Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pakistan: Kidnapped US Aid Worker Warren Weinstein, 72, Abducted in 2011, Feels "Abandoned, Forgotten"

According to The Associated Press, a 72-year-old US aid worker, kidnapped by gunmen from his home in Lahore--the day before he was scheduled to return home--who was kidnapped in Pakistan on the night of August 11, 2011 by al-Qaeda, tells President Obama he feels "abandoned and forgotten."

In a video released on Thursday (December 26, 2013), the first since two video-clips were released in September 2012,  the long-term al-Qaeda hostage who was the country director for JE Austin Associates, a US-based NGO, has now been in captivity for 2+ years.

In the newest video-clip, appealed to the Obama Administration to negotiate his release.

"Nine years ago, I came to Pakistan to help my government, and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here, and now when I need my government, it seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten," Weinstein said during the 13-minute video.  

COMMENT: Obviously, it was impossible to tell how much of Weinstein's statement, was made under the duress of captivity, was scripted by his captors, or how much it it was his true statement.

The video and an accompanying letter purported to be from Weinstein was emailed anonymously to reporters in Pakistan. The video was labeled "As-Sahab," which is al-Qaeda's media wing, but its authenticity could not be independently verified. The letter was dated October 3, 2013. 

In the video, Weinstein wore a grey runner's suit and what appeared to be a black knit hat on his head. His face was partially covered with a beard.

Al-Qaeda has said Weinstein would be released if the US halted airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and also demanded the release of all al-Qaeda and Taliban captives around the world.

The White House has called for Weinstein's immediate release, but has said it won't negotiate with the group.

The videos last year depicted Weinstein's appealing for help from the Jewish community and Israel's prime minister.

Our readers should know that the political kidnapping of US Public Safety Advisor Dan Mitrione, who in 1970, was assigned to the US Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay, influenced in large part, the formulation of the US Policy Concerning Hostage-Taking shortly after Mitrione's execution. See below: