February 19th, 2010
07:11 PM ET
5 years ago

Grayson caught in Niger coup

Rep. Alan Grayson will return to the United States Friday.
Rep. Alan Grayson will return to the United States Friday.

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Florida, narrowly escaped harm earlier this week after being caught up in a military coup in the African country of Niger.

Grayson's press secretary, Todd Jurkowski, confirmed to CNN that Grayson was close to the action. "He heard the gunshots. They were literally in the building next door."

The outspoken congressman was in Niger as part of a congressional delegation focused on science, technology and humanitarian relief, according to Jurkowski. When the situation began to unravel, Grayson was taken to the residence of the United States Ambassador to Niger, where he was placed under armed protection.

On Thursday, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State P.J. Crowley told reporters the U.S. Embassy was monitoring the situation and confirmed Grayson was safe at the embassy. Later that night, a Niger military official announced the country's constitution has been suspended.

Grayson has since traveled to the neighboring country of Burkina Faso, and is scheduled to return to the United States Friday evening.


Filed under: Alan Grayson • Popular Posts
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. J.P.

    Not to worry, though... Rep. Grayson was safe and secure, as he always wears his @$$ for a helmet.

    February 19, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I know conservatives are wishing Mr. Grayson got captured. Too bad! He's still here to call you out on your BS and hypocacy.

    February 19, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Xuxo

    I bet that trip wasn't cheap...so much about freezing spending, huh?

    February 19, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. howie

    What in the world is he doing over there in the first place? If caught they would turn him loose, no one wants this lugnut anyway.

    February 19, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Stop taking my taxes

    Sorry Florida so close they must have thought he was a chimp.

    February 19, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. this black liberal hates Obama

    Ivan the Terrible he is!

    February 19, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Mike in NYC

    What does Niger have to do with science and technology?

    Humanitarian relief a/k/a begging white nations to bail you out of messes you got yourselves into and couldn't solve in a million years, OK, that I can understand.

    February 19, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Mitchell from MS

    too bad...

    February 19, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. this black liberal hates Obama

    Those of you who feel sorry for or defending this piece of TRASH, you're even a BIGGER TRASH than him!

    February 19, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Tea is brewing in the US too!

    While it is unfortunate the Rep. Grayson was caught in the danger in Niger, it is good he had this experience. Now when the tea baggers have their revolution and coup, he can tell the rest of congress how to deal with the tyranny!!!

    February 19, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. Hammerer

    What is the Dems poster boy doing in Niger?
    Buying more cool aid?

    February 19, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Kathleen

    Mr. Greyson, You need to get back to American an "protect" the American's you truly care about. We need you. and We Need
    Health Care. You are a man "for the people" That's what the
    constitution calls for. But some idiots seem to "misconstrue"
    the constitution, and "mistakenly believe" that the Primary elements
    of the Constitution means, make Corporations richer, and make
    them (the politicians, millionaires) thru, the Corporations payment by lobbiests,
    for their vote against the people and (for the billion dollar profit per
    quarter) by corporations should be protected so that they can keep
    being paid for their vote!!!!

    And. sadly, sadly, the Supreme Court has failed the people of the
    U.S. thanks to Alito, Roberts, and three other snickering Supreme
    Court Justices. How many of them did Bush appoint. Maybe I'm
    wrong, but do they still "communicate" with Bush. And, I know
    he appointed two of them, maybe more. Anybody know. I know
    Thomas voted for Corporations to control our votes thru billions
    of dollars being spent to put ads an billboard signs and T.V.
    that are pro-Republican, or for that matter a person that the
    Corporation itself chooses from their own boardroom. Just
    wait until the smear ads come out against the Democrats. Just
    like they did to Kerry for Bush to win.

    February 19, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. Mike

    That panty wearing bed wetting liberal probably felt the tinkle run down his leg. Maybe he can stay there, we surely do not need jerks such as him back in the US.

    February 19, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Isn't this the same moron who doesn't think before he speaks? Yeah, I believe he is.

    So, how does it feel to be in the line of action, huh Rep? :)

    February 19, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. rusty lawson

    Mike you panty bloomers type guy a conservatives coward who run his mouth but never serves

    February 19, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Hugo

    Where is a cannibal when you need one, wonder how many die in Niger each year because they don't have health insurance? I am ashamed that this guy represents the State of Florida, although he is now a typical representative of the South, a Harvard liberal New York lawyer called by the masses of unproductive liberal wasteoids to show us dumb Southern crackers how they do it up North. Hope you enjoy your tax funded travels Lurch, this next election should be your last!

    February 19, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. HarryScaresMe

    The article states: "...Grayson was close to the action. 'He heard the gunshots. They were literally in the building next door.'"
    Darn, wrong building. And now he's "...since traveled to the neighboring country of Burkina Faso, and is scheduled to return to the United States Friday evening."
    Hey Grayson, try Pakistan or Yeman for your next "congressional delegation focued on science, technology and humanitarian relief", maybe you'll get a chance to get up close and personal with real terrorist next time.
    God Bless America and the Battle Born State of Nevada

    February 19, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. mike

    Niger is next to Chad & Chad has oil ... That's why we care about Niger now ... and they also have been a quite partner in searchijng for Al Qaeda in the Saharan region ...

    "In June 2008, the government transferred the Agadem block rights to CNPC. Niger announced that in exchange for the USD$5 Billion investment, the Chinese company would build wells, 11 of which would open by 2012, a 20,000-barrel-per-day (3,200 m3/d) refinery near Zinder and a pipeline out of the nation. The government estimates the area has reserves of 324 million barrels (51,500,000 m3), and is seeking further oil in the Tenere Desert and near Bilma. Niger has said that it hopes to produce its first barrels of oil for sale by 2009"

    "Al-Qaeda's North Africa network has claimed responsibility for the abduction of two Canadian diplomats, one of them a United Nations envoy, and four European tourists in Niger"

    Why do the citizens have to do all the reporting CNN??

    February 19, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Jeff in Virginia

    Glad to hear that Alan Grayson is safe and sound.

    I am somewhat disappointed that CNN thinks Palin's faux outrage is important enough to bump over this.

    February 19, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    If Grayson spent his time calling out the Dems/liberals on their BS and hypocrisy, he would be a 15 term congressman before getting halfway done!

    February 19, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Emerson Bigguns

    You people seriously need to get a life.

    February 19, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. ted

    Hopefully he will home watching Oprah in November.

    February 19, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. u2canfail

    Dear Franky land of lincoln,

    It seems you got it all mixed up. Bachmann is not in the action, she is saying, "America is running out of rich people."

    February 19, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Lurch

    We can only hope he's not so lucky next time, visiting another god-forsaken armpit of the world. Please explain to me (like I'm five), why on earth was he there? Enquiring minds want to know.

    February 19, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. terry,va.

    Who cares?

    February 19, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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