‘Courage, Skill, and Patriotism’: Navy SEAL Dies Rescuing American Hostage From the Taliban

A U.S. service member died during Sunday’s mission to rescue an American doctor from the Taliban, according to the White House.

Defense officials told CNN and NBC News that the service member was a Navy SEAL.

Reuters relates:

“Our special operators in Afghanistan rescued an American citizen in a mission that was characteristic of the extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism that our troops show every day,” the White House said in a statement.

“Tragically, we lost one of our special operators in this effort. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, just as we must always honor our troops and military families.”


U.S. General John Allen, commander of NATO-led foreign forces in Afghanistan, said he ordered the mission in eastern Afghanistan when intelligence showed that Joseph was “in imminent danger of injury or death.”

“The special operators who conducted this raid knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy’s grip,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement released by the Pentagon.

“They put the safety of another American ahead of their own, as so many of our brave warriors do every day and every night.”

Details are still cloudy, but ABC’s senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper recently tweeted:

(Photo: Twitter/@jaketapper)

Dr. Dilip Joseph was captured by Taliban insurgents Wednesday outside the Afghan capital, in the Sarobi district of Kabul province.

“This was a combined operation of U.S. and Afghan forces,” said 1st Lt. Joseph Alonso, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. “Information was collected through multiple intelligence sources, which allowed Afghan and coalition forces to identify the location of Joseph and the criminals responsible for his captivity.”

Gen. John Allen praised all those involved in the rescue effort.

“Thanks to them, Dr. Joseph will soon be rejoining his family and loved ones,” he said.

ABC News has more information on the daring raid:

​The Associated Press contributed to this report.