The hostages had been held captive since October in Somalia, but on Tuesday, a U.S. Special Operations team freed them with a swiftness and lethal force reminiscent of the raid on Usama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

The raid Tuesday was conducted by a joint team overseen by Africa Command and involved Navy SEAL Team Six, the same unit — though not the exact same individuals — that killed bin Laden in May, a senior U.S. military source told Fox News.

President Obama authorized the operation at 9 p.m. Monday. By the time he was about to begin his State of the Union address 24 hours later, the mission was complete. The two hostages, an American and a Dane, were free and nine kidnappers were dead.

American Jessica Buchanan, 32, and Dane Poul Hagan Thisted, 60, had been working with a de-mining unit of the Danish Refugee Council when they were kidnapped in October.

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