At the Pentagon, officials learned about the abduction of U.S. citizens Wednesday morning. A response has yet to be formulated. “We’re tracking the situation closely, and there’s no planned response at this point, but we’re assessing,” says Maj. Rob Firman, a Pentagon spokesman.
A spokesman for the U.S. Africa Command, the U.S. regional command responsible for military operations on the continent, referred questions to the State Department. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, traveling in Europe on Wednesday, called the abduction a terrorist act and said the U.S. would take “all necessary and proper steps” to respond, according to Julian Barnes, a Wall Street Journal reporter traveling with Panetta.