Philip Walton Biography Philip Walton Wki
The hijackers equipped with AK-47 assault rifles took Philip Walton, 27, from his farm in southern Niger early in the morning.
They took it across the border into Nigeria, where US officials feared taking it or selling it to a group of Islamist militants.
His captors demanded a ransom from his father, who also lives in Niger
SEAL Team 6 saved Walton on a brave morning
All but one of his seven kidnappers died in this dramatic operation.
Walton is now back in Niger, the Defense Ministry confirmed
Last week, a US citizen kidnapped in a West African country in Niger was rescued in a dramatic US military operation in neighboring Nigeria, the Defense Ministry confirmed.
Philip Walton, 27, was abducted from his farm in Massalata, southern Niger, early Tuesday morning by kidnappers with AK-47 assault rifles demanding a ransom from the man’s father.
The Defense Department confirmed on Saturday that the elite commandos of SEAL 6 team had successfully completed an operation during a valiant morning expedition.
According to ABC, all but seven prisoners died during the mission.
“They were all dead before they knew what was happening,” the source told the network.
President Trump tweeted his thanks when news broke from the rescue service. – The great victory of the American elite special forces today. The following details! ‘he wrote.
The Defense Ministry added that no military personnel were injured and this was done with the help of Nigeria and the Nigerian governments so that Walton could be rescued quickly before his relocation.
This American citizen is safe and is now in the custody of the United States Department of State. No US military personnel were injured during the operation, ”the department said in a statement.
A United States official who did not have the authority to discuss the ransom publicly and spoke anonymously said there was no strong indication that Walton’s kidnapping was terrorism-related and that he had “a tendency to kidnap a person.” . purpose of extortion. ”
But the official said the US government has expressed concern that the hostage could be transferred to another terrorist group or that the kidnapping could turn into long-term hostage-taking.
The US government decided to act quickly before he could be kidnapped or sold to a group of Islamist militants in line with Al Qaeda or Daesh.
Walton has now returned to Niger, according to an official who said the ransom had not been paid.
Nigeria’s defense minister also confirmed the exemption for the AFPs.
Minister Issoufou Katambe
“I confirm that the American hostage was released last night,” Minister Issoufou Katambe said without giving details of the circumstances of the release or the fate of the hostage.
Six men armed with motorcycles and stationed with an AK-47 assault rifle abducted Walton, described as the missionary’s son, from his home on the outskirts of a rural village in southern Niger, a neighboring country, on October 26. . .
American and Nigerian officials said the attackers encountered Walton in his backyard and pressured him to give them money. When he only offered them $ 40, they took it by force.
The kidnappers tied up the rest of Walton’s family so they couldn’t report him to authorities, meaning the police were unaware of the kidnapping that lasted about four hours.
Authorities said the guns took off on three motorcycles and carried the 27-year-old across the southern border into Nigeria, leaving his wife, young daughter and brother unharmed.
According to local authorities, the kidnappers had called the man’s father to ask for a ransom, although the family did not confirm it.
Walton has lived in Massalata with his wife and son for two years, according to his father, who has been in Niger for nearly 30 years.
They raise camels on the ground and often take them to the surrounding bush.
“They were so exposed that he was kidnapped without anyone knowing,” Prefect Lele told Reuters, saying the man was kidnapped “from a nearby garden on the outskirts of Massalata.” 13 hours. Tuesday morning
Niger is the heart of the vast Sahel region, fighting a jihadist uprising that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.
The country is increasingly attacked by extremists linked to the Islamic group and al-Qaeda.
The kidnapping comes two months after ISIS-linked militants murdered six French aid workers and their Nigerian guide while visiting a natural park east of the capital.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly encouraged his administration’s emphasis on securing the release of American hostages held by militant groups abroad, as well as other detainees.
Earlier this month, two Americans held by Iranian-backed militants in Yemen were freed, along with a third person, in exchange for the return of some 250 Houthi rebels from Oman.