WASHINGTON — Two hostages held hostage by al-Qaida and two Americans working with the terror group were killed in U.S. counterterrorism operations earlier this year, the White House said Thursday.
The White House said American Warren Weinstein, an American held by al-Qaida since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian national held by al-Qaida since 2012, were killed in a January operation in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The operation targeted an al-Qaida-associated compound and there was no reason to believe either hostage was present at the location, the White House said.
The U.S. believes that Ahmed Farouq, an American who the White House says was an al-Qaida leader, was killed in the same operation. U.S. officials have also concluded that Adam Gadahn, an American who had served as a spokesman for the terror network, was killed in a separate American operation in January.
The White House says Farouq and Gadhan were not specifically targeted in the operations, nor did the U.S. have information indicating their presence at the sites.
President Barack Obama was set to appear in the White House briefing room at mid-morning to make a statement on the incidents.