this: future warfare will be largely fought with special forces. I wish we did that with Osama in the beginning. Would have saved us a lot of $ and allied lives for one thing (and no need for nation building afterwards. Let's build our nation back up first).

    January 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Praetorian

      Actually, I thought early on in Afganistan thats exactly what it was. Even at Tora Bora when we had Osama cornered,
      there was not a huge force. 20 CIA, 70 Delta force, its when we let the Northern Alliance push the attack is when Osama slipped away.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply

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