American held hostage since 2016 in West Africa released


American freed after being detained for years

American Jeff Woodke freed after being detained for six years in Niger


Jeff Woodke, an American aid worker held hostage in West Africa for more than six years, has been released, according to U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. 

Woodke was taken from his home in Abalak, Niger, in 2016 by a terrorist network that operates across Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. He was released outside of Niger in the Mali-Burkina Faso area, a senior administration official said. 

Jeff Woodke 


“I’m gratified & relieved to see the release of U.S. hostage Jeff Woodke after over 6 years in captivity,” Sullivan tweeted Monday morning. “The U.S. thanks Niger for its help in bringing him home to all who miss & love him. I thank so many across our government who’ve worked tirelessly toward securing his freedom.”

Woodke lived in Niger for years before he was taken, helping people groups in the Sahel region. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Niger as part of a trip to Africa last week. 

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