SANAA, Yemen — Al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen threatened an American hostage who was the target of a rescue attempt by U.S. special forces last month, warning Washington in a video released Thursday not to try again, and giving it three days to meet unspecified demands.

“My life is in danger,” photojournalist Luke Somers says in the footage, which appeared to mimic hostage videos released by al-Qaida’s rival, the Islamic State.

It was the first word from the 33-year-old since he was snatched from the streets of Sanaa more than a year ago. He had been working for nearly three years in the impoverished Arab nation. Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby acknowledged for the first time Thursday that a raid last month had sought to rescue Somers but that he turned out not to be at the site.

White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan also said Thursday that President Obama had authorized a rescue operation to free Somers and other hostages but “regrettably, Luke was not present.”

In the three-minute video, Somers appears somber and gives a brief statement in English, asking for help.

“It’s now been well over a year since I’ve been kidnapped in Sanaa,” Somers says. “Basically, I’m looking for any help that can get me out of this situation. I’m certain that my life is in danger. So as I sit here now, I ask, if anything can be done, please let it be done. Thank you very much.”

Also speaking in the video, a local al-Qaida commander, Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, denounced American “crimes” against the Muslim world, including U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

He also condemned the rescue attempt, calling it a “foolish action” and warned against any more such “stupidities.” He acknowledged that an “elite group of mujahedeen,” or holy warriors, were killed in the operation.

Al-Ansi gave the United States three days to meet al-Qaida’s demands or “otherwise, the American hostage held by us will meet his inevitable fate.” He did not elaborate or explicitly say Somers would be killed. Al-Ansi also did not specify the group’s demands but said Washington is “aware” of them.

Kirby did not elaborate on the joint U.S-Yemeni operation to free Somers, saying details remained classified. However, officials said at the time the raid by U.S. special forces and Yemeni troops targeted a remote al-Qaida safe haven in a desert region near the Saudi border. Eight captives – including Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian – were freed. Somers, a Briton and four others had been moved days earlier.

Somers was kidnapped in September 2013 on the streets of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, as he left a supermarket, according to Fakhri al-Arshi, chief editor of the newspaper National Yemen. Somers worked at the paper as a copy editor for a period after working as a freelance photographer during the 2011 uprising in Yemen. His last stint was editing and reviewing English material for a government-led dialogue among Yemen’s political factions aimed at drafting a blueprint for a new constitution.

“He was living as a normal Yemeni, very friendly, had no enemies,” al-Arshi said. “But because he is one of few Americans and Westerners here, he was a target.”

Bill Roggio, of the terrorism analysis center the Long War Journal, said he believes the al-Qaida offshoot – known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula – put out the video in reaction to last month’s rescue operation. The group is considered to be the world’s most dangerous branch of the terror network.