What's behind bungled rescue effort of US journalist abducted in Yemen?

A U.S. operation to rescue American Luke Somers in Yemen was unsuccessful, the Pentagon revealed Thursday.

The 33-year-old freelance photojournalist was kidnapped 14 months ago in the capital city of Sana'a.

Last month, the Pentagon launched a daring and complex campaign to free him. But by the time the Navy SEALs arrived, Somers was gone.

"Some hostages were rescued, but others, including Somers, were not present at the targeted location," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement Thursday.

Somers' captors had apparently moved him from a remote cave complex to another location.

The news comes as al Qaeda in Yemen is threatening the life of the photojournalist. The SITE Intelligence Group said it has video showing Somers.

"It's now been well over a year since I've been kidnapped in Sana'a. Basically, I'm looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I'm certain that my life is in danger," Somers says in the footage.

In the video, an al Qaeda terrorist warns that Somers will "meet his fate" if their demands are not met within three days. He said the U.S. government knows what those demands are.

White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said the United States is aware of the footage.

"The overriding concern for Mr. Somers' safety and the safety of the U.S. forces who undertake these missions made it imperative that we not disclose information related to Mr. Somers' captivity and the attempted rescue," Meehan said.

She explained that the mission was being disclosed now because of the video released Thursday.

Meanwhile, the question lingers -- was the botched rescue effort an intelligence failure or a delayed presidential order which caused the missed opportunity to extract Somers?

The White House insists the president approved the rescue mission just two days after he received the Pentagon's plan.

U.S. security officials say the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terror group, not the Islamic State, poses the greatest threat to the American homeland.

By Gary Lane - CBN News Sr. International Correspondent