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National Security reporter Eric Tucker scores exclusive first interview with American held hostage in Africa, and his wife

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Tucker spent years reporting on the case of Jeff Woodke, an American man held hostage for more than six years by extremist groups in West Africa. After he was released in March, Woodke was looking for a trusted journalist with whom he could share his story, and he chose Tucker.   

The story pulled back the curtain on previously unreported details, including information about his physical ordeal but also about the tense relationships between his wife and the FBI as the FBI tried to negotiate for his release. The AP traveled to far-northern California to get fresh photographs.   

The story was one of the 10 most read stories on the day it moved, with an engagement score of 100. It was also retweeted hundreds of times and was featured on websites including CBS and ABC and in newspapers as well.

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