Somers, 33, was captured by al Qaeda in September 2013 in Sanaa, and was reportedly working in the country as a freelance photojournalist.
"It's now been well over a year since I've been kidnapped in Sanaa. Basically, I'm looking for any help that can get me out of this situation," the man says in the video's last 30 seconds. "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."
The video starts with a man, identified as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula official Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, apparently threatening to kill Somers if the United States does not meet unspecified demands.
"We warn Obama and the American government of the consequences of proceeding ahead in any other foolish action," the official says, according to a translation by Reuters. "We give the American government a timeframe of three days from the issuance of this statement to meet our demands about which they are aware; otherwise, the American hostage held by us will meet his inevitable fate."
The group's threat to kill Somers, the Washington Post reports, was spurred by an attempted rescue mission by U.S. commandos last week. Military officials confirmed to the paper that troops "narrowly missed him," but managed to save several other hostages. According to the Post, Somers' family has been resistant to publicizing his abduction.