Top Stories for Saturday, December 6, 2014

Raid To Rescue U.S. Hostage Fails, al Qaeda Kills Photographer

From The Wall Street Journal, Luke Somers Raid in Yemen: How It Went Wrong”: “Under the cover of night, U.S. commandos approached the walled compound on foot, hoping to catch unawares the militants holding two hostages, including American Luke Somers.

Then, less than 100 yards from their target, something went terribly wrong. A noise, maybe a dog bark, alerted the militants to the raiders, according to U.S. officials briefed on the operation. The rescue team’s biggest advantage—the element of surprise—was lost in that moment, and the shooting started.

When the dust settled 30 minutes later, the roughly 40-man Special Operations team emerged from the compound carrying Mr. Somers and a South African hostage, both badly wounded. The medics couldn’t save them, and the two were pronounced dead after their evacuation.

The operation took place after midnight Saturday local time in a remote area of southern Yemen. White House officials knew the operation would be risky. They also didn’t see any better options…

Immediately after the firefight broke out at the entrance to the main compound, one of the AQAP militants rushed inside the building where the hostages were being held, according to U.S. officials briefed on the operation.

The militant was inside for only a few moments. He then ran out. U.S. officials couldn’t see what was happening inside the building but believe that is when the two hostages were shot.

U.S. officials said they don’t believe stray bullets fired by the U.S. rescue team could have reached the hostages because there was a wall separating the commandos from the building where they were held.

When the Special Operations team, which included medics, entered the building, the two hostages were still alive. The medics immediately started to work to stop the bleeding.

Less than 30 minutes after the firefight first broke out, the two wounded hostages were evacuated under fire from the compound and loaded onto a nearby V-22 Osprey aircraft, which had a surgical team onboard.

One of the hostages died on the Osprey.

The other died on an operating table aboard the USS Makin Island, an amphibious assault ship that was positioned just off the coast of Yemen.”

Police Protests Target Stores

From USA Today, “Demonstrators stage ‘die in’ at NYC Apple store, Macy’s“: 

Sony Hackers Threaten Studio’s Employees, Families

From Variety, “Hackers Threaten Sony Employees in New Email: ‘Your Family Will Be in Danger’”: “Hackers have struck again at Sony Pictures Entertainment, threatening employees of the studio in a new email obtained by Variety.

The group taking credit for the hack, which calls itself “Guardians of Peace” and first hacked Sony on Nov. 24, said it planned to eradicate all of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The author of the email wrote in English and made only a single demand.

“Please sign your name to object the false (sic) of the company at the email address below if you don’t want to suffer damage. If you don’t, not only you but your family will be in danger.”

Employees were told to turn off their handheld devices after receiving the message, according to insiders at Sony.

“We are aware of the situation and are working with law enforcement,” a spokesman said in a statement.

On Thursday, North Korea denied its involvement in the ongoing data breach after media outlets said the attack was a response to Sony’s new movie “The Interview,” in which Seth Rogen and James Franco attempt to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.”