WASHINGTON - American officials told NBC News on Friday that they were "aware" of Somali pirates' threats to kill an American hostage they had grabbed over the weekend, but for now the Pentagon and U.S. military has no plans to try and rescue him.
The American, Michael Scott Moore, who wrote a book on surfing, was in Somalia gathering material for another book on modern-day pirates when he was kidnapped by 15 armed men on Saturday.
A pirate commander was reportedly in charge of negotiating Moore's release, although it was unclear whether a precise ransom demand had been made.
The Navy SEALs caught the kidnappers by surprise, parachuting to the ground two miles away from their target. They killed all nine of the kidnappers, and rescued Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted who had been held since October 2011. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports.
Following the rescue of American aid worker Jessica Buchanan and her Danish colleague Poul Thisted this week, Moore's kidnappers threatened to kill him if the United States tried something similar.
There's was no indication, however, that a similar American mission is in the works.
As a rule, the U.S. military is "not in the business of hostage rescues," a senior official told NBC News. The officials spoke to NBC on condition of anonymity.
The American official said the decision to launch a rescue is made on a "case-by-case basis" and depended on the circumstances at hand.
Several factors led to the decision to try and rescue of Buchanan, U.S. officials told NBC. Firstly, the kidnappers themselves claimed that Buchanan was suffering from a potentially fatal health condition. Also, Somalia was largely lawless and there was little or no hope that local security forces would be able to track down the kidnappers and free their captives.
Finally, the group holding Buchanan was a fairly disorganized band of "criminals and thugs" making it a somewhat easy targets for the Navy Seals that saved her, the officials said. Given the public relations blitz already launched by Moore's kidnappers and their open threats to kill him, recovering him would be a much riskier mission, they added.
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