Report: 35 hostages dead in rescue attempt in Algeria
White House closely monitoring 'fluid' situation at gas complex
- Duration 6:28
- Date Jan 17, 2013
White House closely monitoring 'fluid' situation at gas complex
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But first from fox at 3 o'clock the hostage situation at -- BP natural gas facility.
In the African nation of Algeria today reportedly turned deadly.
But Fox News has learned that two Americans have escaped.
-- the White House would only say those Americans are involved in what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called a terrorist attack in the situation is still fluid.
The Algerian military launched a rescue operation without American help despite the Pentagon's offered -- -- -- And it reportedly did not go well the militants claim the botched raid led to the deaths of 35 hostages in fifteen of their captors.
There's also word at least for the hostages are now free including those two Americans were on their way to London but.
We're still getting conflicting reports on lots of the details here all this one day.
After the militants stormed the facility near the Libyan border Algerian state television reporting.
The attack was payback for Algeria letting French jets use its air space to attack Islamic fighters in bordering Molly.
Jennifer Griffin the news live at the Pentagon -- Jennifer a lot of -- conflicting reports here but what do we know about the Americans in ball.
Well what we can that tell you for certain we've just learned that those two Americans who were among those who escaped are on -- right now to London.
They should be landing -- sometime later today.
But we also.
Is secretary of state Clinton just spoke about the situation in Algeria.
In Molly has.
Created the opportunity for a staging base and safe haven.
The White House confirms there are still Americans being held.
We confirm have confirmed from other sources there is at least one American still being held by the hostages somewhere -- in touch with their families the hostage takers.
Claim to have killed 35 hostages and now the Algerian government.
Is for the first time admitting there were casualties that resulted from their raid.
Our sister network sky news said there were reports of a large explosion at the facility a little.
Over two hours ago.
What we can confirm is that a little after 7 AM eastern time the Algerian military opened fire at the facility using helicopter gunships.
They were trying to it was a raid that that went wrong but they are still -- circling the facility there we understand Greg.
What if anything is the US military doing to help.
Well no US troops have been since Intel Algeria as we speak.
We do know that one US drone was repositioned over the facility there would confirm that from US officials.
That drone is on arm but it is taking visuals of the facility.
There are US troops on standby at commanders an -- -- force that is on standby in Germany but it has not been given permission -- told.
From the algerians.
For any US forces to go in and help the algerians have essentially turned down offers of US help we also know.
There's a national mission force say tier one group of special operators that was mobilized in North Carolina but again.
No permission as of yet from the algerians.
To move those those special operators in to help in any way at this point in time -- Jennifer thanks very much for the latest we'll check back with you.
-- turned down a former State Department official Christian white and he's a former special advisor to the undersecretary of state for global affairs and former deputy special envoy.
Look Algerian Army.
It has been fighting Islamic extremists in that region.
For many many years.
Reportedly they're pretty good at.
But is this the work of al-Qaeda McGrath.
I think so Greg or at least a group that's -- closely with al-Qaeda in the Islamic -- they call themselves.
Of course membership in that group does not so organized as saying you know -- -- political party or something like that al-Qaeda operates often as a venture capital -- -- -- supports various.
People willing to conduct violence but.
Initial reports indicate that this group has had linkages with al-Qaeda -- -- -- is here to who's the leader of this group.
This is Amanda like the one -- Algerian he's known as a jihadist but he's also known as a wall old and smuggler.
I Catherine Herridge is you have a lot more on -- him coming up so we don't know.
What exactly his motive was here but I guess Christian the with the wider issue via.
That once you get this operation -- -- is the rise of Islamic extremism right across North America threatening to become a new Afghan.
-- -- -- -- -- It's bad and this is what of course cause today is siege was the war next door in Mali where you have an Islamist insurgency in this hasn't.
You know big big headlines partly because of the White House here with its -- -- that al-Qaeda is on its heels but all across North Africa you have islamists winning politically.
And now you have this other insurgency started negotiating.
With terrorists like this is notoriously dubious right I -- you just don't do it could you don't get any.
I think that's right and that's probably what the -- jury -- may have done today you know we did the details are Fuzzy but.
In wanting to move very rapidly that probably draws from their own experience their own war against islamists it's gone on for so many years right now -- heard -- Jennifer Griffin says our special ops are still in Germany they haven't been moved into the African region there.
What do you make of that and what appears to be -- of the Obama administration.
Kind of in the dark as to what's going on.
It is we have a minor operation going on related -- not in -- but next door in Burkina -- -- The United States is supporting the French led mission it's contributing things like intelligence and surveillance so I think you'll see that plus stop someone in response to today.
Regardless of what Algeria decides could the United States initiate a rescue operation if need be.
I'd say so -- -- -- -- completely lawless.
Situation Condo where US.
Citizens are in danger and local governments not being responsive debt that we're not certain that's the case yet but yes I'd say we have the right to -- you suspect there's no appetite at the White House I think so I think the vague notion none of that you know the tide of war is receding and that al-Qaeda is on his -- is one that has outlasted the campaign and it's gonna continuing to sentence Obama -- this would be contrary to the narrative.
If the White House that's right that's right Christian -- thanks very much thank Greg.