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    A Houthi Shiite rebel mans a machine gun mounted on a military truck in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

    Al-Qaeda Releases Video Threatening to Execute British-US Hostage

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    Al-Qaeda in Yemen have released a new video on YouTube in which Sheikh Nasser al-Ansi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula, makes a speech saying that a British-American hostage they are holding will be executed if US doesn’t meet their demands.

    MOSCOW, December 4 (Sputnik) – Al-Qaeda's Yemen affiliate released a new three minutes video on YouTube on Wednesday night, in which the leader makes a speech in Arabic and then shows an American hostage on camera for the first time since his capture last year, reports The New York Times.

    Luke Somers, a 33 year old dual British-US photojournalist was kidnapped in Sana, the Yemeni capital, in September 2013. Mr. Somers had been working in Yemen as a photojournalist and as a translator for more than two years when he was kidnapped under unknown circumstances.

    In the three minutes video he appeared in the last 30 seconds. He was wearing glasses and a purple shirt and seemed collected as he directly addressed the camera. “I’m looking for any help that can get me out of this situation,” he said. “I’m certain that my life is in danger. So as I sit here now, I ask if anything can be done, please let it be done. Thank you very much.”

    The video also shows Sheikh Nasser al-Ansi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula, making a speech in which he said that the hostage would meet his “inevitable fate” in three days if the terrorist group’s demands were not met. Al-Ansi made a statement lasting more than two minutes directed towards the US government, demanding an end to drone strikes and troops, reports The Independent.

    “We warn Obama and the American government of the consequences of proceeding ahead in any other foolish action,” he said.

    According to The New York Times, al-Qaeda and its direct affiliates have made at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid in 2013. The investigation found that the payments were made almost entirely by European governments, reports The New York Times.

    The new video was made public eight days after United States commandos and Yemeni troops rescued eight of the terrorist group’s hostages who were being held in a cave in eastern Yemen. Mr. Somers was among the hostages that the forces wanted to rescue, but he was not with those found in the cave, according to officials from both countries.

    The video’s existence was first reported by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terrorist activity online. 

    Related:

    Yemen Frees Eight Hostages From Al-Qaeda, Including US Soldier
    US Used Al-Qaeda in Yemen to Blackmail Sanaa: President’s Adviser
    Al Qaeda-Linked Haqqani Leaders Captured by Afghan Security Forces
    Yemeni Civil War Is Looming as Houthis, Al-Qaeda Expand Territories
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    terrorism, terrorist leaders, kidnapping, al-Qaeda, Yemen
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