Analysts belief the kidnappers motive in abducting Philip Walton was to "sell" him to terrorist organizations in the region.
The abduction occurred near a small village a few miles from the border with Nigeria.
Both CNN and ABC News report the operation to rescue the man was conducted by the U.S. Navy's Seal Team Six, the elite unit best known for killing Osama Bin Laden. No US military personnel were injured during the operation. The CIA provided intelligence leading to Walton's whereabouts and Marine Special Operations elements in Africa helped locate him, a former USA official said.
A US missionary, identified as Philip Walton, 27, was rescued by SEAL Team 6 in a commando raid that killed all but one of seven kidnappers, USA officials said.
President Trump congratulated the SEALs via Twitter this morning.
"U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men", said Jonathan Hoffman, Pentagon spokesman, in a statement. "Our Nation salutes the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime rescue operation and celebrates the safe return of yet another American citizen!"
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ABC News reported that the rescue operation was organized by the US government with help from both Niger and Nigeria.
"We appreciate the support of our worldwide partners in conducting this operation".
Dem also thank Nigeria goment for dia partnership and suport ontop di mission. No ransom was paid, according to the USA official. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox News that the Trump administration had over the years rescued 55 hostages in 24 countries.
"The longer a hostage is held the harder it is to find an exact location to be able and conduct a rescue operation", the official said. The kidnapping comes two months after IS-linked militants killed six French aid workers and their Niger guide while they were visiting a wildlife park east of the capital.
The governor, Abdourahamane Moussa, told these media outlets that after demanding money, the men took the American citizen with them in the direction of the Nigerian border.